Original 1970 Plymouth Superbird 440 Engine!

Whether you’ve got a 1970 Superbird project and need a period-correct engine or you have a Mopar project and want a cool conversation piece under the hood, this may be the engine for you. Located in Racine Wisconsin, this is said to be a real-deal 1970 440 cubic inch engine out of a Plymouth Superbird. It can be found here on eBay with an asking price of $8,500. I’m certainly not a Mopar expert…If you know more about this engine or its purported authenticity, leave us a comment. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Patrick S. for the tip on this great engine!

While the 426 Hemi certainly gets more attention than the bigger/little brother 440, a good 440 cubic inch engine is very potent. The ad states this engine came out of a Superbird that had been in an accident. It was supposedly removed in the early 1980’s and only had about 6,000 miles on the odometer. Of course, there is no way to validate these claims, but it makes for a good story. The nice thing about Mopar products is the casting number and the engine number can be traced to find out the exact details on the production. There is a photo in the ad with the matching engine number, but it isn’t clear what the data indicates.

The seller describes the condition: “Inspection under valve covers appears to be in great condition. Engine appears to have no damage but does come to a sticking when trying to turn by hand. I didn’t want to apply too much torque so plugs were removed and cylinders are soaking in mystery oil.” Hopefully, it will be re-buildable or even run as-is!

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Comments

  1. Don H

    Looks like it was left outside for a long time,if it only has 6000 miles 🤔

    8
  2. Doug

    I can just hear the seller…….
    “BTW, I’ll sell ya the car that goes with the engine for just a little bit more”.

    12
  3. Fred W

    Could very well be rebuildable, but $8500?

    5
  4. Nick

    Stamped numbers can be faked, so a buyer will have to be very careful. He’s also risking that it could be cracked, and won’t find out about that until later. Buyer beware, especially at prices like that. If it turns out to be in good shape, then it’s a great find.

    5
  5. Tempo Ray

    For a serious buyer who is looking for the real deal, I think this is worth a closer look. The price appears to be nogotiable as indicated by the eBay ad. This is the time through discovery, where the potential buyer would go over any unanswered questions or doubts with a fine-tooth comb. In a time where obsolescence commands large money, this certainly seems a reasonable starting point. Being a car guy, I am involved with a wide variety of vehicles including the vintage, air-cooled world. Early 25hp VW engines properly set up can easily fetch well over $12,000. And as for early Porsche’s, need I say more, “the sky in some cases can be the limit.”Continue to keep an open mind.

    4
  6. Wendy

    For that low of miles and the appearing condition, it looks as though it has seen a lot of weather. It’s just my opinion, but if it were in our garage it would have been taken a tad better care of! As it sits, it looks like it has been rode hard and put up wet!! Just do your homework before handing over that kind of cash!!

  7. George

    Other than coming out of a Superbird and low mileage, and the story, what is different than another 440 of the same year?

    9
    • Chris

      Absolutely no difference. But if you were doing a clone or happen to be restoring a bird that’s sans it’s 440 this would really make the project perfect. That VIN on the block skirt is what makes this dirty old 440 special.

      5
      • George

        That’s what I thought. It’s more of an issue of having a period correct block of the equivalent date of manufacture.

        5
  8. Classic Steel

    Prove the yarn spun please ? Papers
    about or on work the original one… it was delivered in ..

    Well like this rare engine story ..
    psst…. keep this on the low down but I have five 83 C4s in a warehouse if anyone is interested..I was told they are rare and we’re snuck out of the assembly lines on a Weekend before retooling and according to a friend of a friend of a sailor man …what I heard a security guard owed a favor to a friend …😜😜😜😜

    11
  9. Dick Johnson

    This 440 is an aircraft engine core price. I thought that I’d never see these prices for old engines, and I (we) have a bunch of ’em. At these prices, I’d better sell ’em before the gas engine is banned for nuclear powered car powerplants.

    Mebbe I should tell some stories about the early Hemis that Big Daddy owned. The 270 Dodge engine should bring 40K.

    4
  10. Dick Johnson

    This 440 is an aircraft engine core price. I thought that I’d never see these prices for old engines, and I (we) have a bunch of ’em. At these prices, I’d better sell ’em before the gas engine is banned for nuclear powered car powerplants.

    Mebbe I should tell some stories about the early Hemis that Big Daddy ‘owned.’ The 270 Dodge engine should bring 40K.

    1
    • Chris

      Oh, do tell!! Every savory detail please!

      1
      • Dick Johnson

        Everybody that sees the 270 tells me it is either a 392 or a 426. When I show them the 392s they (the ‘experts’) tell me they are 426s so the 270 must be a 392. This usually happens when I’m really busy in the shop. I just tell them that Big used to race them and I bought them from him. A total lie. Then the price scares them off.

        2
    • Chris

      That’s great, nothing like an old Hemi. Good for you and you’re lucky to have worked with the swamp rat!

      1
      • Dick Johnson

        Sorry Chris. Never worked with Big. That’s the lie I tell to chase off people who try to tell us what we have since thet know more about our old stuff than we do. All it took was my SIL telling one prospective Hemi buyer about the engines, and now three states know about them.

        1
  11. John Wilburn

    I’m glad to see a feature on an engine. More of these parts finds, please.

    6
  12. Mountainwoodie

    At the Woodie show in Encinitas this past weekend I was parked next to an interesting and knowledgeable fellow with a right hand drive ’46 Ford wagon. it came to pass that he shares a garage with a guy in the LA area who has not one……… but two superbirds………..oh man.what are they bringing like a buck and a quarter? I should have planned better!

    1
  13. Brent

    Ran across apparantly same engine on 2003 Harrisburg PA. craiglist.
    http://board.moparts.org/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/2509169/59.html
    Interesting. Full vin is RM23U0A173771. Nothing unque about U code SuperBird 440. Just 1 more 4 bbl 440 HP that came off the line. Be worth twice the price if you had the car. Otherwise no – 2-3 grand for bragging rights maybe.

    5
  14. Phil

    Would it be cool or not if the current owner of the wrecked super bird from the ’80’s saw this add and found the original engine for his restoration!

  15. Mike W H

    Know who would want this boat anchor? The guy with the original car this motor came from.

    Especially if it’s a Superbird

    1
  16. Russ

    8500 is a lot to pay for a boat anchor. maybe if was running it could be a good deal but as is noway

    1
  17. chad

    same sales strategy as many of the cars – no work, just send up a trial ballon on fleebay or somewhere, price astronomically hi & C where to go for a real sale.

    If me? On a test stand w/a radiator, compression guage, etc. Or at the minimum a poped top to C inside…

  18. Howard A

    Seems the site is slowly turning into the ” How much for this?” site. You think this is bad, wait until you see the “Weldmobile” coming up for $25g’s,,, the world has truly gone mad,,,and to think of all those 440’s that got trashed at demo derbies.

    2

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