The Plymouth Superbird was produced only during the model year 1970. Dodge has also produced a very similar car called the Dodge Daytona the year earlier. Both of these winged cars were produced for one reason, Nascar.
It all started back when the Dodge Daytona was released. Richard Petty was a Nascar driver for Plymouth and was considered one of the best at the time. When the Dodge Daytona came out Richard Petty wanted a similar car made by Plymouth. At the time Dodge and Plymouth weren’t united in there racing divisions, so Plymouth couldn’t meet his request. He became angry with them, quit driving for Plymouth, and drove for Ford that year.
At that point in time, Chrysler engineers went to work designing the Plymouth Superbird. They tried to have Creative Industries hang a nose cone on the front and a wing on the back, but the result was awful. Since Nascar had upped there standards again, Plymouth would have to build 2,000 Superbirds that would be sold to the public.
What would Chrysler do? Some suggested they put a Charger front end on the Superbird, however that suggestion was quickly rejected. They also tried changing the front fenders to improve aerodynamics, but that actually made it worse! Another problem was the problem of the rear window which if it was to be fixed it would just about take as much as designing a whole new car. Instead they focused on the rear wing. The side stabilizer part of the wing had to become 40% larger than what the Daytona had. This stabilized the car (99.5%) and only added a little bit of drag. For the front of the car they had to use Coronet front fenders and the hood and fuse it onto the Belvedere body. This helped aerodynamics, but not extent to what the Daytona had. Before they started production however, they switched the base platform from the Belvedere to the Road Runner.
The Plymouth Superbird performed well on the NASCAR tracks. It placed high in many races, winning eight of them. Part of its success is due to its driver, Richard Petty, who drove the Plymouth Supebird. Nascar banned the Superbird, Daytona, and all the other aerodynamic cars for the 1971 season. NASCAR officials were concerned with the dangerously high speeds as well the huge wing and nose cone as the cars didn’t look much like a stock car. The ban brought an end to the production of the Plymouth Superbird.