Mopar guys and Nascar lovers will likely be having palpitations right now — the Dodge Charger Daytona has that sort of affect.
It came at a time when Chrysler had all but given up the ghost on taking any fanfare in the biggest motoring event in the US because the original Charger was a bit of a flop when it came to racing. Sure, it sold to the public like you wouldn’t believe but it hadn’t left a mark where it mattered most. So, in 1969 Chrysler and Dodge, tired of finishing behind the Ford Torinos and Mercury Cyclones, decided it was high time to pull out all the stops and got to work on the second-gen Charger 500 — and the odd looking Daytona was the result. With a massive 23in wing and aerodynamic nose, the Daytona’s slippery new body with a drag coefficient of 0.28 allowed it to dominate the oval track in the late Sixties. But it couldn’t have done so without the high performance 426 cubic inch Hemi. It won its debut race in September 1969 at Talladega and also became the first stock car to break the 200mph (321kph) barrier.
It absolutely slayed the competition and was too successful on the track; Nascar changed the rule book and as a result, the Daytona was banned from the sport!
In April that year Dodge offered the Daytona for the street as an option package. Just 503 units were built (they were homologated by the factory) and some of the standard equipment included heavy-duty suspension and brakes, a Torqueflite three-speed automatic (a four-speed manual was optional) and the base engine was 440 cubic inch Magnum V8 which made 375bhp. Enthusiasts ticked the optional 426 Hemi option (it made 425bhp) and the cars went down in muscle car history as some of the wildest creations to ever come out of Detroit.
Today, they are true collector’s pieces and if you come across one with a Hemi then you can expect to pay up to Dh700,000 for it. It’d be worth every fil...