Not far off the road in Helena,...
Not far off the road in Helena, Montana, was this lot with a couple of cars for sale. Catching the old Chrysler in his peripheral vision, Brennan stopped to talk with the owner. The '66 300 is notably clean, but the owner, Robin Stockton, was mostly interested in talking about the Superbird. Not far up the road was another cache of old Mopars.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Before leaving Cooke City, the couple drove past a straight Plum Crazy '73 Challenger for sale. After taking a couple pictures, Cheryl and Brennan piled back into the Tor-Red Plymouth and headed out of town, but not before stopping for gas. While filling the pump, Brennan realized the 440 was running longer on 87-octane than on high-grade. had he known this at the beginning of the trip, he could have shaved an extra $100 off the final $860 gas bill.
Arriving at Yellowstone National Park, the Superbird suffered its only casualty. without a side mirror, Cheryl accidentally hit the lower corner of her door into a rock, knocking a fingernail-size chip off the paint. Brennan says, "If I was worried about chips, bugs, dirt, and so on, I never would have taken the car on the trip in the first place."
Thankful to stretch their legs, they walked around Yellowstone's Mammoth Hot Springs. As they returned to the car, a young boy rushed up to the winged Mopar, exclaiming, "I know that car! I have that car. It is from the Cars movie!"
Brennan and Cheryl slide into the hot, non-A/C-equipped, black-vinyl interior and drove to the Yellowstone Hotel on the other side of the park.
Another chance meeting with...
Another chance meeting with a Montana local led Brennan and Cheryl to this super-clean '70 Top Banana Superbird. Nearly complete, the Plymouth was in nearly identical condition that Brennan's was half a year earlier.
Gorgeous photo opportunities...
Gorgeous photo opportunities abounded during their drive through rustic Montana.
With two trim rings going...
With two trim rings going MIA, Brennan pulled the remaining two and finish the trip with them in the trunk.
Monday, August 14, 2006
They woke the next morning to see a herd of buffalo grazing around the hotel.
After a great drive along the shoreline of Yellowstone Lake, they headed for Old Faithful and the famous Paint Pots, and ended the day in West Yellowstone with a pizza and a bottle of wine.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
This day would be bookmarked by pleasant conversations with Mopar enthusiasts wanting to take a closer look at the B-Body. Highway 287 runs all the way to Helena, making their route a straight shot. after a day spent crossing the state, they were unloading at their hotel when an enthusiast in his twenties stopped to check out the car. the young man explained that he had seen pictures of a Superbird, but had never seen one in real life, and though he was a proclaimed GM guy, he had to get a look at this Mopar.
After the third day, the high-back...
After the third day, the high-back bucket seats became as uncomfortable as a wooden park bench.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
The picturesque capital city of Helena, Montana, is rich with beautiful scenery. But the locals have grown frustrated with tourists, who sluggishly wander the highways and roads more taken with the scenery than actually driving the speed limit. This, in turn, causes a lot of tailgating of which Brennan and his classic car were a target, causing him to finally let loose. "Since there appeared to be no posted speed limit, I took it up to 120," he says. "My tailgater shrank into a satisfying dot and then vanished all together. Meanwhile, my tachometer read about 6,000 rpm but also moved around like one of those drinking birds from the souvenir shops. The car hugged the road great. The nose and wing don't do much until about 80 mph when I felt the car begin to settle down. At that speed it felt good, too good. Since I wanted to finish the trip with no mechanical issues, I backed down and the multitude of clatters, rattles, and vibrations diminished." Coming back to earth, Brennan brought the Bird back to a manageable speed and ended the day in Columbia Falls, Montana.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Needing a recharge and some time to restock their rations, Cheryl ran off with two bags of dirty laundry, while Brennan took the Plymouth to the car wash. While at the car wash, Brennan was told about another winged car in Columbia Falls. Skeptical of any wild Mopar story, he decided to take a peek just for curiosity's sake. Sure enough, tucked into a local's garage sat a yellow, automatic Superbird. the factory 440 hanging from a hoist and the other bits and pieces laying around would make this sitting machine into a rolling cruiser not unlike Brennan's Bird.
Stepping off the main highway and circling through west Glacier Park, the world of cell phones, laptop computers, and Starbucks coffeehouses vanishes, replaced by vistas and natural beauty millions of years in the making.
During their drive, Brennan and Cheryl picked up a young hitchiker, who needed a ride back to the car where he and his friends had started their hike. The hitchhiker was Dennis Mitchel, who recounted how he grew up just a few blocks from Creative Industries when the Daytonas were built. Dennis believes the owner of Creative Industries kept the first Daytona and the first Superbird, and that he may still have them in storage.