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Anniversary: Charger breaking the 200 mph barrier

by David Zatz on

Forty-five years ago today, a Dodge Charger Daytona, reportedly created from a recovered stolen car, broke the 200 mph barrier at a NASCAR track, after running within a half of a mile per hour of that speed during qualifying runs some time earlier.

#88 Dodge Charger Daytona

In 2006, Curtis Redgap covered the full story of the racing debut of the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona for Allpar, including details on its successful run at the NASCAR track record. The car was incredibly fast when it could stretch its legs, running laps of 199.5 mph when qualifying at Talladega.

The Charger Daytona, which used aerodynamic enhancements to the Dodge Charger, ran at NASCAR for two years, and was also sold to the general public, which could see a top speed of 160-180 mph when Hemi-powered and in perfect tune. It was accompanied at the track and on dealership lots after one year by the Plymouth Superbird, which had more playful graphics.  Neither sold well to the general public, which found the appearance off-putting, and some dealers reportedly converted them back into more normal-looking Chargers to get them off their hands. “Wing cars” now fetch six figures and are an attraction at car shows.

The real #88 Buddy Baker car

The original car was recently discovered, with a different number on it, rusting away in a yard. Allpar has the story on its recovery and restoration, as well.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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