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Author Topic: Birmingham International Raceway Pace Car Superbird  (Read 1792 times)
taxspeaker
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Tip to Tip Bird driven from Fairbanks to Key West


« on: July 22, 2018, 05:45:55 PM »

About a year ago Hot Rod Magazine with our own Ryan Brutt had an excellent article about the Hippy Drag Racer, Terry Sevener from Arkansas. https://www.hotrod.com/articles/hippy-drag-racer-one-life-drag-racers-collection-cars/

I never had the good fortune to meet Terry, but wow, would he have been someone to know. I have talked to several folks who knew him and 1 or 2 that knew him well. I have never heard of an individual that was so well thought of by everyone he met. Unfortunately, Terry passed away last year from cancer and his collection of cars and parts was sold.

In May of this year I was looking at a picture of a Dodge Charger for sale online and way, way, way back, hidden in the background, was a blue wing. Forget the Charger, I wanted to know about the wing! Severe bird-dogging and many, many, many phone calls later I agreed to buy the car from its current owner and on Memorial Day my wife, trailer and I made the 9 hour drive to southwest Missouri, and back to get the car. My wife was quite skeptical of the whole deal, particularly after the 2017 green barn find, and demanded to ride with me shotgun (literally-it was a cash deal). My 401-k is now invested in wing cars and is now just a 201-k.

The car is a time capsule from 1975. Originally lemon-twist yellow (we have the build sheet), it had been repainted petty blue in 1970, followed by its now 45 year old dark blue soon thereafter we were told. Richard Petty signed the nose way, way back in time. The block is long gone (440-4 barrel), but most of the other stuff is there including the original nose jack (but not the handle). The engine ran well, but the clutch and brakes were a mess, as were most electrical switches and wires. The wiper motor was from a 73 E-Body (no, I don't know that or any of the other stories), the rear armrests were gone, the vinyl top had been removed 40 years ago and all of the bondo was badly cracked and the entire paint job was badly faded, including the 1970's era pin stripes, and we all (me, my boys and my wife) absolutely love it! The exterior of the car will not be changed from the 1975 era scheme, including the Petty signature and pin stripes, with 1 exception. Last night I bolted an old set of Cragars on it and wow, Stairway to Heaven! I even found the old airjack lines and valve!

We are slowly working from front to back on the electrical, interior and assorted other things. Rewiring will finish up this week, fixing dozens of little things along the way, we have put on new shocks, done a rear break job, pulled the heater box to rebuild next week and are working with Bill Meerholz on getting the correct wiper motor and bushings. We are putting one of those reproduction AM/FM radios in with a stereo front dash speaker and fixing the clock and many underdash items. In the interior we have recovered the front buckets (only) because they were ripped, cleaned but did not replace the door panels and rear seats and seatbelts and found some of the old armrests and bases from one of my used parts boxes, and replaced the glove box and carpet.

The trunk floor and 2 front floor pans had some rust pitting and small holes, but we decided to fix it with Por15 rust stoppage because the underside is in surprisingly clean shape. The only body issues appear to be the rear window plug that was bondo'ed when they removed the vinyl top. Everything else is just being meticulously cleaned, steel wooled, and repaired to get it as safe as possible for driving. With luck, by Labor Day, it will become my daily driver except on rainy days.

I have been in email contact with Terry's sister from Michigan, but unfortunately have not been able to get any pictures or paperwork from her or the guy I bought it from, so if anyone has any pictures or stories I would sure appreciate it, particularly from the Birmingham race track. My email is taxspeaker@gmail.com Like everyone with 1 of these old cars I really look forward to knowing the back history on these cars. Thanks in advance anyone with pictures, names, or anything else. I would love to find the name and number of the guy from Birmingham!

I posted 1 or 2 pictures on another thread on last year's barn find, but will post a few more this week when I get home, particularly with the Cragars on it! Looking forward to next year's Talladega meet with the wings.
Bob J
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taxspeaker
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Tip to Tip Bird driven from Fairbanks to Key West


« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2018, 07:37:42 AM »

Still hoping for information on the car from Birmingham Intll Raceway. Alabama gang fans?

Anyway here is a picture late yesterday still on the lift, with the Cragars. Wiring is now about 80% completed, brakes are fixed, suspension is fixed, tranny & rear leaks are fixed, and will be driving within 3 weeks now.


* Bluebird with cragars2.jpg (197.23 KB, 1632x1224 - viewed 835 times.)
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LaOtto70Charger
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2018, 08:31:04 PM »

Very nice!
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djcarguy
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2019, 11:03:58 AM »

 popcrn icon_smile_question 2thumbs  updates,more pix ,,more info???  2thumbs 2thumbs 2thumbs drool5 drool5 popcrn
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taxspeaker
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Tip to Tip Bird driven from Fairbanks to Key West


« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2019, 09:51:16 AM »

Running great, interior and electric all finished now with new wiring, fixed seats and new carpet. Really hot compression and cam makes it the hottest 440 I have ever had, but starts instantly. However, cam prevents brakes from getting enough vacuum, so may add an electric vacuum pump. Haven't touched the outside-looks a lot better in picture than in person. Not sure what I will do there, but not a full blown resto. Cracking 45 year old bondo around window plug where vinyl top was removed must be addressed.


* other2blue.jpg (61.91 KB, 717x348 - viewed 465 times.)

* condensed.jpg (49.89 KB, 717x348 - viewed 460 times.)
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Devil
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"He wasn't always an Evil Monkey"


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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2019, 02:07:33 PM »

A little bit nicer than when I saw it last.



Ryan
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DonC1
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2019, 07:11:10 PM »

Looks great as is!  2thumbs
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73rallye440magnum
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Looking for a driver/project 4 speed.


« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2019, 09:01:37 PM »

Agree, paint looks fine. Polish it a bit, touch up the cracked mud at the plug, enjoy driving it. I love the pinstriping!  coolgleamA
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'69 Coronet 500 Vert 383-4 daily pounder.
WTB- '68 4 speed- crude driver. Needing work is okay. Message me.
WTB- '71 4 speed- same as above.
odcics2
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2019, 09:07:55 PM »

Paint job is about what they all looked like, back in the day.  coolgleamA

Anything better is incorrect!     yesnod
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I've never owned anything but a MoPar. Can you say that?
WINGIN IT
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2019, 08:53:26 AM »

Looking great Bob !
Agree with others to leave as is and just do touch ups as necessary  Wink

Any interior pics?

Check your e-mail too !  icon_smile_big

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taxspeaker
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Tip to Tip Bird driven from Fairbanks to Key West


« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2019, 04:33:47 PM »

Here is inside Joe


* interior sm.jpg (51.18 KB, 717x348 - viewed 338 times.)
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WINGIN IT
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2019, 12:25:06 PM »

Nice, thanks Bob  cheers 2thumbs icon_smile_big
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taxspeaker
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Tip to Tip Bird driven from Fairbanks to Key West


« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2019, 09:29:53 PM »

Update:
After months of trying to address mushy brakes and headlights not holding, my initial thoughts about the hot cam were confirmed today. Cam is too hot to develop vacuum-it doesn't suck. Also bad RH exhaust manifold; mis-sized pistons, 1 cylinder incorrectly sleeved; 2 different mis-matched cylinder heads 1 of which had hardened seats! Anyway engine is being built now to drive to Key West and then duplicating the Alaska trip from 2015 in this 4-speed car. Apparently Talladega is off the table. I want to use the original 1970 warranty block and luckily it is repairable. Transmission is at Brewers for rebuild while engine is out and going ahead and rebuilding suspension while its all out.

Goal is to be ready for 10,000 miles this summer and fall. The Plasti-Dip had a purpose, having driven to Alaska once in a Bird the paint and body needs a lot of protection!


* 20190205_102909.jpg (57.29 KB, 717x348 - viewed 199 times.)
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