History of the Superbird
Developed specifically for Nascar racing, the Superbird was a highly modified, short-lived version of the Plymouth Road Runner and a followup design to sister company Dodge’s Charger Daytona.
The 1970 Superbird is a specialized stock car, factory-built for racing. Only 1920 Superbirds were made, a limited number to qualify for the stock car racing circuit. These muscle cars were raced at speeds of more than 200 miles per hour (322kph) at Nascar events.
The Charger 500 version that began the 1969 season was the first American car to be designed aerodynamically using a wind tunnel and computer analysis, and later was modified into the Daytona version with nose and tail.
The Superbird’s smoothed-out body and nose cone were further refined from those of the Daytona, and the street version’s retractable fibreglass headlights added 19 inches (48cm) to the Road Runner’s original length. The rear wing was mounted on tall vertical struts that put it into less disturbed air, increasing the efficiency of the downdraught placed on the car’s rear axle.
These cars were banned in some American states, as they reached such high speeds and were deadly in wet conditions. Many muscle car crashes were recorded.
“The power-to-brain ratio was all wrong for some drivers,” says Michael.