"That nose and wing really help keep it stable," said Tony calmly from the back seat. The old man, to his credit, wasn't flinching either. A hot rodder in the '50s, he also found his share of cheap thrills this way, not to mention a former career in hazardous materials shipping that required cool thinking. Into the curve at 75 mph (this is a two-lane, remember), the car stuck to the ground with a moderate amount of bodyroll due to the heavy 3,700-pound curb weight and 500-plus pounds of human ballast. When we looked later, the tires showed evidence of this, with wear marks visible on the lower half of the sidewalls from tire roll. Still, this wasn't noticeable from inside the car while driving, a tribute to the condition and design of the never-touched Chrysler suspension.

We came to a stop sign. The engine was showing no strain from its recent trip into the upper 5,000-rpm range. Nailed from a slow roll, the tires were now warm enough that they held to the road, and the 'Bird was again in flight. Using the shifter manually didn't seem to make much difference in the degree of acceleration, and we made the turn down the street toward Tony's shop.

The number of cars still preserved to the level of this Superbird is unknown. What's known is that attrition and modifications have made such survivors of the super car era few and far between. Obviously, Tony D'Agostino doesn't take this particular machine out for everyday jaunts; it's a true artifact and has existed three decades without so much as a tune-up. Besides, he has a handful of other cars to drive when the urge to just roll off miles in vintage iron takes hold. No, the 'Bird is more like a vintage steam locomotive or road race car, taken out on those special occasions to relive history again just like the old days, looking and running fast.