1969 Dodge HEMI Daytona flies into 2012 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN)

The Wellborn Musclecar Museum is sponsoring the 2012 Aero Warriors display as this year's Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals, November 17th and 18th, 2012 in Rosemont, IL.  The Museum will host the "Aero Lounge" at the center of the display.  This will be an oasis of leather couches and padded carpeting in the sea of over 550 cars on display for the two day event.  The Aero Lounge will be flanked on either side by significant winged cars from the prime of the Aerocar Era of NASCAR.   Most significant will be the only 1969 Hemi 4spd Daytona left known to exist still equipped with its original motor.

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.

To homologate the Dodge Daytona for 1969 race season, they had to be build 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 that retains it's 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 IHRA 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 restored by the legendary Roger Gibson to stock specifications.   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, owned by Tim and Pam Wellborn and featured in the hardcover book "The Art of the Musclecar" by David Newhardt.  Tim will be available during the MCACN show to autograph copies of this book which includes a total of 22 cars in the museum collection.

Considering the performance driven design, hand built limited run, and the revolutionary impact Daytona had on racing, it is certainly an iconic car.  Given that only 20 HEMI 4 speeds were ever made and this is the only one that remains with its original engine, it is most certainly rare.  And of course, also retaining her original interior and body panels, makes her a highly original example.  These are the reasons that this car has been the centerpiece for other significant collections like Otis Chandler's and Tim and Pam Wellborn.  So, make plans to join the Wellborn Musclecar Museum at the 2012 MCACN show, the relax amongst this and many other iconic Aero Warriors.

BlogPatrick KrookComment