There have been no less than three separate vehicles that Dodge had badged as the”Charger Daytona”. The Charger Daytona for 1969 is a direct result of the Charger 500’s inability to compete, particularly on tracks of more than one mile in length or the “superspeedways”. The Daytona two-door coupe is on the same Chrysler “B” platform as its predecessor the 500 and introduced to the marketplace on April 15, 1969. In a few very short time the company received more than a thousand orders for the new higher-priced Charger variation. This vehicle sports a 23-inch (460 mm) sheet metal nose piece is one of two radical modifications that are very prominent. This nose cone hides the traditional upright grille configuration and adds 1,200 pounds of down-force to the front end.. The second big change, added to assist with airflow, is the exceptionally tall rear wing that bolts through the fenders to the sub-frame. This wing surprised the engineers by increasing the Daytona’s directional stability as well as adding the expected 600 pounds of down-force. These changes are the most easily recognized, but other changes as well were made that improve the car’s aerodynamics and increased its performance.
Shortly after the car’s unveiling to the public, a Daytona with the 440 Magnum engine V8, mounted with a four-barrel carburetor, produced a top speed of 205 mph (330 km/h) at Chrysler’s proving ground in Michigan.
The Dodge stylists were not happy, though, with the looks and wanted to make some changes right from the start, but purpose wins out over panache, so both the nose piece and wing stayed. The car sports reverse scoops on the front fender, which left many fans wondering why, and they learned it was for tire clearance, but the spoilers also helped reduce drag by 3 percent.
© Toynutz | Dreamstime.com 1969 Dodge Daytona 1969
The standard ’69 Daytona is equipped with a 440-cubic-inch Magnum engine and bolted to the three-speed A727 Torqueflite automatic transmission. There are 3.23 gears contained in the 8¾-inch Chrysler 489 case differential.
An optional engine choice for ’69 was the 426-cubic-inch Hemi for an additional 5 percent of the base price. The Hemi also came with the three-speed automatic, but the four-speed manual was a no-cost option, if you preferred. There were only 70 factory-produced Hemi engines assembled for the Daytona in ’69 with a total of 503 units made; the balance had the 440.
© Swtrekker | Dreamstime.com Winged Daytona Charger, Woodward Dream Cruise
The 426 Hemi engine developed 620 bhp (462 kW; 629 PS) and 622 lbs.-ft. (820 N-m) of torque at 6000 rpm and, equipped with the four-speed standard, had a top speed of 204.6 mph (330 km/h). This car can do 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds or 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds
The 440-cubic-inch (7.2L) RB series V8 engine mounted with a Carter four-barrel developed 375hp (279.5 kW: 380 PS) and 480 lbs.-ft. (651 Nm) of torque at 3200 rpm. Bolted to the four-speed standard transmission, it has a top speed of 142 mph (228 km/h). It can do a standing quarter mile in 14.4 seconds and 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 6.4 seconds.
The Daytona’s demise came with the introduction of the Superbird, although in 1970, both raced but only for one season at NASCAR. A new ruling limited the engine size of winged racers to 305-cubic-inch engines. The best the car could do with a 305 was a seventh-place finish, which spelled the end for this type of vehicle on the racing circuits. The last Daytona finished its track career at the end of the ’71 race season.