Ultra Rare Superbird Goes on the Block at the Toronto Fall Classic Car Auction

Spanning 3 days (Oct 13-15) the International Centre was filled with the sounds of, lumpy idles, rumbling exhausts and the auctioneer rhythmically chanting—selling car after car.

By Kunal Dsouza Wheels.ca

Oct 18, 2017 4 min. read

Article was updated 6 years ago

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Toronto, ON: The 2017 Toronto Classic Car Auction rolled in to the city once again.

With nearly 400 entries and thousands in attendance, this is the largest classic car auction in Toronto.

Spanning 3 days (Oct 13-15) the International Centre was filled with the sounds of, lumpy idles, rumbling exhausts and the auctioneer rhythmically chanting—selling car after car.

Along with all the vehicle entries, there were some unique memorabilia and collectibles like a framed “Tug of War” LP signed by Paul McCartney and a vintage NASCAR poster signed by none other that Richard Petty. And every season the auction seems to top itself with exceedingly rare vehicles that wouldn’t be out of place in a museum.

Case in point, the star of the show was a 1970 Plymouth Superbird—a car that really needs no introduction.

Based on the popular Plymouth Road Runner the Superbird was designed specifically to race in Nascar, and was one of the first American cars tested in a wind tunnel. The polarizing but slippery nosecone added about 19 inches to the front of the car and the comically tall spoiler was designed to create as much downforce as possible.
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Plymouth Superbird toronto

It was successful as a NASCAR racer, winning eight races, in no small part due to the skill of Richard Petty. Unfortunately for the Superbird aerodynamic cars were banned in 1971, as they were getting “too fast”, and were quickly approaching the safety limits of the tires at the time.

As fast as they were on the ovals, Superbirds with the pointy nose, roadrunner graphics and mile high spoiler didn’t jive well with the more conservative customer of the era and were slow to move on dealer lots. In fear of not being able to sell them some dealers started to convert them back to plain ol’ Roadrunners.

Exact production numbers are fuzzy, but the general consensus is around 1920 were built, with 135 of them produced with the 426, and only 77 of those being equipped with the automatic transmission—making this particular bird a coveted one indeed.

How coveted?

This meticulously restored and period correct example dropped the hammer at an astonishing $423,500.

That’s a lot of cake, and there were other pristine classics that sold for the price of new ultra luxury and exotic cars.

Classics like a 1971 Plymouth Barracuda with a 440 six barrel and auto trans sold for $175,000. That’s Audi R8 and 911 Turbo money, but drive a ‘Cuda and an R8 side by side on public roads and my money is on the Plymouth to turn more heads and receive those all important thumbs up’s of approval.


Classic cars are just that much more emotional, and invoke feelings of joy in those young and old. New cars seem a bit plain sitting along side the brightly coloured and chromed cars of decades past.
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The C2 ‘vette was well represented, and my favourite car of the show was a 1963 only split-window coupe in a gorgeous Riverside Red on Red interior that sold for $85,000, a relative bargain considering the rarity of the spilt-windows.

1963 Corvette1963 Corvette split window 1963 Corvette

This auction is not all classics either and there were lots of late model vehicles, many in great condition, that make this a good place for someone looking for a used car.

Buyers can take their time as many cars remained unsold and could likely be had for a bargain.

I kept going back to this 1967 Jeep CJ in bright yellow, which was listed for $10K sitting unsold and would probably go for less than that.

jeep cj

MG’s and Triumphs from England, old 911’s and VW’s from Germany, school buses, custom trailers and bikes. Volunteers pushing the cars up and down the auction block, folks of all ages darting about trying to get the best view and snap off pictures on their smartphones. The sheer variety of cars, automotive paraphernalia and about 100 years of history were fabulous to see.

Toronto Fall Classic Car Auctiontoronto fall classic car auction

This seemed more like a car show than an auction, and it was a brilliant place to be if you’re like me and just want to stare googly-eyed at some cool cars for a few hours.

It would be even cooler to take one of these classics home, but alas I lack the funds and garage space.

Maybe next year.


Photographs by Kunal D'souza

For full auction results click here
For more on the Toronto Classic Car Auctions click here

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