It's owned by comedian Jeff Dunham and is one of 58 with a four-speed manual.
There are many legendary cars from the original American muscle car era, but few embody the over-the-top outrageousness as the infamous winged cars from Chrysler. We’re talking of course about the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona and the 1970 Plymouth Superbird, the latter of which is the subject of Jay Leno’s latest feature. It’s not just any Superbird however – it’s an original Hemi car painted Vitamin C Orange, paired with the matching factory four-speed manual transmission. It’s owned by famous comedian Jeff Dunham, who ultimately found this car exceedingly rare car on eBay. Really? Yeah, really.
Dunham explains the whole adventure to Leno in the video, but the summary is that the car was literally a barn find in Ohio where it had been owned by a dentist for much of its life. A phone call was followed up by a visit while Dunham was in a nearby town for one of his comedy shows, and the deal was done. Barn life took its toll on the classic machine, so it was sent to a Mopar guru for a full-on factory restoration. As it sits now, the car is exactly as it would’ve been straight from the factory, right down to the paint overspray underneath and crooked buttons on the bare bones dash.
Most everybody knows the Charger Daytona/Superbird orgin story – limited run models created for NASCAR homologation in 1970, deemed too fast for tracks and tire technology of the day, NASCAR changed the rules to get rid of them, and so forth. What most people don’t know, however, is that for the longest time these cars were not the least bit popular, even among auto enthusiasts. Dealers struggled to sell them when they were new, and as Dunham points out in the video, many of the cars had the nose and wing removed to make them look like a normal Plymouth Road Runner. Truth be told, the winged cars certainly have an awkward look with the miles-long nose but time has been very kind to these icons. That, and of course Richard Petty winning races left and right in his famous blue Superbird.
And we have to give some love to Jeff Dunham over his serious passion for cars and for driving them. This car is one of just 58 thought to have been built with the Hemi and a manual, and he drives it for for lunch or coffee. Well done, sir.
Source: Jay Leno’s Garage