Sale comes amid sharp jumps in Superbird prices
Estate sales and country auctions typically offer bargains for anybody willing to step away from the limelights of headline-grabbing auctions dedicated to collector cars. Then again, Mopar’s wing cars seem like they’ll sell for noteworthy prices regardless of the venue, as we saw when an unrestored 1970 Plymouth Superbird sold for more than $200,000 over the weekend.
According to Terence N Teeter’s obituary, the NASCAR and Mopar fan who lived in West Alexandria, Ohio, “could and would work on just about anything,” but with a CNC business to run, he always had “a lot of incomplete projects around the old homestead.” Many of those projects were vintage Hemi V-8s – he had at least eight Red Rams, 331s, and other first-generation Hemis in various states of assembly – though he also had a disassembled 383-powered 1966 Dodge Charger undergoing restoration as well as the Superbird.
According to its fender tag and its broadcast sheet, the B5 Blue Superbird came from the factory with a 390hp 440 Six-Barrel engine, Pistol Grip-shifted four-speed manual transmission, 3.54-geared Dana 60, heavy-duty suspension, bucket seats, white vinyl interior, and black vinyl top. Of the 1,935 Superbirds built, 308 came with the Six Barrel/four-speed combination. At some point it had lost its fender scoops and had its nosecone molded to the front fenders, but little seems known about the car prior to when Teeter, then 22 years old, bought it in 1981 with 27,000 miles on it. He got to put another 9,000 or so miles on the odometer before parking it to take the intake and heads off the 440.
Photos of the Superbird show much of the car intact but in need of some work. Aside from the disassembled engine, the front bucket seats have significant rips at the seams while the hood is missing much of its paint. “We believe we have everything,” the auction listing claimed.
Teeter, his wife Susan, and their son Ben all died within two weeks of each other from COVID complications in December 2021, leading to this weekend’s estate sale conducted by Kirby Lyons Auctioneers in Greenville, Ohio. While chatter among the wing car community made it seem like the Superbird could sell for well below market value, hope for a bargain seemed to vanish once bidders filled the Kirby Lyons facility. Bidding opened at $50,000 and quickly ramped up to $170,000. Disbelief among the crowd seemed to start around the $185,000 mark, with the car ultimately selling for $203,000.