"Petty signs with Ford!" Those four words tore through the racing world like a hot knife through butter while loyalists threw their hands up in disbelief. King Richard's defection was in part because Plymouth hadn't built a Dodge Daytona counterpart for the NASCAR circuit, in addition to the fact that Petty Enterprises wanted to be the sole racing parts distributor for Plymouth at the time. Plymouth weathered the backlash publically while privately scurrying to create a car to lure Richard back to Plymouth. That car? The 1970 Plymouth Superbird.
Production models languished on salesroom floors due in part to NASCAR having increased the homologation requirement from 500 units to 2,000. These cars were highly specialized, seen as being in excess in proportion to the hottest street cars of the period. Fast-forward to today, Superbirds are highly collectible and are the star attractions at car shows and auctions, pulling top dollar and generating real excitement. What a difference a few decades makes!