DECEMBER 31, 2013 (JANUARY 2014): ’70 SUPER BIRD-A LOVE OF ALL THINGS NASCAR AND MOPAR FROM A SWISS PERSPECTIVE

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Marty Rissi is permanently tattooed with a love of Mopars and NASCAR.

 

That’s not unusual if you live in North Carolina but Marty grew up in the shadow of the Swiss Alps.

 

Switzerland isn’t the world center of interest for large American muscle cars, but Marty has always loved cars with fins…and wings.

 

1970 Plymouth Super Birds are the kings of wing.

 

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Marty and his family moved to Canada to pursue a new life and old iron so one of his “must have” cars was a wing car. Marty recalled why he loves the Detroit iron, “I liked Mopar back in the early 80s, I’ve always liked everything about the 50s and I had a ’58 Savoy back in Switzerland”.

 

He explained how the search began,I was a member of the Winged Warriors so I asked if they knew of any for sale and this one turned up”.

 

Marty is a detail guy so he was well-informed about the Super Bird’s history, ” It was sold brand new in Columbus Ohio. The guy who owned it was dealing in movie cars, it was affordable so I flew down there to have a look at it”.

 

The search was well worth it, “This is a numbers-matching 440 six pack car, it was in great shape and it had just over 60,000 miles”. The sale was an easy decision.

 

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Marty had a specific goal for the Super Bird that was born out of his passion for NASCAR. He explained, “I wanted to do a tribute to NASCAR in the 1970 season when these wing cars were dominating on the track”.

 

Research is relatively easy with NASCAR, “There is lots of history about these cars, things like how they went to Lockheed for the wind tunnel testing for the aerodynamics and the racing history is well-documented”.

 

Marty’s Super Bird is definitely a testimony to a unique era at NASCAR and one of the decisions he had to make was a number. That choice was easy, “I picked a 70 because that’s a the year I wanted to celebrate“.

 

There is attention to detail all over this car, “I made up the stickers to fit the era and I wanted the NASCAR side dump exhaust for the right look.The helmet is another thing for the era as part of the display”.

 

 

Cars like this are meant to be driven and Marty is a true disciple of that philosophy, “The only time it was on a trailer is when it was brought up here”.

 

Marty owns this car for the history and the driving experience but he freely admits, “I don’t drive it that much but I sure enjoy it for what it is”.

 

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What it is” is an understatement because Mopar wing cars are like rock stars on the highway and Marty has had a lot of experience in the spotlight. He acknowledges the notoriety on the road but he’s an outgoing guy so he handles the publicity with ease.

 

This Super Bird was surrounded by admirers at a large Mopar show the whole day and Marty had time for every question. The research into the car paid off because Marty is a human encyclopedia about Mopar wing cars.

 

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Marty lives far from his home in Switzerland but the successful quest for a wing car made the transition a lot easier.

 

Jerry Sutherland

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