Five decades after its introduction, the Plymouth Superbird and its Dodge Charger Daytona sibling continue to split opinions amomg muscle car fans. However, these winged warriors are considerably more sought after as collector cars than they were as new vehicles. However, nothing will be as polarizing as a Plymouth Superbird Convertible, even if we’re looking at a tribute build.
While some aficionados might question the look that the cloth top lends to this Superbird clone, others will complain about the added weight and the potential aero drawbacks in a car that was all about going as fast as possible. So, with your permission, we’ll deliver a quick history of the Plymouth Superbird and its Dodge Charger Daytona sibling.
How the Superbird and the Daytona came to be
The tale of the Superbird takes us back to Dodge struggling in NASCAR back in the 1960s, when race cars were much closer to road vehicles than they are today. Basically, the Charger’s large front grille opening caused too much drag, while the design of its rear end generated a considerable amount of lift.
And after the slightly redesigned Charger 500 failed to meet its target, Dodge went all in, adding a nose cone, a tall rear wing and front quarter panel air extractors and thus the 1969 Charger Daytona was born. The Daytona grabbed the podium on its Talladega 500 debut and went on to become the first machine of its kind to go past 200 mph.
For 1970, Plymouth came out with a sister car, the Superbird, which was based on the Road Runner. Among others, the move was intended to bring Richard Petty (here’s what The King is up to nowadays) back to Plymouth, and the plan worked. The Superbird, which engineers had a bit more time to develop, won more races than the Daytona, albeit with new rules exiling it. And given that people didn’t quite get the extreme styling, only 503 Daytonas and 1,920 Superbirds street cars were made.
Back in the day, Plymouth’s muscle car range delivered a variation of the Chrysler B-Body platform. This included the Satellite two-door, the velocity-savvy Road Runner, as well as the upmarket GTX. And with an untrained eye easily confusing these machines, it’s no wonder that this Superbird Convertible replica is built on a Satellite (hey, this 1972 Satellite “Electrollite” now smokes classic muscle cars with its Tesla electric stunts).
I came across the machine on social media and traced it to the Barrett-Jackson website—back in 2017, this thing was auctioned off for $74,800 (please note that prices for classic Mopars have gone up since). It’s worth noting that the transformation was part of what is described as a nut-and-bolt restoration. And while the Plum Crazy exterior easily catches the eye, the 440 V8 mated to a four-speed manual sounds like a proper setup, while power steering is also included. So, where does that price place the creation?
Nowadays, grabbing a genuine Superbird will set you back around $250,000 for a good-condition example with the 440 Big Block, while aiming for an original 426 HEMI car means you’ll be spending between $500,000 and over $1 million—Hoovie’s Garage found out the hard way what grabbing the country’s cheapest Superbird means, but the YouTuber fixed the vehicle and sold it, but, as Mihnea wrote, he barely broke even.
As for 1970 Satellites, these trade hands for an average of around $40,000. However, when comparing this to the almost double sum fetched by the Superbird Convertible tribute, we must also take into account the cost of the cabriolet conversion. And while we’re not sure who did the operation, we can tell you that transforming the modern Dodge Challenger or Charger into a convertible will set you back around $20,000.