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Author Topic: A Life Filled with Winged Cars... and a few Fords too  (Read 13623 times)
Bob T
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« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2010, 04:24:53 AM »

hey, great story so far, thanks for sharing and keep it coming .cheers
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The Dodge, which was practically stock, just left the Mustang like you wouldn’t believe.” Ron Riner has similar recollections. “The Charger ran rings around the Mustang. We trimmed the tires down (on the Charger), we practically made them down to bicycle tires to try and handicap Hickman, and Bill just run them.”
Aero426
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« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2010, 03:42:05 PM »

In the summer 1970,  after some more trips to Hales Corners Speedway, the local short track, I had begun to enjoy the racing a lot more.     I went back to the Milwaukee Mile with my dad.    The wing cars were there.    I don’t remember much, being only about 9,  but I do remember something of a duel between Roger McCluskey’s Superbird and Don White’s yellow Nichels Daytona.    It went on for quite a while until Don’s engine came up lame, and Roger went on to win.    



In 1971,  my sister started dating Ralph, a salesman at Hub Chrysler Plymouth.  You might recognize that name as a sponsor on the Superbirds of Norm Nelson and Roger McCluskey.     Ralph for his personal car, had a brand new 1971 Plymouth Sports Suburban wagon, green with woodgrain – a beautiful loaded car.    For a demo, he also briefly had a Superbird,  Tor-Red,  bench seat, and it was kind of unique with turn signal indicators having been fitted under the fender scoops.    The car had been sold by the time we met, but this car would cross our path years later.  

About this time, dad had read an article in Esquire magazine about modern cars that might be future collectibles.    Some of the car mentioned were the 2 seat Thunderbird,  the Avanti,   the 2 seat AMX among others.   There were some hits and some misses.    It got him thinking that maybe he could buy something newer to drive and enjoy, and maybe make a buck on down the road.  

Ralph and my dad would go to the races at the Milwaukee Mile.   I don’t think I went in 1971 at all.   But I think I went to most of the four stock car races in 1972.    Up here in USAC, the wing cars were still legal.  Don White’s and Butch Hartman’s Daytonas were done after 1971.   Same with the Talladegas of Jack Bowsher and AJ Foyt.   But the Superbirds were still running very strong.    Roger McCluskey had the #3 car,   Sal Tovella had the #8,  Ramo Stott had the #47 and probably the fastest was Bobby Unser’s Nichels #5.    I remember that Unsers car would consistently sit on the pole, but would often blow up early in the races.  

Getting back to that Esquire article - well, dad had also knew that the Superbirds were production built and that.   And in Ralph (who by then had married my sister)  he knew a Plymouth salesman.      And they got to talking and dad told Ralph, that if he ever heard of a Superbird coming in on trade at the dealership, to let him know.

In the summer of 1972, Ralph got a really neat demo.  It was a 1972 Satellite Sebring Plus.   It looked like a Road Runner to me, but Ralph explained it was just one notch down, but it was loaded with options.    It was that pale lime green, white top, sunroof,  power options.  Ralph took me out in it and showed me how the Slap Stik worked.    It had also been the pace car at the Milwaukee Mile the week before, and still had the signage on the quarter panels.    



I liked this car so much I took a photo of it.  I know it's a horrible photo, but I don’t think I took a picture of any of his other cars.    Then below is another photo of that same pace car on track with Ramo Stott’s #47 Superbird following behind.   I was aware of this car, along with the other Superbirds on the race track.    This car raced as #7, #77 or #47 depending on the year and race series.   But it is always the same car.   As a kid, I knew this was the last season for the Superbirds, and they would be gone.   At the end of the year, while the other racing Superbirds were rebodied into something newer, at the end of the 1972 racing season,  the #47 race car would go into long term hibernation at Ramo’s garage where it would sit intact until 1988.   At that age, I certainly had no comprehension yet that we might own a Superbird someday - or that I'd see that #47 car again years later.  


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notabird
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« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2010, 08:08:10 AM »

Great stuff Doug! keep it coming.
Brent
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Aero426
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« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2010, 07:06:12 PM »

October 1972 - How we got the Bird... Almost...

By the fall of 1972, brother in law Ralph called my dad and said there was a Superbird available.  



The car was owned by an 18 year old college kid, and he had gotten a couple tickets.    He had not had the car very long, and his parents said it had to go.   He brought it into Hub Chrysler Plymouth to trade it in, and they would not touch it.     Fortunately, Ralph was there and got the kids phone number and passed it on to my dad.    

So late in October, my dad and I went to look at the car.    It was right before Halloween, and I remember arriving at the peoples house and getting some Halloween candy.    Well there was the car.   As we drove up, you could see it in Lime Green from a couple blocks away.    Up close, it looked fantastic.     I was aware of what the car was from seeing them at the race track, and really hoped dad would buy it.      There was only one problem, right away - and it was a BIG one.   He hated the color.  Those were the first words out of his mouth before we even got our of our casr.   He kept repeating,  “Who would drive a car that color?”    Now you have to remember that at the time, my dad was 52 and it wasn’t like it is now where a 50 year old guy would drive a car like this.   The Superbird was a young mans car.     Nevertheless we pressed on and went for a test drive to see what the car was all about.     It drove like a new car.   It smelled new inside.   Well, it ought to.   It only had 8600 miles on it.     It had two Polyglas GT raised white letter studded snows in the trunk, but it looked like they had not seen much use.      

Well, we went down the freeway,  dad driving, the owner in the passenger seat and me in the back.     We got back to the house and it was time to talk turkey.    He erally liked the way it drove, but he still kept coming back to the statement that he didn’t like the color.     I don’t know what the seller wanted for the car, but I think it was in the neighborhood of $2500.      Well dad being the horse trader he was wouldn’t go near that.   He offered the boy $1800, which was quickly declined.    Dad said, " I really didn’t want it because of the color anyway.     But when the offer was turned down, dad did give the boy his phone number and told him if he changed his mind, to call him.     We left.    I was pretty disappointed, and pretty much thought that was the end of it.

Well, some time went by.   Maybe a couple weeks or so.     The phone rang.   It was the seller of the green Bird.   He’d take the $1800 offered.    This was all unknown to me by the way.     But dad was still set against the color and made up some story that my mom would give him heck if he bought another car (probably would have) and walked away.    

But the story wasn't over just yet...
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Aero426
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« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2010, 07:19:57 PM »

Hey Doug brings back lots of memories.
Monroe is the reason I became interested in wing cars. It started when he picked up Doug one day from High School in a Bird.

An interesting story about Monroe and Hwy 100. Be had parked in the lot of a local food store in the Green Bird and while I was talking with him a cop stopped and shined his spot light at Monroe hinting for him to get moving. Well Monroe then turned on his head lights to shine them at the cop. After Monroe turned off the lights the cop looked back at the car and you could see him mouth the words "am old man". He shuck his head and yelled to get moving, so we did.

Hitail

The old man would do stuff like this frequently.   One time, he was out on wing car parts run out of state, and called up his friend Dick Drake from Kansas City.    Dick started the HPAC club which is the Mopar group in the Kansas City area.  Dad shot the breeze on the phone with Dick for probably 20 minutes, "Hey what are ya doing?"  figuring out what Dick was up to, washing his car or something like that.   Anyway, he never bothered to tell Dick that he actually was at a pay phone in KC, around the block from his house.   He eventually wound up the car,  see ya later, and hung up the phone.  Then he showed up in Dick's driveway about 5 minutes later.   They had a good laugh over that.
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Aero426
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« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2010, 09:26:29 PM »

But it still wasn’t over.    The green Bird had to have nagged at him.  Because he never threw the note with the guys phone number away.    His desk was a total mess, and he’d come across the phone number and push it aside.   Then he’d unbury it again a few days later.       Fate was about to intervene.

His building was on a major road.   While all of this was going on, there was a lady who lived close by would drive by his building in this 4-speed silver Daytona, running through the gears.    And she would be on it too.  



Well that Daytona driving past every day worked on him, and after a while, he started to soften up on the lime green paint.    “Hey that color isn’t so bad after all.”    It would be so simple.   Call up the kid,   bring him $1800 and get the car, right?    Not.

He decided he’d work the boy over a little more.    So he called him up and without saying who he was, started the negotiations all over again.      When the price of the car was quoted, he said,  “I can’t pay anywhere near that.”        Well the boy told him,  “If you come down and look at the car, I’m sure you’d offer me more,  BUT MAYBE YOU WOULDN’T.    If he hadn’t said that last bit, he’d have gone down and paid the $1800.   But there was an opening there, and he went for it.    

Dad went to my brother Dave who was 20.   “Dave, you want to buy a car?”     “Sure, yeah.”    So they went over the drill and dad gave him $1600 bucks, and an extra $20 for his other pocket.    It was the old “lay the money on the table routine”.     They made the appointment and Dave went down there under the name “Bill Foster” my grandfathers name.    In fact, the seller called him “Bill” a couple times and Dave didn’t remember the ruse. respond.  Well anyhow, my dad was camped out around the corner on the main street waiting to see what would happen.   About 15 minutes later,  the green Bird pulled around the corner.  My dad was like “Hot damn we bought the car!”

Of course, I didn’t know any of this.    But they took the car up to dad’s building.    At some point, they went home and got me.   I know I was very excited to see the car sitting there inside the shop.   When my mom got wind of how they two of them had bought the car, she got really mad.    “You cheated the man!” she said.     On top of that, dad had told my brother to use our grandfathers name (her dad) to buy the car.   She was hot!      Dad had a different perspective in that he had simply negotiated for the best deal.

Well, he had the car,  now what to do with it.    For the first couple years,  not much.    It just sat in the back of his building.       The only other car he knew was the lady’s silver Daytona.   Her name was Donna Schill.     Also, one by one, he sold off the old cars he had.    I still miss that ’36 Chevy.   But he had fallen for the Superbird pretty hard, and it  wasn’t long and all the old cars were gone.


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« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2010, 11:27:46 PM »

His building was on a major road.   While all of this was going on, there was a lady who lived close by would drive by his building in this 4-speed silver Daytona, running through the gears.    And she would be on it too.  



The only other car he knew was the lady’s silver Daytona.   Her name was Donna Schill.    

Hey, I remember that name... but I never saw that car when it was silver. When I saw it, it was custom painted a dark wine red and black and had it's engine compartment chromed to within an inch of it's life. I mean every engine component, latch tray, wiper motor, brake booster and master cylinder, suspension parts, everything was chromed. Lots of velour in the interior, too. Talk about 'pimped out'. Ah, the good old days.

As I recall, it was at the Custom Auto show at the Fair Park (might have been at the Mecca) for a couple of years.

Does she still own it?
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Hemidog
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« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2010, 03:57:23 AM »

This is good stuff!  popcrn
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« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2010, 04:38:57 AM »

This is good stuff!  popcrn

 iagree  this is good reading & great pictures ! thanks for sharing all this stuff   yesnod popcrn
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Aero426
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« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2010, 08:15:38 AM »

His building was on a major road.   While all of this was going on, there was a lady who lived close by would drive by his building in this 4-speed silver Daytona, running through the gears.    And she would be on it too.  

The only other car he knew was the lady’s silver Daytona.   Her name was Donna Schill.    

Hey, I remember that name... but I never saw that car when it was silver. When I saw it, it was custom painted a dark wine red and black and had it's engine compartment chromed to within an inch of it's life. I mean every engine component, latch tray, wiper motor, brake booster and master cylinder, suspension parts, everything was chromed. Lots of velour in the interior, too. Talk about 'pimped out'. Ah, the good old days.

As I recall, it was at the Custom Auto show at the Fair Park (might have been at the Mecca) for a couple of years.

Does she still own it?

Donna had two different Daytonas.    She sold the silver 4-speed car about 1979, and bought a real clean Hemi Orange automatic car out of Florida.   THAT one is the car that got the black cherry paint and heavy custom touches.   The paint was done by "Butch" Brinza who is a legendary name in custom paint around these parts.    I think she spent well over $2000 on the paint in '79.  Doesn't seem like much now, but it was a big number then.    

The silver car is L9B409069 and belongs to Wayne Perkins today.   Donna sold the black cherry car, probably mid-80's.    That one survived in the custom state until recent years when it was been restored back to stock and has kicked around the internet for sale repeatedly.   That car is L9B409058

The photo below is from the 1980 World of Wheels at State Fair Park, Milwaukee.


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moparstuart
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« Reply #35 on: March 05, 2010, 09:03:58 AM »

His building was on a major road.   While all of this was going on, there was a lady who lived close by would drive by his building in this 4-speed silver Daytona, running through the gears.    And she would be on it too.  



The only other car he knew was the lady’s silver Daytona.   Her name was Donna Schill.    

Hey, I remember that name... but I never saw that car when it was silver. When I saw it, it was custom painted a dark wine red and black and had it's engine compartment chromed to within an inch of it's life. I mean every engine component, latch tray, wiper motor, brake booster and master cylinder, suspension parts, everything was chromed. Lots of velour in the interior, too. Talk about 'pimped out'. Ah, the good old days.

As I recall, it was at the Custom Auto show at the Fair Park (might have been at the Mecca) for a couple of years.

Does she still own it?
  fairly current picture of the silver daytona , has had a Hemi in it since the 80's


* daytona hwaynec.jpg (105.44 KB, 800x600 - viewed 1085 times.)
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« Reply #36 on: March 05, 2010, 11:54:21 AM »


Donna sold the black cherry car, probably mid-80's.    That one survived in the custom state until recent years when it was been restored back to stock and has kicked around the internet for sale repeatedly.   That car is L9B409058



that would be the sold/restored/Happy Days/Joe Carroll/sold privately/sold at Mecum/BoS/Joe Elder/BoS car.  I think 'repeatedly' might be an understatement for that poor thing.  lol
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Aero426
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« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2010, 01:10:40 PM »


Donna sold the black cherry car, probably mid-80's.    That one survived in the custom state until recent years when it was been restored back to stock and has kicked around the internet for sale repeatedly.   That car is L9B409058



that would be the sold/restored/Happy Days/Joe Carroll/sold privately/sold at Mecum/BoS/Joe Elder/BoS car.  I think 'repeatedly' might be an understatement for that poor thing.  lol

Wow, that thing qualifies for frequent flyer miles!   smilielol
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69_500
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« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2010, 05:21:57 PM »


Donna sold the black cherry car, probably mid-80's.    That one survived in the custom state until recent years when it was been restored back to stock and has kicked around the internet for sale repeatedly.   That car is L9B409058



that would be the sold/restored/Happy Days/Joe Carroll/sold privately/sold at Mecum/BoS/Joe Elder/BoS car.  I think 'repeatedly' might be an understatement for that poor thing.  lol

I think your time table on the car only goes back the last 5 years too Doug. I went and looked at the car when it was for sale at Happy Days and that was right after I had bought my C500. I was $10K short on buying it then.
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skip68
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« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2010, 05:34:40 PM »

 2thumbs   MORE MORE MORE ......    cheers
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skip68, A.K.A. Chuck \ 68 Charger 440 auto\ 67 Camaro RS (no 440)       FRANKS & BEANS !!!

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« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2010, 08:07:05 PM »

Donna had two different Daytonas.    She sold the silver 4-speed car about 1979, and bought a real clean Hemi Orange automatic car out of Florida.   THAT one is the car that got the black cherry paint and heavy custom touches.   The paint was done by "Butch" Brinza who is a legendary name in custom paint around these parts.    I think she spent well over $2000 on the paint in '79.  Doesn't seem like much now, but it was a big number then.    

The silver car is L9B409069 and belongs to Wayne Perkins today.   Donna sold the black cherry car, probably mid-80's.    That one survived in the custom state until recent years when it was been restored back to stock and has kicked around the internet for sale repeatedly.   That car is L9B409058

The photo below is from the 1980 World of Wheels at State Fair Park, Milwaukee.

That's the one. I didn't know the paint was "By Butch". Yep, he was a legendary painter back in the day. He used to have a shop on Ramsey Ave in Cudahy, just a little west of Packard Ave. White stucco place with an arched doorway in the front. I heard he sold the business and moved out to the West Coast, but haven't seen his name in years. Big fish/little pond syndrome?

Sorry to hijack your thread. This is just too cool to pass up. So many memories... even though at the time, I was just a know-nothing kid that watched from the sidelines. I went to grade school with the son of a custom interior guy named Karl Kasperczak, back when we all rode Schwinn Stingrays with banana seats. Our little group got to meet some pretty cool people through him. Kasper moved out to Waterford and we lost touch around the begininning of our high school years.
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moparstuart
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« Reply #41 on: March 06, 2010, 06:54:45 AM »


Donna sold the black cherry car, probably mid-80's.    That one survived in the custom state until recent years when it was been restored back to stock and has kicked around the internet for sale repeatedly.   That car is L9B409058



that would be the sold/restored/Happy Days/Joe Carroll/sold privately/sold at Mecum/BoS/Joe Elder/BoS car.  I think 'repeatedly' might be an understatement for that poor thing.  lol
 
I think your time table on the car only goes back the last 5 years too Doug. I went and looked at the car when it was for sale at Happy Days and that was right after I had bought my C500. I was $10K short on buying it then.
happy days is only 20 minutes from my salvage yard
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Magnumcharger
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« Reply #42 on: March 06, 2010, 10:25:36 AM »

Trivia: Butch painted the Dodge Deora.
Trivia moment over.
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Aero426
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« Reply #43 on: April 01, 2010, 03:41:38 PM »

Back to the story.     It's now 1974 and here is the Superbird in dad's building.   It did not come out very much except for a couple of short hops around town with about 9000 miles on the clock.    By now the antique cars that would have been in the building were gone.



At some point dad started wondering what to do with the car, knowing that there had to be other people out there that had them.   There were a couple other cars spotted here and there around town, but the silver Daytona of Donna's was the only one close by.  And so, one day, he followed her home, maybe with the Bird, I don't know.   Anyway, he showed up in her driveway and met her and her husband Ted.    Dad asked Donna if she'd be interested if there was a club started for the cars, and she said  yes.  

Dad drew up a couple of ads and ran them in Old Cars Weekly and Hemmings.   Here is one of the letters.

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Aero426
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« Reply #44 on: April 01, 2010, 03:43:59 PM »

Not knowing what would happen, he crossed his fingers and began watching the mailbox.   Sure enough, there were a couple inquiries that came in.    When that happened, he sent back this letter.

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Aero426
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« Reply #45 on: April 01, 2010, 03:49:24 PM »

By 1975, I was crazy about racing, and we were going regularly to the Milwaukee Mile for the USAC races.    It was very exciting to go down by the fence and feel the speed.  I snapped these on my little 126 camera.   Here's Ramo Stott in the 1975 Road Runner at the 1975 Miller 200.   Ramo went on to be the USAC stock car champion that year. 



Below is Don White's race winning Charger.    This was a big win for Don as he had encountered something of a dry spell after leaving Nichels after 1970.    I recently found five rolls of Super 8 film of this race and afterwards in the pits that I will get converted to DVD.   

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Aero426
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« Reply #46 on: April 01, 2010, 03:53:41 PM »

Taken about the same time.   Dig my bike and Petty Blue Plymouth racing jacket.

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Mopar John
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« Reply #47 on: April 01, 2010, 07:51:01 PM »

Doug,
 More great stuff!! Do you know if your dad started numbering the memberships right off the bat?
Monroe #1?
Donna #2?
 How many members were "CHARTER MEMBERS"?
 I joined early on and am #181! Not a charter member  Cry
How many left ahead of me?
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hemi68charger
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« Reply #48 on: April 02, 2010, 06:31:02 AM »

Now, the rest of the story..........  icon_smile_big  I know you'll probably get to this, but when were the Fords and Charger 500's "allowed" in?......  icon_smile_big

Troy
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Troy
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nascarxx29
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« Reply #49 on: April 02, 2010, 07:29:55 AM »

 Longtime family friend Joe donated me his wingcar memorabilia when he retired and sold his car that he got in 73.I think he saw a ad in hemmings and joined and he collected anything and everything wing from yellow club banners to etc etc

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1969 R4 Daytona XX29L9B410772
1970 EV2 Superbird RM23UOA174597
1970 FY1 Superbird RM23UOA166242
1970 EV2 Superbird RM23VOA179697
1968 426 Road Runner RM21J8A134509
1970 Coronet RT WS23UOA224126
1970 Daytona Clone XP29GOG178701
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