Built in 1970 in around 2,000 units, the Plymouth Superbird is a relatively rare classic. It’s not quite as scarce as the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, but a few hundred examples are still missing in action.
While some Superbirds have been destroyed on race tracks and scrapped, others are still waiting to be rescued in junkyards and barns. Incredibly enough, some have been sitting for 30 or even 40 years without touching a public road or seeing daylight. The example you’ll see below is one of those cars that spent decades in hiding.
Discovered by YouTube’s “Auto Archaeology,” this Alpine White “winged warrior” has a rather sad story to tell. According to the current owner, his dad purchased the Superbird in the late 1970s or early 1980s and put it in storage to perform a restoration.
However, he got caught up in restoring his sons’ Road Runners, and he never got around to finishing his Plymouth. Some 40 years later, the Superbird is still partially dismantled. But it’s not all bad news.
Even though it sat for 40 to 45 years in a couple of barns, the Mopar is in solid condition. The shell and chassis are almost rust-free, and the owner still has most of the components taken off during the initial restoration attempt. That includes the nose cone and the massive wing, both of which are highly sought-after nowadays.
The four-barrel 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) V8 engine is still with the car, as is the four-speed manual gearbox. All told, while it may look bad at first glance, this Superbird is a solid and highly original restoration project. And here’s the even better news: the son plans to fulfill his father’s dream and restore the “winged warrior” to factory specifications.
So, how rare is this Superbird? Well, the four-barrel 440 engine suggests it’s the most common interaction of the NASCAR homologation special. Most experts agree that Plymouth shipped about 1,935 examples to US dealerships and that 1,084 had the four-barrel 440. Plymouth also sold 716 cars with the six-barrel 440 and 135 units equipped with the 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI V8.
Of the 1,084 four-barrel 440 vehicles, only 458 were equipped with the four-speed manual gearbox. This is one of those cars. But that number goes even lower if we factor in the Alpine White paint. Chrysler did not keep records as to the number of Superbirds produced by color, but Galen Govier’s massive registry provides a reasonable estimation for each hue.
According to him, white was the second most popular color on Superbirds behind Lemon Twist. It’s estimated that about 17% of all Superbirds left the factory in Alpine White, which means around 329 cars. If we combine that estimate with the 440-four-barrel/four-speed output, this barn find becomes one of around 78 vehicles made like this. Sure, these numbers aren’t very accurate, but this Superbird is definitely a rare gem worth saving.