Cars have evolved considerably over the past fifty years; back in the 1970s, topping 200 MPH in a car was a huge accomplishment. Now, cars are starting to go beyond 300 MPH, but that won’t keep car enthusiasts from forgetting history. Buddy Baker’s 1969 Dodge Hemi Charger Daytona was the first car ever to top the 200 mph speed, and now the race car will make its way to Mecum Auction’s Indy 2022 event happening this month.
The Buddy Baker 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona
Legendary NASCAR crew chief Ray Everham currently owns the 1969 Dodge Hemi Charger Daytona. It played a critical role in motorsports history, and it’s precisely the kind of vehicle serious collectors would want to have sitting in their own garage. With serial number DC93, this Charger Daytona started its life as a press vehicle before it was converted into a race car so it could enter the 1969 Daytona 500. According to Robb Report, following the race, the car was transformed once again for use in aerodynamic testing but went right back to racing by the time the first Talladega 500 took place that same September.
The car started on the poll at the race after Charlie Glotzbach broke the world speed record for closed-course lap average at 199.446 MPH during qualifying. However, that record wouldn’t last long, as Baker was behind the car’s wheel on March 24, 1970. That day Baker and the car set an official lap speed of 200.447 MPH on the same race track. The car would go on to race for a few more years before retiring in the mid-1970s.
Under the hood of the Charger Daytona was a 426 cubic-inch Hemi EX-144 V8, equipped with a Holley Dominator carburetor and mated to a four-speed manual transmission that sent all the power to the rear axle. The heart of the vehicle had 575 ponies running under the hood. The car continues to wear the same blue and white racing livery with the no. 88 it donned when Baker broke 200 mph. Everham had the car fully restored to 1969 top speed spec after acquiring it from NASCAR historian Greg Kwiatkowski. The vehicle was authenticated by George M. Wallace in 2001. Baker’s Charger Daytona will cross the block on May 21. Selling without reserve, it’ll undoubtedly go for a hefty sum.