At the end of the 1970 NASCAR season, ‘The King’ Richard Petty climbed out of his 1970 Plymouth Superbird for the last time. Since then, both he and it have become motor racing icons and are instantly recognisable across the planet.
Although Petty went on to rack up a number of championships on his way to a career total of 200 wins (to give that some context, the next most successful driver sits on 105), the Superbird has spent the intervening time in various museums. Interest in the car swelled once again when it was chosen to appear in the Disney Pixar Cars movie, but until very recently it has run very little and barely been driven under its own power.
Having been hugely popular at the Festival of Speed in 2006 and 2014, Richard Petty was once again invited by Lord March to journey across the pond for this year’s FoS. To our sheer delight he kindly agreed. What’s more, he’s bringing the Superbird with him.
When news of this reached GRR we immediately booked flights to America with the hope of seeing the car run and perhaps even move under its own power around the car park. Once there we had the pleasure of meeting The King and even had time to chat about the cars in his museum, in particular the Superbird.
We genuinely didn’t expect what ended up happening though once the car was running …