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© 1996-2008 by
Ken R. Noffsinger
All Rights Reserved
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Richard Petty Museum
By Ken R. Noffsinger

The photographs that follow were taken at the Richard Petty Museum in Level Cross, North Carolina during the Fall of 1992 and 2001. Although several automobiles were on display (including a white, street SuperBird), the focus here is primarily on the racing SuperBird. This SuperBird was never actually driven by Petty in a NASCAR event (at least not as a SuperBird), but it none-the-less serves as a fairly faithful reproduction of the ones that were.

The following excerpt is from the November, 1977 issue of the Winged Warriors/B-Body Review, and it sheds some light into the origins of the Bird pictured below. The interviewer was George Tamasi (GT), and the interview begins with an answer by Richard Petty (RP) to an unspecified question by Tamasi, but it obviously concerned the SuperBird. At that time Petty was apparently still in the process of completing the SuperBird.

RP: Yes, this one here is my project. No rush on this one, just careful time-consuming work.

Tamasi then asks why Petty is building the SuperBird.

RP: Well, the way I look at it, these cars were killed before they ever had a chance to peak at their possible potential. We first got the idea with the Bird in the trophy room. One day we up and got the notion and we all decided to reconstruct a Bird, updating the car with every new trick we could come up with.

GT: What was the car's origin?

RP: Well, it was a Road Runner. And we used a race SuperBird front end we had out back and a wing and a rear window conversion kit that a USAC stock car team had left over that we had sold them. We had hoped in 1970 to put the rear wing of the Bird on the short track Road Runner for a slight gain, but the rules said no.

GT: The trophy room Bird is in running condition then?

RP: Oh yea, it will start up just fine, all you'd need is gas and top off some oil, but the car is setting in running condition.

A surviving SuperBird chassis piloted by Petty in 1970 is owned by Hugh Hawthorne of Richmond, Virginia. Richard briefly discussed how Mr. Hawthorne ended up with the car in an interview found in the February/March, 1993 issue of Mopar Muscle Magazine:

Mopar Muscle: The SuperBird in Richmond belongs to a private collector?

RP: Yeah. Built a room on the back of his house for it. Name is Hugh Hawthorne in South Richmond. I've known him all my life. He's a big collector of cars and stuff. He's got a bunch of Richard Petty stuff. Anyhow, he wanted one of the SuperBirds so we let him have it. I think I ended up with a bulldozer or something.

[SuperBird - Front] [SuperBird - Rear] [SuperBird - Driver Side]
[SuperBird - Driver Side] [SuperBird - Passenger Side] [SuperBird - Passenger Side]
[SuperBird - Passenger Side Fender Decals] [SuperBird - Passenger Side Fender Decals] [SuperBird - Passenger Side Fender Decals]
[SuperBird - Hemi] [SuperBird - Hemi] [SuperBird - Hemi]
[SuperBird - Radiator Valence] [SuperBird - Hemi] [SuperBird - Passenger 
Side A-Frame Area]
[SuperBird - Passenger Side Radiator Area] [SuperBird - Passenger Side Valve Cover Area] [SuperBird - Passenger Side Radiator Area]
[SuperBird - Driver Side Valve Cover Area] [SuperBird - Hemi] [SuperBird - Driver Side Radiator Valence]
[SuperBird - Trunk] [SuperBird - Trunk] [SuperBird - Trunk, Top of Fuel Cell]
[SuperBird - Trunk] [SuperBird - Trunk Hinge] [SuperBird - Trunk Fuel Inlet]
[SuperBird - Driver Side Leaf Spring] [SuperBird - Passenger Side Leaf Spring] [SuperBird - Rear End]
[SuperBird - Driver Side Exhaust] [SuperBird - Driver Side Exhaust] [SuperBird - Driver Side Front Suspension]
[SuperBird - Under Nose Valence] [SuperBird - Passenger Side Front Suspension] [SuperBird - Rear End Axle Tube]
[SuperBird - Passenger Side Floor Board Ignition Mount] [Torino Cobra] [Torino Cobra]
[Torino Cobra - Passenger Side] [Hemi] [Hemi]
[Hemi] [Fan Autographs Collected During Petty Farewell Tour]

The three photos below were taken in November, 2005, and are courtesy of Robert Stiltner.

[Driver's Side] [Rear] [Underneath]