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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nov 27: Dodge Daytona - what's in a name?

Just announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show, a new Dodge Charger Daytona. As always this car is in your face - bright colour, big wheels and Daytona graphics.....

A few other changes add sport seats, tighter suspension, 3.06 axle ratio and a dash plaque (that alone has to be worth a ton!). There will only be 2500 made and it is a $2995 option on the Hemi equipped Charger R/T.

So where did this Daytona name come from and why is its heritage with Dodge so strong? For the answer we go way back to the late '60's. Dodge's new for 1968 Charger looked so very aerodynamic, but on the NASCAR superspeedways it was a dud. Seems no one took into account the gaping front end, that stopped the air rather than cut thru it. Also, that great looking recessed back window was terrible on those big speedways.

What to do? Here was their first effort, the 1969 Charger 500.......

The front grille was made flush with the front of the car and that neat tunnel back window was also made flush. The results? Ok, but still not enough to stop Dodge from getting whipped. Again what to do?

Winning was very, very important, so pulling out all the stops to do so was the way to go. Behold Dodge's ultimate weapon, the Daytona......

Dodge finally got it right with this rather bizarre creation. Added to the 500 was this very aero front end and that skyhigh rear spoiler. Just high enough that the small trunk lid could be opened and not hit the top of that adjustable spoiler. The result was unbeatable on the big NASCAR tracks. But there is one caveat here, Dodge could only race what it sold in the showrooms, so this is how the street Daytona came to be.....

Only a few hundred had to be sold to legalize it for NASCAR, so that is what happened. The Daytona only came with the biggest motors, a 440 or a Hemi. Wild in the streets! A screaming success at today's collector car auctions, it languished in the 1970 showrooms and for years afterwards it was dismissed like an errant child. But time heals all and these days the Daytona is cherished as a very valuable collector car.

So back to the new Charger Daytona option  -  an attempt to cash in on the heritage of the Daytona name with a very in your face Charger. Will it sell? Sure and much faster than the original. On the track? Now that Dodge is out of racing, this is not an issue, but street cred is all important.

Long live the Daytona!

Until next time........

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