Dale's Bird is capable of 160 mph, but it's still street legal.
What if you had a chance to break all the speed limits-legally? Some guys would choose a new Viper in ACR trim, which could stick like glue and thunder with ease to big mph numbers. Others might really go oddball and soup up a vintage '50s Fury, or an old Polara cop car, or a prewar Airflow, just to say they did it. However, for those of us inclined toward the Detroit muscle of the good ol' days, we think we'd be right there with Dale Kuehn.
Dale, whose vocation is working for the city of Caldwell, Texas, has been a well-known Mopar guy for years in the Lone Star State. He's owned everything from '50s-era, Hemi-motivated Power Wagons to Six Pack E-Bodies. as soon as we laid eyes on this car at the Lone Star Shootout in Houston last fall, we knew it was something. Dale had put it together himself and really built it to go.
The Plymouth Superbird was built in limited numbers as a '70 model at the end of 1969; its sole purpose was to win races on the NASCAR circuit and get Richard Petty back on the side of the good guys (he had defected to Ford for a year in 1969). As we all know by now, the cars sat on dealership lots and were never appreciated until the first true wave of musclecar madness hit in the '80s. They have aged like good wine and have become pretty pricy in recent years.
Dale knew if he wanted to build a wing car for events such as the Big Bend Road Race in southwest Texas, he would not be altering one of the "real cars." So he started out with a 383 four-speed '70 Road Runner, and began to amass the parts and pieces that would transform it into a flying wing. The plan was to build something that could crank off stable 160-mph speeds, get reasonable mileage above 125 mph, and be capable of taking home the gold at road events.
The interior is definitely all business: seats, a shifter, rollcage, and N.O.S. equipment.
The B-Body received a six-point cage, heavy-duty springs, a 1.25-inch front sway bar, a 1-inch rear sway bar, 2-inch lowering blocks in the rear, and frame connectors to tye it all together. KYB shocks are coupled with the standard front disc/rear drum layout and factory power steering to help the car cruise through the corners. For rolling stock, American Racing's 17x8 Salt Flat-style wheels are shod with Kumho Ecsta MX 245/45R17 rubber (V rated to 186 mph), with even wider 17x10 rims and 285/40ZR17 rubber under the back end.
The interior got dressed out with gauges, RCI harnesses from Lone Star Racing, APC front bucket seats, and a Garmin Plus III GPS system for high-speed navigation. One cool trick was using the '70 exterior dust stripe Road Runner decal inside on the upper door edge. The four-speed gets thrown via a Pistol Grip