Buying a car sight-unseen used to be a bit of a rick people’s game, but, nowadays, this sort of transaction has boomed and so has the number of auction websites facilitating them. While most of these transactions turn out just fine, some of them don’t. And when an icon of the Mopar world like the Plymouth Superbird is grabbed by a famous YouTuber such as Tyler Hoover (aka Hoovies Garage) only for the deal to appear troubled, you know sparks are going to fly.
Along with the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, which we saw being turned into a 2,500 hp pro street monster earlier today, the 1970 Plymouth Superbird was the result of old-school NASCAR rules requiring carmakers to build street versions of the closed course monsters.
Only 1,500 of these Plymouth aero cars ever left the factory and, according to Hoover, just 100 of these came with 426 HEMI V8 that perfectly tied them to the racing realm.
Since the enthusiasts in question can arguably be described as a man who lives where collecting cars and vlogging meet, he seems to have made a habit out of grabbing the [insert potentially troublesome superlative here] example of a highly desirable automotive and then sending the unsurprising trouble that arrives when visiting his mechanic over to YouTube.
As such, Hoover got his hands on this 1970 Superbird for $130,000 (€114,946 at the current exchange rate), which might sound like a steal for such a classic, but makes this the most expensive addition to his garage, a place that’s no strange to the likes of Porsche and Ferrari, among others.
For the record, if we rewind some 15 years, we find original HEMI Superbirds and Daytonas trading hands for up to a million dollars, but the recession sent prices tumbling. For instance, this machine, which the seller explains was wrecked while racing some years ago (more on this below) went under the hammer at Barret-Jackson in 2010 for $130,000.
Upon taking delivery of the vehicle and going for a drive, Hoover discovered multiple issues with the car, some of which sounded quite troublesome: the front suspension seems locked, the engine leaks oil (this is a $20,000 engine, albeit probably not the original one), there’s coolant coming out of the radiator and a few others.
Nevertheless, after visiting his mechanic (some of you might recognize him as David Long, aka The Car Wizard on YouTube), it turned out that these issues were all pretty easy to fix.
At least after the initial inspection detailed in the clip at the bottom of the story, the grand total sits somewhere at $3400 (€3,000), which is just twice as much as the estimate for Hoover’s million-mile Dodge Ram Cummins, for instance.
However, since the seller never mentioned any of these rather obvious problems to the buyer, while also reportedly “forgetting” to send the NASCAR memorabilia the car was advertised with (there was supposed to be a Richard Petty-signed hat in there), the whole deal started to smell like a scam, especially since the seller didn’t answer any of Hoover’s post-purchase questions related to these issues.
Should we question the authenticity of the vehicle?
Now, as for the crash mentioned above, it seems like this Superbird was being used as an actual racecar back in the day when the vehicle got sideways and was t-boned. The seller, who doesn’t appear that trustworthy at this point, told Hoover that the vehicle received a “partial rebody” and this is what led to multiple users dropping worrying comments on the said video.
These enthusiasts wonder if we’re dealing with an actual Superbird, also pointing their fingers at the surprisingly clean underbody work, or a replica or a vehicle that uses the VIN plates for another car. Of course, this might be unjustified anxiety, so we’ll stick to the facts.
The auction site that handled the sale gave Hoover the fee back (that would be Bring a Trailer, which gave the YouTuber $5,000/€4,420) and “heavily noted” the seller on the website, which should impact his ability to use the platform, at least using the current account.
Then again, as the vlogger explains in the clip, you can’t really be unhappy with a Superbird, especially now that the Road Runner cartoon-like horn is once again functional.