Is it possible for a car to be super weird, but super awesome at the same time? Usually not, but in the curious case of the Dodge Daytona and Plymouth Superbird, we had exactly that.
The Daytona came first as Dodge was getting pretty tired of losing to Ford in NASCAR. Originally, they modified a Charger to be able to withstand high-speed racing, but it wasn’t enough. Ford kept winning, so they decided to step up their game and introduce a new Charger with a pointed front end and a massive rear wing. The car was called the Charger Daytona, and it kicked butt.
The Daytona debuted at Talladega in 1969 and completely shocked Ford and Chevy. The car won the race with ease, and also took home victories in 7 of the last 10 races of the season. For the following year, Plymouth came out with their version of a winged, pointy noise car called the Superbird. It was driven by none of than Richard Petty, and aside from some small cosmetic differences in the front end and the rear wing, the car the looked pretty much the same.
The 1970 season was all Daytona and Superbird as they combined for 33 wins out of 48 races. Unfortunately, NASCAR officials didn’t think a car designed with this much aerodynamic advantage was fair, and the next year they limited “Aero” cars to only 300 cubic inches. This killed both cars overnight and it was the end of a winged era in early NASCAR. Both cars had to be sold to the public per NASCAR rules, so any survivors are extremely collectable and valuable. A prestine 1969 Daytona sold at an auction in Florida for $900,000.
For even more on these two oddballs, watch this video by Donut Media.