Muscle car is a 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona and these cars are the stuff of many many legends and stories. It’s kind of interesting today you see one and the novelty is kind of the big wing and the nose cone, but the story is that stuff is all business I mean this is done for a very specific purpose these were not just gimmicky things that the Dodge division put on this car to sell cars or to have a flash image. I mean now this thing has been featured in you know fast and furious movies, but back then the whole reason for this was to go faster.
The look of the Daytona is all business, it’s all done for a reason. Basically throughout the 60s everything about NASCAR was getting bigger. The crowds are getting bigger, popularity of the sport cup bigger, cars got faster and even, the tracks got longer they invented the super speedway which is a NASCAR track that’s over my long. On the shorter tracks the slick aerodynamic Dodge Charger 500 was doing very well. That car had a 426 Hemi maxed out for NASCAR performance so they added a few aerodynamic tricks like a flush rear window and I cleaned up nose and on the short tracks that was one of the cars to be. However it wasn’t enough room to make a successful car on the super speedways and that’s where the Daytona project came from. They named it Daytona after one of the super speedways and they realized they couldn’t do anymore to the engine. Legally, so they looked at other ways to clean up the aerodynamics on a charger to make it competitive. What they came up with was what you see here it’s a very unique package. It starts at the tip of the nose, with a nose cone that added length to the front of the car and smooth out that leading edge they hit the headlights there’s an air dam underneath that nose cone, that smooth’s out the bottom of the car, the fenders are unique with little bubbles that provide a couple things tire clearance and a way to get heat output the brakes. But of course the biggest thing physically and for performance was the big giant where wing.
There’s a lot of tall tales about the height of the Daytona swing it’s an adjustable wing it’s got fasteners on the end and you can change the pitch, which is what they did a NASCAR to change the downforce on the back. Chrysler engineers knew that by reaching higher above the car. They would get into what they call the clean air. Clean air is air that isn’t disturbed by the shape of a car. So they can reach up there to get air they would help push back the car down. And the big debate is about the height of the wing. And the engineers knew that you know between 20-25 inches over the rear duckweed they be in the right area that they wanted. However to make the thing functional it still had to clear the deck later. So both of those stories are true, that yes they had to make it high enough to get into the air that they wanted and it had to be high enough to clear the deck lid when you open the trunk. So that settles all the arguments your.
This car feels nice and kind of broken inside, the odometer showing fifty thousand four hundred and forty eight miles the seats feel like a comfortable pair of shoes, although this was kind of like sitting in a whole a lot of headroom but this is a big car so they had a lot of headroom. The dashboard is something you’d expect from a super speedway cruiser, hundred and fifty mile an hour speedometer, fuel gauge temp gauge, oil pressure and alter our gauges all lined up ready to keep you informed it also has an 8,000 rpm tachometer and o’clock in the middle of the tax. So, it’s a nice display, one thing that I noticed is that you know whoever put 50,000 miles on this car. Knew it pretty well because you cannot see the front of that nose cone you have no idea how long this car is. And the visibility in the back really isn’t that great either this rear window is you know a little restrictive. You’re not going to hit anything with the wing but you got to be careful in parking lots, next time you drive a Daytona.
And these cars really did get along with that nose cone I mean this thing’s over two hundred and twenty six and a half inches long so you’ve got to be careful. You could get your Dodge Daytona built a couple different ways, this one has the 440 single four barrel, 375 horsepower engine under the hood, most of them came with that package there were 294 these built with the 440 and the automatic transmission, they made 70 of them that had the 426 Hemi. Most people think that if it’s got a wing it’s a heavy car it’s not really the case. There was five hundred and three of these things built total, but the vast majority were 440 automatics. That 440 is interestingly kind of a lower compression it’s about 10 to 1 which wasn’t as radical as some of the other things you get in 1969. But, it made for a nice driving car in the street 375 horsepower 4600 RPM 480 foot-pounds of torque at 3200 RPM. It’s got a torque flight automatic transmission – sure grip rear differential the gear ratios range from 323 as the factory stock option up to 4-10 if you want to order some special, dual exhaust. And the rest of the Daytona package, included basically everything the charger 500 had, so that meant heavier-duty front portion buyers, front sway bar, heavy-duty breaks, heavy duty springs, rear heavy duty springs and shocks. 14 by 6 inch wheels, this one’s got the magnum wheels on it and 14 inch tires this one has red stripe tires on it. So it all looks the way it did when it was brand new. But one note is that these are not charged or five hundreds that had the nose and wing put on. These started off as regular chargers and had the 500 suspension put on them and then convert it to Daytona with the nose and the rear wing they. Were all about going fast 150 mile an hour speedometer could easily be buried by that 444 barrel and the 426 Hemi cars were pushing me but faster. They said that the street versions with the right Road you could probably hit a hundred and sixteen hundred seventy miles an hour.
The big question is did it work and the answer is absolutely. This car had a drag coefficient of point 28 and there’s a fine balance because of that wing was too high it became an aerodynamic drag. So they found the sweet spot and that point 28 drag coefficient, to put that in relative terms. Most of the cars that you buy, you know the late nineties even the two thousand even today. Don’t have that low of a drag coefficient and without that wing and nose cone and spoilers this thing was a brick. So it really paid off in fact buddy baker in nineteen seventy was able to drive one of these things that masks are a super speedway over 200 miles an hour. He set the speed record the first car to go over 200 miles an hour. And that record held true all the way into the eighties.
So it was definitely worth it and help Chrysler and the Dodge boys reclaim a lot of the victories on the super speedways and Richard Petty, famously drove the Plymouth version to victory after victory so it really paid off. The bummer is that NASCAR change the rules and outlawed all the stuff so by 1971 it was all done. But that’s why it’s super cool whenever you see a Daytona in person take some time and look at it because everything here was done for a reason. But worked on the speedway didn’t necessarily always work on the street that nose cone blocked off a big part of the radiator at low speeds these things are famous for overheating. So for the people that want to drive around as an everyday car their experience wasn’t that great at low speeds and idling in traffic. And there’s another kind of interesting irony in NASCAR throughout 1969-70 the Ford Torino Talladega one at Daytona and the Dodge Charger Daytona one at Talladega.