We are featuring some fast classics this week. The first car is really all about speed and aerodynamics. You’ll discover a fact about the Daytona that you may not know about. Our second classic provides some interesting facts as well.
1969 Dodge Charger Daytona
It’s argued that the 1969 Dodge Daytona and the 1970 Plymouth Superbird, are the most radical vehicles among the muscle car wars. The car title may suggest racing however the Daytona wasn’t designed for street races. This classic was built to win Nascar races on the fastest and longest tracks.
Engineers needed to increase the top speed so they took the Charger to the wind tunnel. Aerodynamic modifications to the Daytona included a rear wing measuring at a height of almost two feet a sloped nose cone and finally a flush rear window. These modifications created impressive results. This racing version of the Daytona became Nascar’s first in history to surpass 200 mph. After several wins from the Dodge in 1969 and a few from the 1970 Plymouth, the new Nascar rules banned the cars. So that’s when the production cars made their debut. Each car included a 440 big-block or the legendary 426 Hemi engine. These highly sought-after collector cars provide more than $150,000 at auctions.
There’s one interesting fact about this Dodge you may not know about. The aerodynamic modifications of the Daytona compared to those of a standard Charger lowered the coefficient of drag to 0.28. This is an excellent figure by today’s standards. Did that huge rear wing actually need to be two feet tall to achieve the most rear-end downforce? Honestly, no it didn’t. The reason for the extreme height was so that the trunklid on the production cars could pass underneath and completely open.
1970 Oldsmobile 442
How did this classic get its name? There’s actually a simple answer to this question. The 442 has a four-barrel carburetor, a four-speed manual, and lastly dual exhausts. This car, based on the Cutlass, was considered the muscle car from Oldsmobile. However the 442 wasn’t the only car on this platform. There’s two more muscle machines produced by GM, the Chevy Chevelle SS and the Pontiac GTO. Similar to the GTO, the Olds was only a trim level at the start. By the time 1970 came about, engines with a huge 455-cubic-inch big-block V-8 became available. So when these cars are equipped with the even more powerful W30 parts, you could expect this motor to have 360 hp with 500 lb-ft of torque. An Oldsmobile that could reach 60 mph in less than 6 seconds was considered extremely fast quick for the time and the type of car.
There’s always a special fact about a classic. James Garner, an actor, raced a 1970 Oldsmobile 442 in a race called the NORRA Mexico 1000. This modified version won second in its class. It was given the title of The Goodyear Grabber. It was built by legendary Vic Hickey, a Baja-race-vehicle guru, with sponsorship from Goodyear tires. Recently ths vehicle was restored and it’s for sale.