PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION!

Pettycameback2.jpg
A MAGAZINE ADVERTISEMENT FROM THE ERA.

This page was born out of the following threads:

Dodge Charger . com / Aero Cars / 999 Superbirds

Dodge Charger . com / Aero Cars / Proposed 999 Registry

Why was the Plymouth Superbird built at all?  One reason stands out among all others as dominant: To secure Richard Petty as a NASCAR driver for Plymouth.  When Petty caught wind of the Daytona Charger being built for Dodge, he asked if Plymouth was going to construct a similar vehicle.  The answer was no.  Winning is really all that matters in racing.  Petty knew this and knew his brick shaped 1969 Plymouths would not be competitive.  So, he agreed to drive for, GASP, Ford for the 1969 race season.  This was perceived as a significant loss by Plymouth.  Significant enough so that, after several go/no go decisions, Plymouth decided to construct the Plymouth Road Runner Superbird to compete with the Dodge Daytona and Ford/Mercury cars.  The Superbird satisfied Petty and he returned to drive for Plymouth for the 1970 NASCAR Season.  At least that is the story that the public has been told.  Other sources have speculated that the whole move to Ford was a power play by Maurice Petty to secure exclusive rights to the distribution of Chrysler race equipment for Petty Enterprises.

 

racepetty.jpg
PETTY BLUE IN ACTION.

Chrysler documents dated 10-7-69 and 11-27-69 state that only six exterior paint colors were available for Superbirds.  These were: EB5-Blue Fire Metallic, EW1-Alpine White, EK2-Vitamin "C" Orange, FY1-Lemon Twist, FJ5-Lime Light and EV2-Tor-Red.  On the 10-7-69 document there is a cryptic reference to "other colors available inquiry #4923".  No documentation has come forward to indicate that anyone ever utilized this 4923 ordering process.

When one looks at the factory Superbird dealer brochure, however, at the end of the list of available colors is "Corporation Blue".  Someone, somewhere decided that at least a few of the cars built to bring Richard Petty back to Plymouth should be similar in color to his Plymouth race cars.  Petty's cars had been a unique, flat, medium blue for a number of years and the color had become a recognizable symbol of the Petty racing enterprise.

ChryslerPlymouthSign.jpg
AN EXAMPLE OF "CORPORATION BLUE"

This color is VERY close to the color known as "Corporate Blue" which Chrysler Corp. used on their signage.  12785 is the Ditzler code for the Blue "Corporate Identity" color.  It is doubtful that Richard Petty chose his shade of blue to match the Chrysler Corporate Blue.  When asked about the color of his cars, he related a story about how when it came time to paint one of their cars, they did not have enough dark blue to do the entire car.  They looked on the shelf and found a can of white, that when combined with the blue, would be enough to paint the entire car.  So they mixed them together and painted the car.  Later, it was decided that the color was appealing, so they continued to paint their cars this color.

.

.

NOTE: As we know, a very small number of cars were accidentally painted FK5 - "Deep Burnt Orange (Metallic or Poly)".  These do constitute an 8th factory color although it is believed to be an unintentional one.

.

.

47_3.jpg
PETTY BLUE SUPERBIRD FENDER TAG

The code "999" was used by Chrysler to denote a special paint color not normally available among the paint choices for a given year.  So, if you were a fleet buyer and wanted a bunch of cars painted your company shade of whatever, you specified the color and Chrysler just inserted 999 where a code such as FJ5 or EV2 would have been on the fender tag and build sheet.

Since Corporate Blue was not a normal color applied to Plymouths in 1970, the cars that received Corporate Blue were coded 999.  Understandably, the intention behind painting these cars and the closeness of the color to Petty's race cars eventually led to people calling these cars Petty Blue cars despite the fact that they were actually Corporate Blue.  On the fender tag to the right, you can see the 999 code at the beginning of the second line from the bottom.  This was where the body color was coded.

Also unique to Petty/Corporate Blue cars is the "C37D" code in the third line and the range of "J Numbers" found at the end of the 5th row.

The best explanation for "C37D" that I have heard is that it is a Sales Code for the Corporate Blue color.  C37D appears on the fender tag in a location that is normally blank on Superbirds.  It does not replace a typical code in the same way 999 would replace EV2.  It is possible that, because 999 does not clarify which unusual color is to be applied, that a second code was necessary to show that Corporation Blue was the particular unusual color to be applied in this case.  Please click the link below to see a copy of an internal Chrysler document discussing the process for ordering Corporate Blue on Superbirds.

http://www.aerowarriors.com/cda/cda_110469.html

VON/J Numbers

The Vehicle Order Number or VON is an identifying number assigned to a hypothetical vehicle before it is built.  The VON is found on most of the paperwork that is generated to describe the vehicle - Build/Broadcast sheet, Manufacturer's Statement of Origin and Monroney Label/Window Sticker.  The VON also shows up in one location on the actual car - the fender tag.  The VON can be seen in the photo of the fender tag above.  It is at the end of the second row from the bottom.  In this case, the number is "J99530".

Preparation for building a given year's cars began many months in advance.  What models, styles and options were to be built and how many of each, had to be planned out.  When a last minute run of special vehicles such as the Superbird needed to be built, they received unique VONs.  Normally a VON was just a six digit number.  Superbirds have a VON that, over time, has come to be called its "J Number" because it is the letter J followed by five digits.  NOTE: If one wants to absolutely technically correct, Superbirds were assigned a "Special Order Number" or SON as opposed to a VON but I will stick with VON so as not to confuse the topic even further.

Chrysler documentation shows quite clearly that the "Special Order Number"/VON/J Numbers for Superbirds were to range from J97000 to J99499.  On the same documentation is the quote *TOTAL UNITS NOT TO EXCEED PROGRAM AUTHORIZATION*.  Obviously Plymouth had no intention of producing more than 2500 Superbirds.  The lowest VON I have heard of is very close to the 97000 beginning number.  The highest non-Corporate/Petty Blue car I have heard of has the VON J98890.

And yet, all the 999/Corporate/Petty Blue cars have J numbers higher than 99489.  What is going on here?  The best explanation I have heard for this is:  because 999/Corporate/Petty Blue Superbirds were painted a non-typical (and originally not planned) color they were given a special run of VONs starting with the last number (or first number after) of the range of VONs assigned to Superbirds in the first place.  The VON of the first Petty Blue Superbird is probably 99499 or 99500.  And these new VONs probably replaced existing VONs in the run of VON/J Numbers originally assigned to built Superbirds.  If we had perfect documentation of all the VON/J Numbers we would probably find the same number of gaps in the list as there were Petty Blue Superbirds built.

VON VS VIN 

Is the VON the same thing as the VIN?  No.  The Vehicle Order Number (VON) is a manufacturer's number assigned to a hypothetical vehicle.  The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is the serial number of the car used for legal reasons such as assignment of title, ownership and licensing.  The VIN is assigned to cars as they are built and often stamped into various body parts.  171684 is the part of the VIN on the fender tag shown above.  The "RM23U0A" before the 171684 is also part of the VIN.  There is no direct one-to-one correlation between VONs and VINs.  In essence, if each car had a "name", the VON would be its name prior to its birth all the way through its production and up to the point where a dealership held it as a new car.  Its name would change to its VIN once the car had been married to a purchaser/consumer.

So how many 999/Corporate/Petty Blue Superbirds did Plymouth build?

As with any unique situation, a number of explanations have surfaced over the years as to how the Petty Blue cars were built and how many of them were built.  It has been believed for decades that about 50 Superbirds were painted 999 Corporate/Petty Blue.  This number is probably fairly accurate.  I doubt we will ever know with absolute certainty. 

THE CHART BELOW WAS COMPILED FROM A WIDE VARIETY OF SOURCES.  IT IS THE MOST ACCURATE ACCOUNTING OF 999/CORPORATE/PETTY BLUE CARS THAT I HAVE.  IF YOU KNOW OF ANY CARS OR ADDITIONAL DATA PLEASE CONTACT ME. 
VINEngTransInteriorSeat StyleConsoleJ CodeData Source
        
155787UAutoWhiteBucketNo? ? ?Winged Warrior List
        
158623VManualBlackBucket? ?? ? ?Unknown Source
158628UManualWhiteBucketNo99501Steve Vance
158632UManual
White
Bucket
No
99505
WW List and Owner Rick
158633UManualWhiteBucket? ?? ? ?Wildman
158634UManualWhiteBucket? ?99507Nascarxx29, Cars On Line, Owner - Barry Kanick?
158636UManualWhiteBucketNo99509Winged Warrior List
        
162287VAutoWhiteBucketYes? ? ?Winged Warrior List
        
164667UAutoBlackBucketYes99511
Owner - Ron Hebert
        
166254UManualBlackBucketNo99512Nascarxx29
        
167148VAutoFoundto notbe 99998020Bagshaw
167970VManualBlackBenchN/A? ? ?Winged Warrior List
        
168775VManualBlackBenchN/A99524Pettybird
168776UManualBlackBenchN/A99525Pettybird - owner
        
169496VManual?Black?Bench?N/A99517Was on Ebay - Barry Kanick?
 169498 V Manual White Bench N/A ? ? ? Paul Jacobs
        
170238VManual?? ???? ??? ?? ? ?Winged Warrior List
170239VManualBlackBucket? ?? ? ?Winged Warrior List
        
171595V? ? ??? ???? ??? ?? ? ?Wildman
171684UManualBlackBucketNo? ? ?Winged Warrior List
171684UAutoBlackBenchN/A99530Photos on Ebay
        
172601RAutoBlackBucketYesJ98463Winged Warrior List (EB5)
        
175692UAutoWhiteBucket? ?99518Unknown Source
        
176681UAutoBlackBucketYes99538Winged Warrior List
176682UAuto?? ??BenchN/A? ? ?Winged Warrior List
        
177605U? ? ??? ???? ??? ?? ? ?Unknown Source
        
179687RManualWhiteBucketNo? ? ?Winged Warrior List
        
NOTE: One of the R Code (Hemi) cars (172601) is believed to be an original B5 blue car that was repainted Petty Blue by its owner.
I have left it in this list as it was once reported as being a 999 car.
Anyone finding old documentation will stumble on this same vehicle.

Please find below a very abbreviated version of the NASCAR serial number list sorted by VIN.  I have highlighted the known Corporate/Petty Blue cars in light blue to show their locations on the list.  This shows a couple of interesting things.  One, the petty blue cars often fall at the end of a run of VINs.  Also, they often fall in small groups.  It is as though they were made in batches.  Owners of these cars have confirmed that they went down the assembly line just like any other Superbird.  They were bare shells painted Corporate Blue - not painted cars repainted Corporate Blue later.

NOTE: THE ORANGE HIGHLIGHTED VONS/J NUMBERS ARE HYPOTHETICAL. 
0



Date
Date

VIN

Running
0VIN


Rec
Shipped
Run

TotalJ NumberData Source
0














1RM23V0A14978917-OctFri19-DecFri
Run 11
1

















51RM23V0A1498526-Nov
13-Nov







23RM23V0A1498615-NovWed11-Nov

Run 210
11

















334RM23R0A15577414-Nov
19-Nov







28RM23U0A1557855-Nov
13-Nov







69RM23U0A1557867-Nov
13-Nov







54RM23U0A1557876-Nov 11-Nov      ???99499
15RM23U0A1557884-Nov
17-Nov







11RM23U0A1557894-NovTue12-Nov







18RM23V0A1558014-Nov
12-Nov







25RM23V0A1558025-Nov
12-Nov







86RM23V0A1558037-Nov
14-Nov

Run 330
41

















120RM23R0A15857710-Nov
10-Nov







80RM23V0A1586207-Nov
13-Nov







70RM23V0A1586217-Nov
11-Nov







73RM23V0A1586227-Nov
11-Nov







137RM23V0A15862310-Nov 13-Nov      ???99500
92RM23V0A1586247-Nov
11-Nov







116RM23V0A15862510-Nov
11-Nov







127RM23V0A15862610-Nov
11-Nov







294RM23V0A15862713-Nov
14-Nov







500RM23V0A15862818-Nov 20-Nov      99501
?RM23?0A158629




Unknown Car  ???99502
386RM23U0A15863014-Nov
17-Nov



  ???99503
478RM23U0A15863117-Nov
20-Nov



  ???99504
512RM23U0A15863218-Nov 21-Nov      99505
420RM23U0A15863317-Nov 26-Nov      ???99506
473RM23U0A15863417-Nov 20-Nov      99507
989RM23U0A15863528-Nov
1-Dec



  ???99508
911RM23U0A15863626-Nov 28-Nov  Run 460 10199509
















?RM23U0A158744Joe Ward list
Known car

101

















280RM23U0A16063713-Nov
14-NovUnknown car








This is probably the missing 160687 below.      

                
85RM23U0A1606867-Nov
12-Nov







115RM23U0A16074610-Nov
11-Nov

Run 561
162

















170RM23U0A16155511-Nov
12-Nov







216RM23U0A16160512-Nov
13-Nov

Run 651
213

















245RM23R0A16227513-Nov
13-Nov







75RM23V0A1622767-Nov
12-Nov







373RM23R0A162285

20-Nov







372RM23R0A162286

26-Nov







119RM23V0A16228710-Nov 11-Nov      ???99510
100RM23V0A16228810-Nov
11-Nov







84RM23V0A1622897-Nov
12-Nov







388RM23V0A16238214-Nov
19-Nov

Run 7108
321

















725RM23U0A16341521-Nov
25-NovUnknown car

321

















426RM23U0A16344717-Nov
17-Nov







258RM23U0A16349813-Nov
13-Nov

Run 852
373

















112RM23U0A16459610-Nov
11-Nov







945RM23U0A16466526-Nov
28-Nov







859RM23U0A16466625-Nov
4-Dec







690RM23U0A16466721-Nov 24-Nov  Run 972 44599511
















381RM23U0A16535814-Nov
17-Nov







322RM23U0A16544114-NovFri14-Nov

Run 1084
529

















935RM23U0A16589926-Nov
28-NovUnknown car Almost
529









certainly 165399




417RM23V0A16614817-Nov
17-Nov







614RM23V0A16625220-Nov
20-Nov







599RM23V0A16625319-Nov
21-Nov







1054RM23U0A1662541-Dec 2-Dec  Run 11107 63699512
















?RM23U0A166407Joe Ward List
























?RM23U0A166711Joe Ward List
























659RM23U0A16702020-Nov
24-NovUnknown car

636

















503RM23U0A16703018-Nov
20-NovUnknown car

636

















497RM23V0A16704618-Nov
18-Nov







653RM23V0A16714620-Nov
21-Nov







1408RM23U0A1671478-Dec
9-Dec







447RM23V0A16714817-Nov 18-Nov  Not  999   ???

971RM23U0A16714928-Nov
1-Dec







1034RM23U0A1671501-Dec
2-Dec







838RM23U0A16716625-Nov
26-Nov







784RM23V0A16716724-Nov
26-Nov

Run 12122
758  

                
?RM23U0A167714Jim 
?RM23U0A167833Joe Ward List
1102RM23U0A1678582-Dec3-DecUnknown car758
480RM23V0A16788118-Nov18-Nov
693RM23V0A16796821-Nov21-Nov
1055RM23U0A1679691-Dec2-Dec
705RM23V0A16797021-Nov 26-Nov  Run 1390 848???
?RM23V0A167982Joe Ward List
669RM23V0A16870220-Nov21-Nov
1129RM23V0A1687722-Dec4-Dec
1044RM23U0A1687731-Dec2-Dec
906RM23U0A16877426-Nov28-Nov
771RM23V0A16877524-Nov 8-Dec      99524
835RM23U0A16877625-Nov 26-Nov  Run 1475 92199525
688RM23U0A16942821-Nov21-Nov
1907RM23U0A16949416-Dec18-Dec
603RM23V0A16949520-NovThu21-Nov
932RM23V0A16949626-Nov 28-Nov      99517
1105RM23U0A1694972-Dec3-Dec
715RM23V0A16949821-Nov26-NovRun 1571994???
751RM23U0A17016024-Nov24-Nov
1094RM23U0A1702352-Dec2-Dec
691RM23V0A17023621-Nov25-Nov
736RM23R0A17023721-Nov24-Nov
694RM23V0A17023821-Nov 24-Nov      ???
1291RM23V0A1702394-Dec 5-Dec  Run 1680 1074???
1079RM23U0A1708092-Dec2-Dec
834RM23V0A17089525-Nov26-NovRun 17871161
830RM23V0A17157325-Nov26-Nov
874RM23V0A17159325-Nov26-Nov
1658RM23V0A17159411-Dec12-Dec
923RM23V0A17159526-Nov 2-Dec      ???
877RM23V0A17159625-Nov28-Nov
1216RM23U0A1715973-Dec5-Dec
1238RM23U0A1716794-Dec4-Dec
1355RM23U0A1716805-Dec8-Dec
?RM23U0A171681Jim Bagshaw
?RM23?0A171682Almost Certainly car number 1256 
865RM23V0A17168325-Nov28-Nov1716?2 with smudged type.
1057RM23U0A1716841-Dec 2-Dec These duplicated vins could be 
1316RM23U0A1716845-Dec 5-Dec 2 legitimate cars - factory mistake?99530
812RM23V0A17168525-Nov25-NovRun 181131274
1414RM23R0A1725848-Dec9-Dec
951RM23V0A17259928-Nov28-Nov
1304RM23R0A1726005-Dec5-Dec
1435RM23R0A1726018-Dec 10-Dec      ???
968RM23V0A17260228-Nov28-Nov
1426RM23R0A1726038-Dec9-Dec
948RM23V0A17266026-Nov1-Dec
1887RM23V0A17266116-Dec17-DecRun 19781352
1259RM23U0A1737454-Dec4-Dec
1505RM23U0A1737909-Dec10-DecRun 20461398  

                
1295RM23U0A1745464-Dec5-Dec
1180RM23V0A1746253-Dec4-DecRun 21801478
?RM23U0A174675Joe Ward List
1763RM23U0A17513912-Dec15-DecUnknown car1478
1844RM23U0A17554515-Dec16-Dec
1838RM23U0A17569015-Dec18-Dec
1808RM23U0A17569115-Dec15-Dec
1551RM23U0A17569210-Dec 10-Dec      99518
1602RM23U0A17569310-Dec11-Dec
1537RM23U0A1756949-Dec11-DecRun 221501628
?RM23U0A176622Joe Ward List
1711RM23U0A17665612-Dec16-Dec
1493RM23U0A1766789-Dec15-Dec
1521RM23U0A1766799-Dec10-Dec
1769RM23U0A17668012-Dec15-Dec
1764RM23U0A17668112-Dec 16-Dec      99538
1743RM23U0A17668212-Dec 16-Dec  Run 2327 1655???
1848RM23U0A17671415-Dec16-DecUnknown car1655
1806RM23U0A17751015-Dec16-DecUnknown car1655
1916RM23U0A17756016-Dec18-Dec
?RM23?0A177599Unknown Car
1708RM23U0A17760012-Dec16-Dec
?RM23?0A177601Unknown Car
1328RM23R0A1776025-Dec11-Dec
1284RM23V0A1776034-Dec5-Dec
1242RM23V0A1776044-Dec4-Dec
1749RM23U0A17760512-Dec 16-Dec      ???
1361RM23V0A1776065-Dec9-Dec
1695RM23U0A17760712-DecFri15-Dec
1257RM23V0A1776084-Dec5-Dec
1770RM23U0A17760912-Dec15-Dec
1896RM23V0A17761016-Dec16-Dec
1409RM23V0A1776118-Dec8-Dec
1394RM23U0A1776128-Dec9-Dec
1241RM23V0A1776134-Dec4-DecRun 24541709
1479RM23V0A1780649-Dec9-Dec
1292RM23V0A1780654-Dec8-Dec
1468RM23V0A1780669-Dec9-Dec
1506RM23U0A1780679-Dec10-Dec
1431RM23V0A1780688-Dec8-Dec
1509RM23V0A1780699-Dec10-Dec
1462RM23V0A1780709-DecTue10-DecRun 2571716
?RM23U0A178532Joe Ward List
1861RM23U0A17859915-Dec16-DecUnknown car
1481RM23U0A1786209-Dec9-Dec
1480RM23U0A1786859-Dec10-DecRun 26661782
1670RM23U0A17885211-Dec15-DecUnknown car
1120RM23U0A1791862-Dec3-DecUnknown car
1534RM23R0A1796879-Dec 10-Dec      ???
1472RM23R0A1796889-Dec9-Dec
1541RM23R0A17968910-Dec10-Dec
1543RM23R0A17980010-Dec10-DecRun 271141896
1812RM23R0A18065115-Dec15-Dec
1659RM23V0A18065211-Dec12-Dec
1790RM23U0A18065315-Dec16-Dec
1741RM23U0A18065412-Dec16-Dec
1901RM23V0A18065516-Dec18-Dec
1628RM23V0A18065611-Dec11-DecRun 2861902
1886RM23V0A18125216-Dec17-Dec
1771RM23U0A18127412-Dec15-DecRun 29231925
823RM23V0A171562325-Nov17162326-Nov
Almost certainly missing number 171623Total1925    

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