The 1970 Plymouth Superbird you see above was formerly the property of the Environmental Protection Agency, which used it in some seminal air pollution tests, racing the car down a runway against a jet to measure emissions. The story is a fascinating piece of history, in that this particular Superbird was a product of NASCAR legend Ray Nichels, the chief race car builder for Chrysler during the company's prolific late 1960's period.
Yet that wasn't enough to push bidding past $175,000, so the car will go home to its current owner, Brian Chaffee of E-Muscle in Middlefield, CT. Chaffee spent three and a half years restoring the unique muscle car after acquiring it in 2006, missing the tail end of the historic run-up in muscle car prices in the process.
While the collector market has corrected itself during the past few years of economic uncertainty, the Hagerty Price Guide still lists # 1 condition '70 Superbirds packing 440 power as $182,000 cars. So the top bid in Atlantic City was a few thousand light even for a car without such provenance.