Road­run­ner restora­tion

The com­plete re­birth of a very rare Ply­mouth mus­cle car

The Shed - - Contents - By Ray Cleaver Pho­tographs: Rob Tucker

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.

Bare bones

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

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