Bird has always been the word. T’bird, Superbird, Blackbird, My Bird, Doing Bird, giving the bird; In every single one of these applications it’s equally life-changing. And we didn’t even really need The Trashmen to tell us.
The Plymouth Superbird is probably my favourite of them all. So, when I walked around a corner in the paddock at Goodwood and Richard Petty’s #43 machine damn near ran me over, I felt like I’d been chosen by God. It would have been a noble way to go, really.
Fortunately I managed to capture the whole event on video.
What is it about the Superbird that makes it so utterly captivating? Why has this English boy been harbouring naughty thoughts about this machine since a disturbingly early age? Well, there’s the Roadrunner thing; did I enjoy watching Roadrunner cartoons because I like the car, or did I like the car because of Roadrunner cartoons? Dunno. Chicken and egg. Meep meep.
It’s either got to be the face or the arse that attracts me to this car. The nose, shamelessly tacked on to the front of what was already a massive length of sheetmetal, and incorporating (on road cars) retractable headlights (like Ferraris have…..very important when you’re ten years old) seems almost impossibly sleek. And the rear, where the aerofoil presents an obstacle for low flying aircraft, is otherwise so sparse and anodyne the idea of it being part of a million horsepower car seems like a nonsense.
And this is Superbird in its most egregious form, the car build to lure Richard Petty back from Ford for the ’70 season. After spending years on display in the Richard Petty museum, here it is, all so that the good man can run me over in it.
And that was it. Notable moments in my life #7649. Welcome, Mr Petty, to the list.
(All images and video copyright Chris Haining / Hooniverse 2015)