It’s not every day that a man gets to strap himself into a 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona. RamblinAround had recently earned the perquisite of piloting America’s first land based fighter jet. He hit the streets and put this copper winged warrior to the test.
The Daytona achieves flight using its 375 horsepower and 480-lb ft of torque produced by her original 440 RB motor. She glides on a set of Magnum 500 chrome wheels wrapped in all American white letter tires. The pilot rips through the A833 gears using a console mounted shifter while an 8.75-inch rearend with 3.23 rear gears melt the rubbers. Though she is 45 years old, she does not look a day over 20 as her cooper paint still gleams in the sun.
When the Dodge Charger Daytona debuted in 1969 it was the first car to have more in common with a fighter jet than a standard musclecar. Designed inside of a wind tunnel, the engineers at Chrysler applied all of their aeronautical knowledge to improve the aerodynamics of the Charger, thus it earning the nickname aero-car. An 18 inch aerodynamic nose extension was added to improve air flow at high speeds, the rear glass was rounded slightly to improving ripping through the air, and a massive 23 inch wing was added for increased down force.
The Daytona’s improved aerodynamics combined with it’s 426 Hemi mill and the driving skill of NASCAR Champions Bobby Alison and Richard Petty proved so successful on the big oval speedways that the aero-cars were forever banned from NASCAR in 1971.
This copper Charger Daytona is owned by Gateway Classic Cars of O’Fallon, Illinois. The Charger Daytona is one of the most collectible classic musclecars of all time and past models have fetched well over $300,000 at auction. Who can remember when they used to pull the wings and nose cones off of cars just to try to sell them on the dealership lot?