The Bird is The Word


Yes those are the familiar lyrics to The Trashmen’s famous Surfin’ Bird hit song that was hilariously exploited by Family Guy. I could go on with all sorts of cliche music references relating to birds… but I’ll skip the embarrassment. In this case however, I’m referring to that simply stunning, 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird pictured above.


We get all sorts of unique variety that show up at a weekly car show I help run back in Mequon, WI. All eyes were drawn to this orange machine with a giant wing, that rolled into the lot. Throughout the years, I’d seen Dodge Charger Daytonas and a few Plymouth Superbirds in magazines, stationary in museums or on TV auctions but never in my life had I come across one in person. My jaw dropped- especially when I found out it was a numbers-matching car and one of 135 made. 


Experts at Apex Autosports put this 11,000 mile Road Runner on steroids, through a complete rotisserie restoration. Yummy…Anyone get that? Tough crowd.  The “Hemi Orange” paint that flows over the original sheet metal is flawless.  Look past its giant wing and big pointy nose underneath the hood where an original massive 426 Hemi sits, pumping out a whopping 425 horsepower. A column-shift, HD727 Torqueflite 3-speed automatic transmission helps drive all that power to the rear wheels nestled below that towering  spoiler . This Hemi Superbird continues to win awards around the country, including most recently a “1st in Class” and  the “Chairmans Award” at this year’s prestigious Pinehurst Concours de Elegance

One of my favorite parts of the car: the steering wheel’s horn button. Beep beep! (Now only if the horn actually sounded like that).

Let’s take a look at a few more shots of this wonderful beast.





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27 responses to “The Bird is The Word”

  1. GTXcellent Avatar

    Ah, but the horn does sound like that – Plymouth used special coiling (I want to say a different copper blend, but can't recall for sure) in the Roadrunner and Superbird horns that very closely mimics the Looney Tunes nemesis of Wile E. Coyote. It is a very noticeable difference compared to the other Mopar horns.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      Story goes that the development of the horn cost Plymouth $10,000. (Peanuts by today's standard, of course). I drove a Roadrunner in one of the last episodes of Season 1 of American Detours, and the horn absolutely went MEEP-MEEP!

  2. acarr260 Avatar

    Did they have to custom fab that "column-shit" HD727?
    I expect to see a few of these this weekend at the fall auction here in Auburn (also the ACD festival this weekend)!

    1. FЯeeMan Avatar

      Plenty of that happening at LeMons events around the country, as well.
      Proofreading fail FTW!
      Thumbing fail, too. That was to be an up, tiny screen made it a down.

      1. robbydegraff Avatar

        blah! That's embarassing, I don't know how we missed that. Fixed 🙂

    2. acarr260 Avatar

      This one is being auctioned off this weekend:
      <img src="; width=500>
      Link:… Offering&category=

    3. acarr260 Avatar

      I think you missed the point… I was pointing out a typo.

  3. OA5599 Avatar

    "One of my favorite parts of the car: the steering wheel’s horn button. Beep beep! (Now only if the horn actually sounded like that)."
    It does.
    [youtube yP-9GsM_P2M youtube]
    When the Road Runner was being developed in 1968, nearly everything was pulled out of the taxicab or cop car parts bins. The only new engineering costs were for the beep-beep horn (about $10K, I've read), and the artwork for the graphics (a couple hundred bucks).
    The Superbird, of course, had significant additional egineering costs, but the horn was already done by then.
    <img src="; width=500>

  4. Senor Smee Avatar
    Senor Smee

    A lot of dealers couldn't give these away back then. Some even converted them to regular models.

  5. cruisintime Avatar

    The sad part is that it is way too perfect and expensive to do that for which it was designed and built. Haul Ass.

  6. $kaycog Avatar

    A Road Runner Superbird was used by the EPA to collect exhaust samples from jets. They needed a car that was capable of following a jet on takeoff. Interesting read:

    1. The son of Gimmi Avatar
      The son of Gimmi

      Excellent read thanks for sharing !

    2. OA5599 Avatar

      I don't want a car that helped the EPA. I'd rather have the corpse-towing Road Runner.

      1. OA5599 Avatar

        I wonder who downvoted that comment…an EPA employee, perhaps?

    3. Andy Avatar

      Sweet. I wonder if that one came with a horn that went "Meep Meep!"

  7. PushrodRWD Avatar

    Great car along with the Daytona. best part was that everything was functional. The angle of attack on the rear wing was adjustable. To think of the speed these things could reach and the tires and brakes available one must have had "large attachments" to push them to the edge.
    Them not selling is one of those things that prevents companies from making cool cars today. It is just one in a long list of cars that didn't fit into the "norm" of their era and were passed up by the buyers in their day. We look back with nostalgia at them. The fact that they didn't sell adds to that. The big thing then was drag racing. This car is a highway / oval track car. The rear end was not set up to be quick at all, but it had a very high top end for it's day. It would have been cool to be in the know or just a dedicated fan of that car back then. I'm glad that people thought that the G8 was just a big G6 or a Pontaic badged Impala.

  8. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    I prefer my Superbirds just the way I remember them: a calico of faded light yellow with grey primer blotches, stretching out under the late night flood lights of a highway gas station. With rear tires that probably have one more good run left in them.

  9. theannm Avatar

    A friend of a friend owns the car on the right. This makes me feel really special. I'm two degrees of separation from a Superbird!
    <img src=""&gt; <a href="” target=”_blank”>

  10. Alff Avatar

    I know it's heresy to say anything negative about the Superbird, because it is so lustworthy. I've always thought they look a bit undertired, though.

    1. RegalRegalia Avatar

      Overhangs of that magnitude ruin just about any car, this one especially.

    2. PushrodRWD Avatar

      The truth is the truth. Most of the older cars were that way and the compounds and construction a bit scary too. There has to be a reason they built them that way, regardless of their technical limitations with construction and compounds. There was probably something about the distance between the panel side and the curbs and tire or some standard that they needed/wanted to comply with. People were not stupid, there had to be a constraint that we may not consider as relevant today.
      To get a car like this that you could actually drive hard you would have to start with a Satellite or Belvedere and build one to your liking, including tires, suspension and brakes.

  11. needthatcar Avatar

    A Superbird is the first car I plan to buy after I win the lottery.

    1. MVEilenstein Avatar

      What's the second one?

      1. needthatcar Avatar

        1970 240Z. No flares, no stupid front air dam under the bumper. God I hate those.

  12. stigshift Avatar

    Several years ago, I was fortunate enough to get a ride in the most heavily optioned Superbird ever built. I have never been in a vehicle that had such an effect on everyone it passed. My first ride in a Hemi, as well. I understand why people used to tell me "when you been in a Hemi car, you'll understand". Here's a link to an article about that car.

  13. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
    Dean Bigglesworth

    <img src="; width="400" </img>

  14. Maymar Avatar

    I've been lucky enough to see a couple SuperBirds and Charger Daytonas, and something pictures don't really convey is just how massive they are. Like, it's a mere inch shorter than a Chevy Suburban, and that wing is face-level with me. The Road Runner tie-in is fitting, since they're rather cartoony – I'm a little shocked it doesn't have a sunroof and a shifter sticking out of said sunroof.
    But yes, I definitely want one.