Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New Charger Daytona Looking For A Place To Run

2013 Dodge Charger Daytona
Dodge unveiled a new “Daytona” version of  its 2013 Charger at the Los Angeles Auto Show today, resurrecting memories of the famous winged Dodge Charger model from 1969.

Unfortunately, the 2013 version of the Daytona does not have a wing – barely a spoiler – nor is the "hemi" engine really a hemi.  Worse yet, it won’t be seeing any action on the high banks of Daytona or Talladega – or any other race track for that matter, a result of Chrysler’s decision not to compete in NASCAR next year.

1969 Dodge Charger Daytona
The original Daytona (and its corporate cousin, the Plymouth Superbird) featured a high wing on the rear deck and a pointed nose cone.  It was created by Chrysler in an attempt to make the Charger more competitive on NASCAR’s super speedways.  Only 503 were built, just enough to meet NASCAR’s minimum production requirements.  Only 2,500 of the new Daytona will be built next year.

The original Charger Daytona won its first race, ironically at Talladega, although an asterisk is necessary.  It was the first race run at the Alabama track and Richard Petty led a driver boycott over concerns about tire durability and safety.  Richard Brickhouse drove a Daytona prepared by Ray Nichels to victory, the first of many to record their first victory at Talladega.  It was also Brickhouse’s only Cup victory.

Ford countered with a drooped nose version of its Torino called, the Talladega  which won the following year at Daytona.  After just two seasons, however, NASCAR outlawed both cars.

Although there were subsequent Dodge Charger Daytona models (as recently as 2009) and even a model called simply the Dodge Daytona (a long way from the Charger), none featured the famous the wing and none came close to matching the cool factor of the original model.   

There is hope, however, that this Daytona could return to the high banks.  While Brad Keselowski will be driving a Ford next season, ther Dodge Charger Daytona may yet return to NASCAR’s victory lane.

"I surely hope so," said Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of Chrysler motorsports and Dodge’s Street and Racing Technology brand.  "We're not shutting the door on this, put it that way.  We'll let the history books tell us that someday."


  1. Wow, its a great blog,I Feel this is one of the most essential information for me. And i am very happy reading your blog.Thanks for sharing this post.

    Joney Franklein

  2. Except the way you put it "...Chrysler's decision not to compete in NASCAR next year...". Like it was their choice? I hope Penske finishes last next year.