The 1970 Plymouth Superbird Wrecked by Hurricane Ian Is Slowly Coming Back to Life

1970 Plymouth Superbird Hurrican Ian survivor 7 photos
Photo: Auto Archaeology/YouTube
1970 Plymouth Superbird Hurricane Ian survivor1970 Plymouth Superbird Hurricane Ian survivor1970 Plymouth Superbird Hurricane Ian survivor1970 Plymouth Superbird Hurricane Ian survivor1970 Plymouth Superbird Hurricane Ian survivor1970 Plymouth Superbird Hurricane Ian survivor
Exactly one year ago, Hurricane Ian ravaged Florida, the Carolinas, and parts of the Caribbean. The deadliest hurricane to strike Florida since 1935, Ian caused more than 161 fatalities and catastrophic damage estimated at around $113 billion.
The latter figure includes many automobiles that were flooded or wrecked beyond recognition. Not only modern cars but also rare and valuable classics. Famous automobiles included a McLaren P1 and a 1970 Plymouth Superbird.

The Mopar was one of two "winged warriors" dragged out of storage by the flood. The Superbird flipped on its roof in the process and sustained significant damage to its vinyl top, hood, trunk lid, and wing. The disappointed owner decided to sell the wrecked Plymouth a few weeks after the incident.

The new owner displayed the damaged Superbird at the 2022 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN) and commissioned a frame-off restoration after the show. Twelve months have passed since the "winged warrior" got damaged, and the Mopar is still dismantled. However, the big dents in the body are gone, and the shell is almost ready for a respray.

Documented by YouTube's "Auto Archaeology," the Superbird now rocks a brand new tail panel, fresh frame rails sourced from a 1970 Satellite, and a perfect trunk floor. The tall wing is finally straight, and the damaged front fender was straightened and saved.

Granted, there's not much to see right now beyond a primer-sprayed shell, but it's the early stage of a restoration that will result in one of the finest Plymouth Superbirds out there. And the fact that this car was wrecked and flooded only one year ago makes this sight more heartwarming.

So, how rare is this Superbird? Well, it's still unclear how many were built in 1970. While published figures say that Plymouth produced as many as 2,783, the generally accepted figure is 1,935 examples sold in the US and as many as 47 shipped to Canada. What we do know for a fact is that the Superbird is not as scarce as the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, which was built in 503 units.

However, this Mopar is not a run-of-the-mill Superbird fitted with the entry-level 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) four-barrel V8. This car was ordered with the Six Pack version of the lump, which came with a trio of two-barrel carbs.

And while the four-barrel variant was ordered in more than 1,000 vehicles, the Six Pack unit found its way in only 716 Superbirds. Not quite as scarce and expensive as the HEMI cars (just 135 made), but still rare enough to cost a fortune (up to $500,000).

How long until we will see this Superbird flexing its V8 on public roads again? That's a tricky question because frame-off restorations can take up to five years. This one may take less time, but this Mopar won't come together by the end of 2023. I guess we might see it hit the road in late 2024 if we're lucky.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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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.
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