The year is 1969, the topic is NASCAR, the companies involved are Dodge, Plymouth, Ford, and Chevrolet. To give a bit of a backstory, in the late 1960’s NASCAR was huge and the manufactures were all biting at the bit to have the fastest car on the track. It was a great marketing plan of win on Sunday sell on Monday. But there was one problem, only 1 team can win, and that means everyone else loses. In terms of win, Chevy and Ford were crushing the competition, and Dodge was in desperate need for a winning car. This is where things got interesting, and it may have involved a rocket scientist! In order to win, the higher-ups at Chrysler said to do whatever it took to win, and this took some rocket scientists and crazy ideas.
The Dodge Daytona
In order to win, Dodge had to come up with some crazy aerodynamics along with a big motor. To build the Dodge Daytona, Dodge took the extremely popular Charger and added the infamous nose cone and wing. The wing was designed by the advice John Pointer, who was part of Chrysler’s missile division. According to Pointer, the wing had to be so large to avoid the turbulent air coming off the roof of the car. Another fun design aspect of the car was the front fender. Each fender had reverse facing scoops to release air pressure built up under the front end, which in turn kept the car planted on the ground.
When it comes to power, the Daytona came with a few engine options based on the market or purpose of the car. What we mean by the purpose is the official rules of NASCAR. According to NASCAR, for a car to qualify to be a race car, the manufacture would have to produce a certain number for consumer purchase. From the dealer, you could walk in and get a Daytona with a 426 Hemi or a 440 Hemi. If you wanted to go crazy and have a legit race car, the Dodge Daytona came with a 440 6 Barrel Hemi. With the 6 Barrel 440, the Daytona could reach up to 203 mph and kicked butt at NASCAR.
In 1970, Plymouth wanted to hop on the bandwagon and adapted the Daytona under the Plymouth nameplate. With a few variations of the 1969 Dodge Daytona, the 1970 Plymouth Superbird crawled out of the nest a took flight for the first time. One of the modification that was made was a redesigned front nose cone. This did reduce the top speed by a few miles an hour, but as per request of Chrysler, it did improve the appearance of the car.
Now, unfortunately, the good people of NASCAR decided to change the ruling of engine sizes which in turn prevented the Superbird/Daytona from entering the 1971 NASCAR Year. Over the last decade, the price of these have skyrocketed and if you ever get the chance to see on, take in the raw power of the vehicle. In today’s market, Dodge is still with the same mindset of raw power with their Hellcat, Demon, and Trackhawk line! The best part of the of these cars, is you can still buy them, with exception of the Demon, at Quirk Auto Dealers.