The Plymouth Superbird is basically the king of all muscle cars. Many other muscle cars sold in greater numbers, and many are more revered by fans. But the Superbird and it's cousin the Dodge Daytona shout so aggressively with their design and accomplished so much on the racetrack. That's why they should be crowned the kings of the muscle car era. A particularly wonderful example of the Superbird has left its nest and migrated to Jay Leno's Garage.
With Vitamin C orange paintwork as loud as the car itself, this specific 1970 Plymouth Superbird is owned by puppeteer comedian Jeff Dunham. A serious collector of old machines in his own right, Dunham has been a guest in Jay's garage many times. He also happens to know quite a bit about this car.
Dunham says he spent a lot of time searching for the right car. He found his winged wonder in Ohio, where it sat in a barn for many years under the care of a dentist who was the second owner. He had the car restored and it is now flawless. It's also incredibly rare. With the 426 cubic-inch Hemi V-8 engine, a manual gearbox, and the orange paintwork, this Superbird with this setup is probably one of less than 30 cars produced.
The Superbird was developed to win "The King," Richard Petty, back to Plymouth. It debuted late in 1969, while Petty was driving a Ford. It sparked a driver rebellion at Talledega because it was capable of speeds of 200 mph and the tires of the day weren't up up to the challenge. The car then dominated NASCAR in 1970. Petty won 18 races in his Superbird and Bobby Isaac claimed 11 wins as well as the championship in his Daytona. NASCAR changed the rules to curb the dominance of the bulletnose Mopars for 1971, limiting them to 305 cubic inches or making them add weight.
Dealers had a hard time moving these lengthy machines in their day. They didn't sell well. Today? They're worth well into the six-figure range when they come up for sale.
Watch the video to see Jeff and Jay examine the car inside and out, as well as underneath. Then, as usual, Jay takes it out on the streets of Los Angeles. That's when you get to hear the sound of a vintage Hemi in action.