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1973 dodge charger daytona



Daytona Beach, Fla., has been one of the world’s abundant centers of acceleration for added than a century. Continued afore the Daytona International Speedway opened in 1959, racers from about the planet would appear to the hard-packed bank of Daytona Beach to acquisition out how fast their accouterment could go. NASCAR is, however, the acumen Daytona looms so ample today in automotive culture. Drivers like Junior Johnson, Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson, Jeff Gordon and, of course, Dale Earnhardt becoming their cachet as best greats forth the 2.5-miles of Daytona’s tri-oval. But they didn’t do it alone: they collection abundant machines too. Abundant audible machines, not the around identical “Car of Tomorrow” clones that will accomplish up the acreage for this Sunday’s 51st active of the Daytona 500. Here’s a attending aback at ten of the greatest banal cars anytime to accept casting their adumbration beyond that acclaimed pavement.



1973 dodge charger daytona
 1973 Dodge Charger “Daytona” on eBay | Mopar Blog

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Chrysler’s august active cars alone raced competitively for about a division and a bisected in NASCAR. But their abolitionist appearance, burning on-track success, and arduous adventurousness produced an constant and constant image.



The botheration Dodge and Plymouth faced during the 1969 NASCAR division was that the bodywork of their accepted assembly cars were obstinately the adverse of aerodynamic. They all had edgeless advanced grilles and some had acutely tunneled rear windows that bankrupt up the air as it confused off the roof. In fact, aerodynamically speaking, the affliction of all the cars Mopar was architecture at the time was the Dodge Charger–the actual car whose sales would best acceptable account from some NASCAR success.

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Dodge aboriginal approved to apple-pie up the Charger by creating the Charger 500. It was a cautiously smoothed adaptation of the aforementioned car but with a collapsed adenoids and a rear window confused alike with the roofline. But the Charger 500 was alone a bisected footfall advanced and not decidedly successful. So amid through ’69, Dodge took the Charger 500, added a long, sharklike adenoids and buried a 23-in.-high addition on its tail. The aftereffect was the Charger Daytona, a car that cut through the air with beauteous affluence and remained abiding alike at 200 mph. In fact, during testing at Talladega on March 24, 1970, Buddy Baker became the aboriginal disciplinarian to about-face a lap at added than 200 mph in the 426 Hemi-powered No. 88 Daytona.

The Charger Daytona won its aboriginal hunt (the countdown Talladega 500 in 1969) and was the primary ride for Bobby Isaac during his acknowledged run for the 1970 Championship. Architecture on that success, in 1970 Chrysler activated the Daytona blueprint to the Plymouth Road Runner to actualize the 1970 Superbird. And the Superbird won its aboriginal hunt too–the 1970 Daytona 500 with Pete Hamilton active the No. 40 Petty Enterprises car.

However, as blood-tingling as the Charger Daytona and Superbird were on the racetrack, they were bald specks on the sales charts–homologation specials few bodies capital to alive with every day. So NASCAR finer banned the active wonders activity into the 1971 division by akin their agent admeasurement and added homologation requirements so that no architect would anytime be so adventuresome again.

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When Richard Petty looked at what Plymouth (his adept benefactor) was alms as hunt fodder for 1969, and afresh looked over at the babbler Ford Torino Talladega, King Richard autonomous put dejected acrylic and the cardinal 43 on a Ford for the year.

With NASCAR active at Talladega Superspeedway for the aboriginal time in 1969, Ford accomplished aerodynamics would be added important than ever. So they diffuse the Torino fastback’s nose, buried a alike grille in it, and installed the adulate rear bonanza beneath the grille. They alleged it, appropriately, Talladega. And in adjustment to accumulate Mercury in the bold they activated the aforementioned analysis to the Cyclone fastback to actualize the Cyclone Spoiler II.

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While the glace brace were congenital in atomic numbers to homologate them for racing, they all had the 428 Cobra Jet engine–an agent Ford never advised for racing. Instead, Ford congenital a bound cardinal of Boss 429 Mustangs to homologate that accessible anchorage agent for NASCAR competition. Go figure.

With a able annoy strategy, the abundant LeeRoy Yarbrough won the 1969 Daytona 500 in a Torino Talladega able by Junior Johnson. David Pearson meanwhile would booty 11 wins and the 1969 division championship active Holman-Moody Talladegas. Richard Petty won addition 10 contest in Fords and accomplished additional in the championship.

The Torino Talladegas and Cyclone Spoiler IIs are the cars that fabricated the Dodge Charger Daytona and Plymouth Superbird necessary.

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(Photograph by RacingOne/Getty Images)

By the mid-Seventies the Detroit manufacturers had cooled in their activity for NASCAR–the country seemed to be added anxious with ammunition abridgement than aerial performance. But then, aback no one was looking, Chevrolet alien the Laguna Type-S3 adaptation of its midsize Chevelle and began assertive the arch series.

The Type-S3 was alien amid through the 1975 archetypal year and acclaimed by its angled shovelnose. The appearance was abracadabra for aggregation buyer Junior Johnson and disciplinarian Cale Yarborough. Together they won nine contest during the 1976 division and took the championship. Afresh they started 1977 by demography the Daytona 500 and activity on to win eight added times. Throw in six wins for Darrell Waltrip in his agnate DiGard Chevrolets and NASCAR acquainted article had to be done.

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So for the 1978 division the S3 was deadened out of antagonism with akin agent regulations. And NASCAR accustomed the Chevrolet small-block V8 to be acclimated beneath any GM anatomy shell–Buick, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Pontiac or alike (theoretically) Cadillac. And that was that for the S3.

If anytime there was a car shaped to go fast it was Ford’s 1987 Thunderbird. From the point of its glossy bill to the hardly animated block lid, the ’87 T-Bird was shaped like a absolute projectile–three-quarters ammo and one-quarter B-1B wing. Alike added than two decades later, Bill Elliott’s T-Bird is still the fastest NASCAR banal car anytime to lap Daytona, and the fastest anytime to lap any track.

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Bill Elliott and his family’s Coors-sponsored Fords were already accustomed as one of the abundant superteams of the ’80s by the time the ’87 Bird showed up. During the 1985 season, active the hardly beneath aerodynamic ’83 to ’86 Thunderbird, Elliott won an absurd 11 contest and took home a million-dollar benefit for acceptable three of the “Big Four” (the Daytona 500, Winston 500, World 600 and Southern 500) races.

The ’87 Thunderbird was a clarification of the ’83 architecture and acutely modeled with low annoyance and accelerated adherence in mind. Elliott took the pole for the ’87 Daytona 500 at an absurd 210.364 mph and afresh went on to win the race, averaging a almanac 176.263 mph–both annal still angle today. Then, as he was condoning for the Winston 500 at Talladega, Elliott topped alike his Daytona achievement by condoning at 212.809 mph. With the advancing of restrictor-plate antagonism afterwards Bobby Allison’s blast that year, this almanac too is absurd anytime to be broken.

And so, for the accountable future, the ’87 Thunderbird will be the fastest banal car of all time.

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(Photograph by RacingOne/Getty Images)

Ford’s ’83 to ’86 Thunderbird presented a appropriate claiming for NASCAR. It was acutely added aerodynamic than any car in General Motors’ race-eligible stable. Sure, NASCAR had acceptable Chevrolet attack the slope-nose Monte Carlo SS starting with the 1983 season, but that car’s chopped-off “formal” roofline meant that air agitated off afore it could achieve on the decklid and aftermath stabilizing downforce. If the Monte Carlo was activity to be absolutely aggressive with the T-Bird, it would charge a new tail.

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That appendage came in the anatomy of the 1986 Monte Carlo SS Aerodeck. Essentially annihilation added than a Monte Carlo SS with a big allotment of angled bottle tacked on over the trunk, it assuredly provided aerodynamic stablility to the Ford. And the disciplinarian who put it to best use was Dale Earnhardt.

1973 dodge charger daytona
 Deadly Curves: 1973 Dodge Charger "Daytona"

Earnhardt’s Richard-Childress-prepared, Wrangler-sponsored, yellow-and-blue No. 3 Aerodeck was the car to exhausted activity into the 1986 Daytona 500. He didn’t booty the pole, but he had won both the Busch Clash all-star hunt and one of the two 125-mile condoning contest in his Monte Carlo. He seemed to be able to drive it anywhere on the clue with impunity. But the Daytona bug bit Earnhardt that year aback he ran out of ammunition while arch with three laps to go.

But 1986 was contrarily a abundant year for Earnhardt as he won bristles times, accomplished in the top bristles 23 times and won his additional Winston Cup title. In 1987 he pushed the Aerodeck to 11 wins and his third title. And aback he showed up for the 1988 season, his Monte Carlo Aerodeck assuredly wore the blush it was meant to wear: black.

If for no added reason, the Monte Carlo SS Aerodeck is abundant for actuality the car in which Dale Earnhardt caked his legend.

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If anytime Chevrolet affected Ford, it did so with the 1995 Monte Carlo. Attending carefully at the ’95 Monte assembly car. It may accept had front- instead of rear-wheel drive and a V6 instead of a V8, but the basal anatomy appearance is about a absolute carbon of the 1987 Ford Thunderbird. And the 1987 Thunderbird may accept been as abutting to a absolute appearance for NASCAR antagonism as anytime devised.

Shaped for speed, the ’95 Monte Carlo NASCAR racer started acceptable the moment it hit the track–Sterling Marlin won his additional beeline Daytona 500 in 1995 abaft the caster of a Monte Carlo. But it was the adolescent Jeff Gordon who fabricated this Monte Carlo his own.

Gordon exhausted Dale Earnhardt (also in a new Monte Carlo) for the 1995 Winston Cup championship in a titanic action that came bottomward to the actual aftermost race. Afresh he won championships in Monte Carlo afresh during 1997 and 1998. In abounding fans’ minds the rainbow-colored 1995 to 1999 Monte Carlo will consistently be the ultimate Jeff Gordon hunt car.

Still, the best memorable win for this bearing Monte Carlo wasn’t a Gordon victory. While he had been the best acknowledged disciplinarian in Daytona history, Dale Earnhardt never won the Daytona 500 until he collection a Monte Carlo to an affecting achievement in 1998.

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(Photo by Bob Peterson//Time Activity Pictures/Getty Images)

Say the chat “Hemi” today and anybody knows you’re talking about Chrysler’s signature V8. But the name would accept no resonance–no activity nor legend–if not for what Richard Petty did with the old 426 Hemi during the 1966 and 1967 NASCAR Grand National seasons.

The fable started with the 1966 Daytona 500 aback Petty accepted that the cutting ability of the Hemi powerplant was abundant for him to affected assiduous annoy problems and win the hunt (his second). He won seven added times that division to booty third in the season-long chase.

Petty didn’t win the 1967 Daytona 500 (Mario Andretti did), but there wasn’t abundant abroad he lost. During a arduous 49-race season, Petty would alpha 48 contest and win a beauteous 27 of them. And on top of that he accomplished in the top ten a jaw-dropping 40 times. It was the best ascendant season-long achievement in the history of NASCAR and one of the abundant achievements in the history of motorsports.

1973 dodge charger daytona
 1973 Dodge Charger “Daytona” on eBay | Mopar Blog

Petty and his 1966 and 1967 Belvederes fabricated NASCAR absurd to ignore.

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Back in 1955, NASCAR banal cars were still around duplicate from accurate banal assembly vehicles. Sure, there was some abecedarian assurance accessories aboard and hunt numbers on the doors, but the hunt cars themselves generally still had authorization plates and absolute headlights. And adjoin added absolute assembly cars, the actual aboriginal Chrysler 300 was absolutely dominant.

Unsupported by Chrysler, Mercury Outboard architect Carl Kiekhaefer fielded a agile of white Chrysler 300s during the 1955 NASCAR Grand National season. And their success started with the fourth hunt of the season: 39 laps of the beach-and-road advance in Daytona Beach. Tim Flock won that hunt for Kiekhaefer and would go on to win the division championship by demography 18 of the 38 contest he entered.

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Immaculately prepared, admirable to attending at, and blithely driven, Kiekhaefer’s Chryslers set the accepted for professionalism in NASCAR. They were the cars that aboriginal showed what big alliance stock-car antagonism could be.

In the aboriginal canicule of NASCAR there was no such affair as a star. Well, at atomic there wasn’t until the Fabulous Hudson Hornet showed up.

Marshall Teague was article of a amateur active his “Fabulous Hudson Hornet” in AAA, absolute wildcat, and NASCAR races. With its low-slung chassis, almost ablaze weight and accomplished handling, the Hudson could affected the limitations of its primitive, flathead six-cylinder agent and win races. And in 1951 Teague accepted it could by calmly acceptable the 39-lap hunt beyond the aggregate sand-and-road advance in Daytona Beach.

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But Teague wasn’t the array of guy to hunt championships (or accept patiently to NASCAR’s Bill France Sr.). So in the average of the 1951 season, Herb Thomas switched to a Hudson Hornet–also alleged the “Fabulous Hudson Hornet”–and went on to win seven times and booty the NASCAR Grand National division title.

After that Tim Flock took the 1952 appellation in yet addition (albeit un-Fabulous) Hudson. Afresh Herb Thomas came aback to win the appellation afresh in 1953 and to win 12 contest in 1954 (though accident the championship to Lee Petty).

By 1955 the Hudson Hornet was actively outdated. But the Fabulous Hudson Hornet was the aboriginal cast name in stock-car racing.

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Richard Petty may accept becoming his fable active dejected Plymouths in the ’60s, but the car he collection the longest in antagonism was absolutely the 1971 to 1974 Dodge Charger. Starting in 1972 and active through the 1977 antagonism year, Petty’s blue-and-red STP Charger was an constant allotment of NASCAR. Not alone did he booty two of his seven Daytona 500 victories (1973 and 1974) in the third-generation Charger, but additionally accomplished additional to David Pearson in the 1976 hunt afterwards a aftermost lap blast had them both spinning at the abject of the tri-oval.

If that’s not enough, Petty additionally took three of his seven Winston Cup championships active the Charger–1972, 1974 and 1975.

1973 dodge charger daytona
 Clone Racer: 1973 Dodge Charger

The Charger became so important to Petty that NASCAR took the aberrant footfall of extending the car’s accommodation a year (through the 1977 hunt season) so as not to lose its greatest star. No fan, afterwards all, capital to see Petty drive annihilation except a Chrysler product.

But finally, the alarm ran out alike for this Charger. Petty fabricated a adventurous accomplishment to accomplish the 1978 Dodge Magnum competitive, but that beefy barbarian was hopeless. By the average of the 1978 hunt season, Petty was active GM articles and he would abide to do so until he retired in 1992.

1973 dodge charger daytona – 1973 dodge charger daytona
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 1973 Dodge Charger “Daytona” on eBay | Mopar Blog

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 1973 Dodge Charger Daytona - news, reviews, msrp, ratings with ...