The modern Daytona that Dodge never built

Produced for a short time in 1969, the Dodge Charger Daytona was a radical, aerodynamic version of the iconic muscle car developed specifically for NASCAR racing. Because competition rules required a run of road-legal cars to be produced for homologation, the Charger Daytona made it on public roads to become one of the most valuable cars of the golden muscle car era. The Daytona made five comebacks to the market, the most recent one in 2020, but none of the modern renditions were as radical as the original car. But someone decided to fix that by creating an aerodynamic Daytona model using the Dodge Challenger as a base. And you can buy it online via Barrett-Jackson.

It’s a cool tribute to the original car

Odd Car for Sale: 2013 Dodge Challenger Custom "Daytona" Coupe
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Just like the original Daytona, this one-off car is basically a standard Challenger with modified front and rear fascia. Up front, there a cone-shaped nose covering the Challenger’s original fascia, complete with pop-up headlamps and a much thinner grille. The hood seems to be identical to the standard model. The front overhang is now longer than before, but this shape should improve aerodynamics.

In the rear we can notice two major changes. We obviously can’t ignore the massive wing, which raises way above the maximum roof height of the Challenger. This wing is actually much taller than the original Charger Daytona, which makes the car seem a bit weird overall. The rear bumper was also modified to include a larger diffuser with three vertical fins on each side of the license place recess. The wing is finished in red and the color trickles into the rear fenders, like on the original Charger Daytona, complete with "Daytona" lettering.

Odd Car for Sale: 2013 Dodge Challenger Custom "Daytona" Coupe
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I have no idea whether this aero package is actually effective, but I have to admit it’s a solid tribute to the iconic Charger Daytona.

The Challenger Custom is fitted with the familiar 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine available in the regular coupe, rated at 372 horsepower.

Being an older Challenger, it mates to a five-speed automatic instead of the current eight-speed gearbox.

1969 Dodge Charger Daytona specifications
Engine: 7.2-liter V-8
Power: 375 horsepower
Torque: 480 pound-feet
0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
Top speed: 150+ mph
Units built: less than 3,000

It’s been sold once in 2019

Odd Car for Sale: 2013 Dodge Challenger Custom "Daytona" Coupe
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This isn’t the first time this Daytona-inspired Challenger is going under the hammer. The unique car was auctioned off in November 2019 through GAA Classic Cars Auction as part of the 46-car George Shinn Collection. It was sold for $42,500, which is around $7,500 more than a 2020-model-year Challenger R/T model.

The Dodge Charger Daytona returned five times

2013 Dodge Charger Daytona High Resolution Exterior
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The short-lived Daytona nameplate made five comebacks, but none of the revivals were as radical as the original car.

The name returned for the first time in 1975, when the Charger had become a rebadged Chrysler Cordoba. The Daytona package added a two-tone stripe look and heavier duty torsion bar and suspension. The car wasn’t popular and many of them were junked due to rust issues.

The Daytona name was retired in 1997 and didn’t make a comeback until 2006, when Dodge had already revived the Charger as a four-door sedan instead of a coupe. Again, the Daytona was simply an appearance package with a mild 10-horsepower update to the engine. Production lasted until 2009 with some 15,000 units sold.

2017 Dodge Charger Daytona High Resolution Exterior
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Another Daytona run was built in 2013 in a limited series of 3,000 units. Equipped with the 5.7-liter V-8, it was available in a range of unique colors, Daytona livery, and a Nappa leather interior.

The next Daytona arrived in 2017, this time around available with either the 5.7-liter or the 6.4-liter V-8.

The latter was called the Daytona 392 and included upgrades from the Super Track Pack. Dodge built 3,631 cars.

The most recent Daytona model was launched for the 2020 model and unlike its predecessors it features a more powerful engine borrowed from the Charger Hellcat. The supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 cranks out 717 horsepower, making it the most powerful Daytona to date. Like its forerunners, it doesn’t feature an aerodynamic package. Production is limited to only 501 units.

Source: Barrett Jackson

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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