1970 Plymouth Roadrunner - Superbird - Concours winner!
“Win on Sunday, sell on Monday”!That was the favourite slogan for sales of Muscle cars in America in the late sixties. In their pursuit of profit in the American NASCAR series, Chrysler and Ford became entangled in an ever more costly battle in which both groups tried to outdo each other. They continually competed against each other with more and more powerful engines until the ceiling of regulatory possibilities was reached. The solution presented itself in the wind tunnel in which vehicles were subjected to an extensive test programme aimed at improving their aerodynamics.
In order to attract ‘Petty’, a highly successful racing driver, and thus clock up more wins, Chrysler Racing developed the Plymouth ‘Road Runner Superbird’ in 1969. The Standard Road Runner was comprehensively modified with a more streamlined roof line, the standard front screens replaced with the mudguards of the Dodge Cornet and the nose extended by 19 inches. Finally, the spoiler was also optimised.These modifications not only introduced a specific character, they also produced a very favourable air resistance coefficient.
In order to compete with the Superbird in the 1970 NASCAR championship, each Chrysler dealer had to have at least one Superbird. And the rest is history… 1921 vehicles were produced in three different engine versions.Two variations of the ‘440 Super Commando V8’ series – good for 375 and 395 HP and the ‘426 Hemi’. With a 7 litre engine, the latter was slightly smaller but it was equipped with hemispheric combustion chambers, which generated 425 HP. Only 135 cars were eventually equipped with these Hemi engines.
With longer transmissions and improved aerodynamics, these 1750 kg monsters could achieve more than 325 km/hr and reach 0 to 100km/hr in only 5.5 seconds. Not surprisingly, therefore, that the Superbird smashed more than 20 speed records in the space of one year. It justifiably displays the Warner Bros ‘Road Runner’ cartoon figure!
‘Collection by Vermant’ is delighted to be in a position to offer you this 1970 ‘Plymouth Road Runner Superbird’. The vehicle was assembled on 30 November 1969 by the Chrysler-Plymouth division. It was produced in ‘LimeLight Green’ with a black interior and, by special request, the roof was also made of black vinyl.Chassis number #RM23U0A158593 was equipped with a ‘440 Commando V8-4’ block, delivering a capacity of 375 HP. The car also has a very rare manual HEMI 4 gearbox. Only 55 of these vehicles were equipped with this option! A 3:54 DANA rear axle completes the assembly.
In July 2006 – with an original mileage of 58,950 – the Plymouth underwent a very comprehensive and professional restoration during which neither cost nor effort were saved. The complete bodywork was dismantled, removing all components, paintwork, etc. and welded where necessary. The matching numbers motor was equipped with new cylinders and pistons, bearings, camshaft, valves and rockers, oil and water pump, etc. The corresponding (matching) gearbox and rear axle were also fully restored. Finally, each component was painstakingly overhauled and reassembled.The result is a multiple competition winner which is just like new! During its first appearance in June 2009 the vehicle consequently came first in the ‘Blue Ribbon concours’.
At the beginning of 2016 the vehicle crossed the big pond from Colorado to Belgium to join a private collection. Again the Road Runner would claim several prizes including an impressive ‘2nd in class’ during the 2016 ‘Zoute Concours’ and ‘1st in class’ during ‘Stars on wheels’ that same year. The car was also on display at the American dream car exhibition at Autoworld – Brussels.
This very special Plymouth has only clocked up 68,200 miles and is still in the same exceptional ‘like new’ condition!Obviously the entire restoration process has been meticulously documented and the car comes with the original owners manual, original ‘Road runner Plymouth’ stickers (in their original packaging), Nascar race programme book, parts manual, concours judging sheet, etc.In a nutshell, a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire a unique and very special piece of automotive history!
More pictures and information: www.collectionbyvermant.be