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1969 Dodge HEMI Charger Daytona attending the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John Car Show

  • July 23, 2014

 

The Wellborn Musclecar Museum presents the most significant 1969 Hemi 4spd Dodge Daytona left known to exist.

The 1969 Daytona was a Chrysler Engineering marvel designed to better compete in NASCAR against Ford who held the top speed record of 189 mph. Dodge already having the dominant HEMI, decided that the aero group had the best change of taking the top speed and overall win crown in NASCAR. They proposed a rear "Y" airfoil to keep the car planted, the front nose cone balanced out the aero package, resulting in one the most stable race cars ever produced. The goal was a 5mph increase over the top lap speeds recorded at Daytona Motor Speedway. The result was the first NASCAR race car to eclipse the 200 mph barrier, set by Buddy Baker on March 24th, 1970 at 200.47 mph.

To homologate the Dodge Daytona for 1969 race season, they had to be built quickly, each '69 Dodge Charger hand converted by Creative Industries. Excitement over the car by the public was palpable. Dodge dealers had committed sales orders for over 1500 copies of the Dodge Charger Daytona. Of the 503 made, only 70 were HEMI Daytonas and of those only 20 were 4 speed, manual shift cars.

Currently, only 11 four-speed HEMI Daytonas are known to exist. The Wellborn Musclecar Museum is home to XX29J93412548, the ONLY ONE publically known to retain its original, numbers matching drivetrain. Documented by two broadcast sheets, this is a 6,000 original mile car and still retains all of her original interior and aside from the hood, she also has all of her original body panels. She spent most of her early life as an ISCA show car, note the "before" photo of the show car paint scheme before the car was restored back to stock original.

Just prior to restoration, the car was procured by Otis Chandler's Vintage Museum of Transportation and Wildlife. Mr. Chandler had the car sent to the legendary Corvette aficionado, Roger Gibson. Roger, well known for attention to OE detail and replicating assembly line process, returned this vehicle to stock appearance and specifications. This Daytona was the first serious attempt by a restorer to reproduce factory line finishes, giving birth to the OE concours movement within the Mopar world. Considering the performance driven design, hand built limited run, and the revolutionary impact Daytona had on racing, this 1969 Dodge Daytona HEMI is certainly an iconic car.

The car has also been featured in many hardbound books including "American Muscle, Muscle Cars from the Otis Chandler Collection" by Randy Leffingwell. The vehicle is currently part of the Wellborn Musclecar Museum Collection, owned by Tim and Pam Wellborn and featured in the hardcover book "The Art of the Musclecar" by David Newhardt. The Wellborn Musclecar Museum is devoted to the preservation of the American Muscle Car. Its mission is to educate the public about the Muscle Car Era as a defining period in American history, an indelibly etched component of an entire generation. The impact of this era reverberates as a significant shift in cultural values, combining youth-oriented mass appeal with personalized style and high performance, elements once only available to an older, more affluent crowd. Mr. Newhardt’s book includes a total of 22 cars currently cared for by the Wellborn Muscle Car Museum.

The Wellborn Muscle Car Museum is honored to have this car invited to participate in the 2014 Concours D'elegance of America

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