Every muscle car fan has their favorite car and brand that they stand behind. There are a few cars however that transpire any sort of appreciation for a particular marque, as they are just too damn cool to dislike. The 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona and the other “Aero-Cars” of the time period rank among those. While examples of the NASCAR legend have fetched as much as $900,000 in recent years, you now have a chance to own your own modern Charger Daytona for a much more reasonable price.
The 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona is about as special as American muscle cars get. Built as a homologation special for the NASCAR season that same year, the Charger Daytona used a tremendous aerodynamics package and the monstrous 426 Hemi V8 to great success. The Charger Daytona captured a number of race and pole records between 1969-1970, and it would become the first car in the sport to crack the 200 mph barrier all the way back on March 24, 1970. However, only 505 of these big-wing wearing muscle cars were produced that year, cementing their position as near unobtanium.
But that is where the aftermarket comes into play. Up for auction with the folks at Barrett Jackson, this interpretation of a modern Charger Daytona is a rather slick looking recreation. Because the Dodge Charger is a full-size sedan in today’s world, a 2013 Challenger serves as the underpinnings of the build. Up front there is a Daytona-style nose cone complete with pop-up headlights, and a SRT Hellcat hood from a current Challenger. The massive rear wing is hard to miss, complimented nicely by the added rear diffuser. The complete treatment does a good job of harkening back to the old car while bringing that style into the modern era.
Under the hood sits the familiar 5.7L HEMI V8 that powered the Challenger from the factory, producing 372 horsepower while mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Not quite as potent as the old school 7.0-liter, but that is easily fixed with today’s aftermarket.
The fact that someone can take a modern Dodge Challenger and use it to pay homage to one of its ancestors says a lot about Dodge. They have nailed the concept of a modern muscle car by just building a muscle car true to the name. This Charger Daytona recreation is a budget-friendly way to get a taste of one of the most special cars to ever come from Mopar.