The complete rebirth of a very rare Plymouth muscle car
RESTORING A PLYMOUTH SUPERBIRD MUSCLE CAR HAS REQUIRED DETERMINATION — AND TIME
Muscle cars have been around in America for about 70 years. These two-door tanks with massive V8 engines first became popular vehicles to outrun the police when loaded with bootleg moonshine liquor during the Prohibition era. Later they were powered up even further for Nascar racing.
The restoration of a rare 1970 Plymouth Superbird in New Plymouth has involved a complete strip down and rebuild of a truly iconic machine.
Motor engineer Michael Wolfe has rebuilt the car for owner Bryce Barnett — a massive job that he started early last year and which took about 1100 hours’ work and a search for parts from all over the world.
Bryce has a large collection of classic cars, which includes a big shed full of restored American vehicles. Michael
The restoration took about 1100 hours’ work and a search for parts from all over the world
works full-time restoring and looking after the collection, which was featured in The Shed’s February/March edition last year.
This Superbird came to New Zealand incomplete from a panel shop in America in the early ’90s. After a spell in Levin it was passed on to Peter Fagan in New Plymouth who semi-restored the beast.
Current owner Bryce then picked it up, and Michael stripped the car down to the bare bones and rebuilt it from the ground up.
“The panels were pretty good but some of the chassis rails were rotten,” Michael says. “It had been involved in one major prang during its life.”
Michael acquired a jig to mount the
Nuts and bolts galore
The renovated motor for the pop-up headlights
Michael's workshop with parts laid out
The wiring loom that Michael cleaned up and re-fitted