The Plymouth Superbird and Dodge Daytona existed solely to win at the Daytona and Tallegdega superspeedways and other fast stock car tracks. Still, though you can see Daytonas and Superbirds at car shows and in museums, chances are that if you see one it’s either a replica/clone or restored version of one of the street cars sold to homologate theme for competition. The real cars are pretty rare. Those with 426 Hemis are rarer yet. Actually prepped and raced winged cars are a step beyond, and rarest of all is rarer is this car, a 1970 Superbird, raced from by Ramo Stottin in NASCAR’s Grand National series, the equivalent of today’s Sprint Cup, as well as in ARCA. Lem Blankenship drove it with some success in USAC sanctioned stock car races.
Stott even got the Superbird’s first win in competition, at the 1970 ARCA 300 at Daytona in this car, prepared by Nichels Engineering. Ray Nichels worked closely with Chrysler on supplying race parts to Mopar teams. Stott finished 8th in the Daytona 500 that year with the same car. He also won the Vulcan 500 at Talledega, part of the ARCA series, whose championship Stott won that year, so the car has a championship as part of its provenance. In 17 starts, the car finished out of the top 10 only twice, with two poles and 4 wins. Though not Richard Petty’s Superbird, it is still a historic race car. It’s even more important as a racing artifact, because the car was parked by Stott in 1972, where it sat for almost two decades. It is the only surviving Superbird race car with all original bodywork and period modifications from when it was raced. It even still has the metal patches on the rear quarter panels to fair in the rear bumper, for just a little more aero. Since the car came out of storage in 1988 it’s been cleaned up and given a new paint job on the outside, but other than that, it’s in as-raced-in-1972 condition.
Stock cars were still stock cars back then. You can tell that even with factory specials like the Superbird. It had a custom dash, so to speak, but the steering wheel was a factory job, though it was spiral wrapped with rope covered in racer’s tape for a better grip. Current owner Dough Schellinger had the Ramo Stott Plymouth Superbird on display at the 2013 Cars R Stars show at the Packard Proving Grounds. Just for comparison’s sake, here’s another real Superbird, this one a restored one that was at the same show a year before. As you can see, part of race prep on the Stott car was removing the vinyl roof that was applied to Superbirds at the factory to hide the metal work for the roof and rear window. In addition to its famous aero nose and high back wing, the Superbird had a more aerodynamic roofline accomplished by moving the rear window farther back. Rather than try to lead, smooth and paint the roof, they just covered all that piecework with vinyl.