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Plymouth Road Runner Superbird

The ‘Road Runner’ cartoon character stands proudly on the spoiler of this ‘muscle car’, the American term for relatively cheap production cars fitted with large engines for high performance.

This Superbird with its 7.0-litre engine, aerodynamic nose cone and huge factory-made rear wing is a technically improved version of the Plymouth Road Runner. The car was developed specifically for the American NASCAR races (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing).

Today it is regarded as a landmark car, but in 1970 the Superbird was not a great success; the styling proved to be a little too extreme and the American public was becoming more safety-conscious. Many of the 2,000 or so cars produced sat unsold at dealerships, and some were even converted to ordinary Road Runners.

The 1973 oil crisis marked the definitive end of the ‘muscle car’.

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