The accepted variety of 1969 Dodge Daytonas produced in whole is 503. Little question, the 1969 Daytona ranks excessive on the desirability scale. The only real cause for the automotive’s existence is because of NASCAR’s homologation course of in 1969. If it needed to race its automobiles, Chrysler needed to produce 500 road-going examples. In civilian trim, there have been solely two engines accessible: the 440 Magnum, rated at 375 horses, and the extra-cost 426 Hemi, which was rated at 425 horses. Each engines have been accessible with both a 727 Torqueflite computerized transmission or an A833 four-speed handbook gearbox.
As a result of these have been extraordinarily low-production automobiles with a single function, the ultimate meeting of the Daytona was contracted to Michigan-based Artistic Industries. Model-new 1969 Dodge Charger R/Ts have been loaded up and despatched to Artistic Industries to have the nostril, rear wing, and rear window plug put in. A fast splash of paint was utilized to mix the modifications into the automotive’s pre-existing colour. That’s the place this Dodge Daytona was born. It wore Darkish Inexperienced Poly paint, had a white inside with bucket seats, and a white rear stripe by the point it left the manufacturing unit.
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Its story begins at Artistic Industries, however this Daytona’s life from the time it was bought new till 1974 stays a thriller. Nevertheless, the individual we consider to be the second proprietor of this automotive sat down with us to share his story. He requested to not be named, so we’re going to honor that request and name him Proprietor Two. His story begins out as certainly one of want—as in, he wanted a automotive as a each day driver.
“I discovered the Daytona in a used automotive lot in New Jersey,” he explains. “I wanted a automotive for work, and it appeared totally different.” The Daytona’s attention-grabbing form caught his eye, and it was sufficient to persuade him to dig into his financial savings and purchase it. On the time, the automotive had simply over 37,000 miles on its odometer. It was additionally inexperienced. He actually hated that inexperienced. So earlier than it ever logged any miles in his arms, it was handled to a fast and soiled respray to metallic blue, which was impressed by a B5 Blue 1970 Dodge Charger that his brother owned. It wasn’t till he really began utilizing the Daytona as each day transportation that the sobering actuality of its impractical nature started to set in.
He remembers, “The automotive was very loud, and the engine was very troublesome to begin. That was an issue as a result of I didn’t wish to get caught at work.” The loud exhaust was a dealbreaker. A lot in order that he solely put a number of hundred miles on the Dodge, parked it in his storage, and acquired one other automotive to exchange it. The storage door was then pulled down, and that was it.
In 2003, Proprietor Two migrated from New Jersey to a city in central Pennsylvania, and within the course of, the automotive was transported to a newly constructed storage facility. In a carbon copy of years previous, the storage facility’s storage door rolled down and the automotive was as soon as once more forgotten. It wasn’t till 2019 that Proprietor Two determined it will be prudent to promote the previous Dodge. Google searches for the potential worth have been eye-opening and proved an actual motivator to no less than get the automotive operating. His aim was to promote the Daytona at public sale, so he employed a store to undergo the automotive.
It was at that time that Ronnie Belletieri got here into the image. His good friend owned the storage facility, and Proprietor Two was the power’s first buyer means again in 2003. For a few years, Ronnie heard concerning the thriller automotive that was tucked away in one of many storage models. He instructed his buddy that if it was the proper automotive, then he could be occupied with shopping for it. At the start of 2019, Ronnie discovered that the automotive was a Charger Daytona and that it was lastly being moved out of storage. At that time, he requested his good friend to contact Proprietor Two about shopping for it. Numbers have been tossed round, they usually ended up with a greenback quantity that glad each people. For Ronnie, his greatest concern was that the store the automotive had been taken to would do one thing silly with it.
Ronnie remembers, “I instructed Proprietor Two that it’s important to name that man up, whoever has your automotive, and it’s important to inform him he can not begin it up or get it operating. If it’s all unique, I would like it as is.”
Whereas all this was happening, Ronnie began on the lookout for somebody to higher inform him concerning the worth of the Daytona and the way a lot it will value to revive. A trustworthy viewer of Graveyard Carz, Ronnie usually heard Instrument Specialties being talked about on the present. But it surely wasn’t till he began doing a little Google searches that he discovered Mike Mancini and his different enterprise, American Muscle Automotive Restorations. The pink Daytona restored by his crew was on the quilt of the June 2018 concern of HOT ROD. That sealed the take care of Ronnie, and he determined to revive the automotive.
Ronnie’s worry that the store would disrupt the originality of the automotive was unwarranted, and the automotive was quickly taken again to the storage facility. At that time, Ronnie was already the proprietor of the Daytona, and he ended up assembly Mike for the primary time on the 2019 Chrysler Carlisle Nationals present to debate the restoration of the automotive, in addition to its transportation again to Rhode Island. After the Daytona was parked at Mike’s store, an evaluation was made. He notes: “It’s a legit automotive. It’s amazingly clear. It doesn’t seem to be there may be any rust on it wherever. We put it on the elevate, and it’s bone dry. It’s as clear because it could possibly be. It’s unmolested, aside from that dismal repaint.”
The primary unveiling of the automotive—after a long time in storage—was on the 2019 Muscle Automotive and Corvette Nationals (MCACN) present in its unrestored state. We’re fairly sure that Mike will take the wraps off of the restored Daytona at an upcoming MCACN present as soon as the automotive’s prepared for its huge debut.
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