The body received some donor parts (wing and fenders) from a real bird that Dale owns, and he also obtained some N.O.S. pieces to use in the car's eventual restoration. Ted Janak supplied a replacement fiberglass nose cone, and Classic Collision in Bryan, Texas, custom-made the steel hood. There is also a custom-made front belly pan that smoothes out airflow over the K-member and suspension pieces. PIAA driving lights and LED blinker assemblies (with clear Lexan shields for air deflection) were installed. After Dale got the body together, it went to Image Paint in Caldwell for a fresh coating of Dupont Sublime, then to Design and Sign for the graphics.
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That left the driveline to complete. Dale had Industrial Machine in Bryan prep a '69 vintage RB engine, which he then began to bolt parts to. A set of .030-inch oversize TRW forged pistons, coupled with a stock steel crank, prepped factory rods, and Sealed Power rings went into the bottom end. The center opening got a mild Crane bumpstick with .467/.494-inch lift and 222/234-degrees of duration for good cylinder scavenging. A set of ported 906-type heads with stock-size stainless valves and Proform roller tip rockers from Mancini Racing round it out.
Induction on the Superbirds was never perfect. Dale creatively worked around this by using a pair of K&N Filtercharger cone ilters mounted through the front support next to the radiator, where they can pick up clean air. Using custom 2- and 3-inch tubes, the cool air goes from that point to a pair of Supercharger Store carb bonnets mounted over the 650-cfm Edelbrock carburetors. In keeping with the old-school flavor, the engine uses the stock hi-po exhaust manifolds, a '79-vintage Offenhouser 2x4 intake, and M/T valve covers.
The rest of the driveline is pretty straight forward: an '80 Chrysler four-speed with a .73 overdrive final ratio from a half-ton pickup and a Zoom clutch that picks up power off the crankshaft and sends it rearward to an 8.75 rear. That in turn houses a 2.76 gear with a SureGrip unit for highway driving. Put 16 gallons of fuel in the trunk-mounted cell, and away you go.
Friends John Treeter of Treeter's Body Shop in Caldwell, Jake Meyers, and Al Lutz helped with the replication/restoration project, which was completed just two days before the Big Bend Road Race in Texas last April. This event is 118 miles with 100 turns. With 440 averaged 7 mpg at 135 mph, the Superbird has kicked up to 160 mph at just 4,140 rpm. At Big Bend, it ran in the 110-124-mph class in its debut, finishing .382 mph off the winning number. In October 2005 at the Road Runner Road race, Dale raced in the 120-140-mph class and took home two First place awards: one in the 120-mph division, and a first overall at +.002 mph (.0031 off a perfect time of .0000).