1970 Plymouth HEMI Superbird Parked for 48 Years Is Amazingly Original

1970 Plymouth HEMI Superbird 7 photos
Photo: MMC Detroit Mopar OE Authority/YouTube
1970 Plymouth HEMI Superbird1970 Plymouth HEMI Superbird1970 Plymouth HEMI Superbird1970 Plymouth HEMI Superbird1970 Plymouth HEMI Superbird1970 Plymouth HEMI Superbird
In 1969, Dodge shocked the muscle car world with the Charger Daytona. Developed for NASCAR racing and put into production for homologation purposes, the Daytona featured a nose cone and a 23-inch-tall wing on the rear deck. It looked unlike any other car that had been produced until then.
Dodge made 503 cars for the public and they sold like hotcakes. The nameplate was dropped for the 1970 model year, but that wasn't the end for the "winged warrior." Plymouth also wanted a piece of the action and introduced its own version under the Superbird name.

Based on the Road Runner, the Superbird was largely similar to the Daytona. You can see what sets them apart in this comparison. Visual differences aside, Plymouth also had to build notably more cars to homologate the Superbird for racing.

NASCAR raised the production requirement from 500 examples to one for every two US dealers, which meant Plymouth needed to make at least 1,920 examples. The exact output remains a mystery, but most Mopar experts agree Plymouth put together 1,935 units for the US market, plus at least 34 vehicles shipped to Canada.

And even though the Superbird generated some enthusiasm, Plymouth struggled to sell all those cars. Word has it many examples sat on dealer lots until 1973, while some vehicles were converted to regular Road Runner specifications by dealerships desperate to get rid of them. The Limelight example you see here is one of those rigs that sat unsold for years.

Specifically, this Mopar didn't find an owner until 1972, about a couple of years after it left the assembly line. But that's not the only thing that makes it special. While it may look pristine at first glance, this Superbird is not a restored gem. According to our host, this Plymouth is a highly original survivor.

Reportedly taken off the road in 1975, this Superbird sat in proper storage for over four decades. And it soldiered on through 2024 looking almost perfect and with just 8,800 miles (14,162 km) on the odometer. It was also a one-owner vehicle until the current caretaker bought it and took it out of storage. If all this is true, this Superbird is an incredible find.

But wait, there's more. This Superbird is not a run-of-the-mill 440 car. What you're looking at is a true-blue HEMI rig. And this is a big deal because only 135 of the nearly 2,000 Superbirds produced were equipped with the 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) V8 wonder. The range-topping unit was good for 425 horsepower and 490 pound-feet of torque.

Unfortunately, our host doesn't provide a proper look at the car, as in we don't get to see the interior or the engine bay. But the video below includes a detailed walkaround of the underside and some insight on how to spot factory-correct features on a gem like this.

Speaking of which, this all-original HEMI is likely one of the most valuable Superbirds out there. It probably won't hit the auction block anytime soon, but when it does, it could set a new record. The current benchmark was set in July 2022 at $1.65 million by a fully restored example.

It's the only million-dollar Superbird as of this writing, but I'm pretty sure this Limelight unit could also join this exclusive club. Check it out in the video below.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea profile photo

Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories