Built to lure Petty back to Plymouth
The Plymouth Superbird was only legal in NASCAR for one season, and this example is Richard Petty’s No. 43 car from that year. Drawing upon the Dodge Charger Daytona, the Superbird package was released to get ‘King Richard’ back into a Plymouth after the team had switched to Ford for 1969. Indeed, only a midseason mishap kept Petty from winning the 1970 championship, as this car and his others scored 18 race wins and 31 top 10 finishes for him that season.
Verified by its Ray Nichels chassis and original Petty construction, this car was first believed to have been the version raced by teammate Pete Hamilton until further research proved it to be Petty’s own. The restoration was performed at Petty’s Garage, with the engine built by Maurice Petty and his son, Timmy Petty. The car’s race suspension has been tuned by Petty’s racing staff to potentially run at 200-plus MPH on today’s superspeedways.
Under the bonnet of this legendary Superbird is a Petty Enterprises 426 Hemi V8 engine with NASCAR intake, Holley carburetor and cowl-induction scoop. This is backed with a 4-speed manual transmission and Dana rear end. The exterior has the noted Superbird components, all painted in Petty Blue with No. 43 lettering and decals.
Inside is the Nichels-built cage, taped steering wheel, Hurst shifter, tachometer, gauges and associated correct NASCAR equipment. Goodyear racing tyres on steel wheels finish it off.
Restored by Petty’s Garage and signed by Richard himself, this may be the most famous Superbird of all and one of the most recognised cars in American racing history.
Mecum Auctions will be offering this 1970 Plymouth Superbird NASCAR at their upcoming Harrisburg auction between the 31st July – 3rd August. For more information on this and other vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. Photos: © Courtesy of Mecum Auctions.