Plymouth Road-Runner Superbird 1970

Plymouth Road-Runner Superbird 1970

Plymouth Road-Runner Superbird 1970

  • Origin United States of America
  • Engine 7,213 cc, V8
  • Top speed 130 mph (209 km/h)

The Superbird, endorsed by the TV cartoon character Road-Runner, was a NASCAR racer made legal for the road. Just 1,900 of these winged wonders were built. After many years of struggle, Plymouth finally regained the third spot in the sales race. The reasons are many, but the drastic slide that Pontiac took this year helped Plymouth most. Changes for the 1970 Plymouth line mimicked those of the Dodge line, with one exception.

Plymouth received an all-new body style in the Valiant line, named the Duster. The Duster was a 2-Door "fastback" style coupe, with fixed rear quarter windows and a back glass that sloped downward into a short rear deck. Rear styling was unique to the Duster, but everything from the front doors forward was pure Valiant, including powertrains. The Duster was an immediate hit as a sporty alternative to the now larger and more expensive Barracuda. Dodge would receive its own version for 1971, as the Dart Demon. The single remaining Valiant 4-Door received revised front-end styling.

The Barracuda was totally restyled for 1970, sharing its basic body shell with the all-new Dodge Challenger. This new body styling was bulky and muscular looking, and followed the "fuselage" body styling first seen on the full-size Plymouths during 1969. A thin, full-width bumper underscored the grille with single headlamps set at each end of the grille. Body sides were smooth and flowing and met the roofline where the car ended in a very short rear deck. It was a very nice looking package, and the Barracuda definitely had the power to back up the looks, with just about every powerplant Plymouth offered, available under the hood.

Unfortunately sales in this segment were dwindling, and though the restyling effort sold better than the 1969 edition, this was a brief resurgence. The Gran Coupe was a new luxury/sport offering, and the 'Cuda was the new, powerful, top line image builder. The 2-Door Fastback model was no longer offered as they were falling out of favor with buyers.

As with the mid-size Dodge models, the Satellite and Belvedere lines were totally revamped at the front and rear. Meanwhile the big news for the Satellite line was the availability of a new NASCAR inspired Road Runner Super Bird 2-Door Hardtop. The "winged warrior" was similar to the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona Hardtop. The Super Bird was essentially a stock Road Runner with aerodynamic nose (with concealed headlamps) and the large, towering wing spoiler at the rear. It was fitted with the 440 CID, 4-bbl. V8 engine. The Super Bird was built in enough quantity to qualify it for NASCAR racing, and ended up being a run of 1,920 cars.

The remainder of the Belvedere/Satellite model line was unchanged, except for the dropping of the Sport Satellite and GTX convertible models. It would also be the last year for use of the Belvedere name. Fury models wore a new face, with the "loop-style" grille seen on other Chrysler products, and changes to the model line were numerous. The Fury I Suburban Wagon moved up to the Fury II line. The VIP line was integrated into an expanded Sport Fury line, that added GT and S-23 Hardtop models, but lost its convertible model. A new Gran Coupe model, based on Fury II trim level, topped off the Fury line.