Remember this car guys from Page 33?
Wanna know the story behind it?
Here it is from the guy who "made" it!!!
Hi, I just wanted to let you know the story behind the white 1970 "Daytona" on page 33 of your website. That particular car was mine from 1974 until 1983 when I sold it. I still have the original Auto Trader showing the car whaen I was selling it. The car was originally a 1970 Charger 500 with a 383 CID four barrel and automatic that was Medium Burnt Orange metallic with the burnt orange interior. During the years I had it, I converted it into what you see in the pictures on your website. One look at the VIN and it will verify what I am saying. I can probably dig up the full VIN if need be, but I can guarantee it will decode as a Premium 1970 Charger with a 383 HP.
First off the nose cone is off an original Daytona that had been burnt. I found the nose cone, front valance and "Z" brackets in an old garage in Treherne Manitoba in the late 1970's. I modified the front valance to fit the original 1970 fenders, the idea being I could always change the car back if I didn't modify the fenders. Remember, this was the late 70's so what may be cosnidered sacrilege now was commonplace then. You can verify this in the pictures because the original 1970 marker lights are in place on the fenders as opposed to the original Daytona ones which were located in the valance. The valance is also moulded into the fenders courtesy of some trimming of the valance and filled with body filler.
The original "Z:" brackets were cut and bolted back together so as to fit onto the original radiator support bolts. Again, the parts being added were modified to fit the car rather than the other way around since I wanted the option to change back if I ever wanted to. The other tell tale item would be the hood release. I made an electrical release mechanism for the car rather than a standard cable type release. Also the head light doors were converted from the original vacuum pot operating mecahnism to an electric setup powered by two headlight door motors from a 1970 Charger and operated with a spring loaded toggle switch. I had to use a manual type switch because the shut-off mechanism in the motors would not work with the headlight setup from the Daytona.
The travel between the buckets on the Daytona nose and the doors on a 70 Charger is different (less) so if you hooked it up to the original headlight switch, the door motor would never shut off. The rear wing is a home made unit made out of 1/8" steel plate formed and welded together in the stabilizer shape. The upper section is non-adjustable, unlike an original. This can be seen in the picture as the uprights are clearly folded over and joined to the horizontal stabilizer with no adjustment bolts in sight. When I first tried this wing at highway speeds, the wind almost tore it off the quarter panels as it was just bolted to those same quarters with no bracing whatsoever.
The bolts were welded to the bottom of 1/2" strapping welded to the bottom edge of the lower staqbilizer uprights. Very soon after the first test drive I added another plate on the inside of the trunk that was cut to fit the quarter panel directly beneath the upright and was drilled to be held by the same two mounting holes. To this plate I welded a chunk of pipe that went down to the trunk floor and another smaller plate that in turn was bolted to the trunk floor. All this bracing fixed the unsteadiness and I was very surprised how similar Chrysler had solved the same problem. All the bracing I did was done before I ever saw a "real" Daytona. Lastly, I never liked the rear window plug of an original Daytona or '69 Charger 500 so I never attempted to change the tunnel window of the '70 and I didn't even know about the wind deflectors on the "A" pillars until after I sold the car, so it doesn't have those either. The rear quarters were both replaced at the same time as the conversion and the car was painted Corvette Classic White with the red stripe.
The Daytona markings in that red stripe was painted on by a sign painter after the car was done at the body shop. The donor Charger that gave up the four speed and pistol grip shifter also gave up a number of interior parts to convert the interior to black from the original burnt orange. Some of those donor pieces were not in great shape so things like the front door panels and headliner were "dyed" black instead of replaced. Before the conversion to the Daytona the engine was changed to a 440 Six Pac, Dana 60 differential and the four speed and pistol grip were added.
The Six Pac setup and Dana were removed just prior to selling the car and replaced with a four barrel carb setup and the original 8 3/4 diff was reinstalled. I sold the car to a guy from Carberry Manitoba in the summer of 1983 and here is where there is a little bit of truth to your website story. The parents of the fellow who bought it owned the town newspaper press. A good friend of mine is a Daytona nut and he knows that the car is still in Carberry and he has even talked to the owner. Word was that it was said to be an original but when my friend talked to the owner last, he readily admitted that it was not. Believe me, if you see the car in person, it is apparent fairly quickly that it is not original.
I've included one picture I had scanned of the car when I just got it back from the body shop. The picture quality is poor but you can see some of the early things I mentioned such as the burnt orange interior, the Daytona marking not yet painted in, and the front marker light location. I just thought I would help you clear up some misconceptions. I have no doubt in my mind that this is my old car. I was the second owner and it was my "baby" as my first real car. Over the years I had it I did many modifications and caught a heck of a lot of flack when I converted it to the Daytona, but I always liked the winged cars
The only real claim to fame this car has is that it was probably one of the first Daytona clones ever built. There are a number of other things I could tell you that would identify it as mine, but I think this is likely enough. Thanks for reading and keep up the great work with the website.
P.S. I'm currently restoring a 1970 Charger 500 right now. This one is Plum Crazy with a black interior. The itch just never stops!!!
Wow Rick that is a great story!!! Thanks for taking the time and sending it in!
BTW do you know what became of the original Daytona that gave up its nose and wing?
As for the original car, that's another story.Around 1976 or so, I was talking to a fellow worker and since I had the Charger at the time, he mentioned he knew of a wrecked Daytona out near his hometown of Treherne Manitoba. The owner of the Daytona had purposely set fire to the car to try and collect insurance but he was caught and the car was left to rot out near that town. Somewhere along the line somebody removed the nosecone and it was sitting in a coal bin in an old service station in Treherne. This is where I found it and bought it for the grand total of $75.00. It was banged up a bit and the last coat of paint on it was a metal flake red if I remember correctly.
While I was out picking up the nosecone we made numerous enquiries of the whereabouts of the original car because I was interested in the purchasing the fender scoops and the wing if it was still available. No luck finding the rest of the car so I had to make my own wing. Shortly after I finished the car I was traveling on the Perimeter highway that encircles Winnipeg and going in the opposite direction was Panther Pink 1970 Charger with an original Daytona wing!!! I wasn't able to chase him down and I never did see that car again. At the same time I sold the car in '83 I also sold my 426 Hemi I had been collecting parts for a number of years but was recently married and I had lost interest in most things car related.
Flash forward to 1991 and I make a drastic career change from Motor Vehicle mechanic to computer service tech and by 1998 I was ready to get involved with cars again. I joined the local club, the Manitoba Mopar Association and started making new friends with old time Mopar owners. One of the fellows in the club distinctly remembers going to a house in south Winnipeg and looking at a Hemi engine for sale in the early 80's. Guess who's engine that was??? But the neatest thing was talking to Brian G another MMA member and Charger fanatic. We got talking one day and he mentioned he had an original Daytona Charger wing that he was planning to use to make his own clone. (A project in the works right now) and although it was painted another color now, in places where the paint had come off, it was Panther Pink!!!
The story was that this wing was on a Charger in the late 70's ( quite likely the one I saw that day ) and the guy had got the wing from an original Daytona that had been burnt. What a small world. Brian told me he had heard the story of the burnt Daytona numerous times and had almost written it off as just an "urban legend" but when I told him my story about the nosecone and showed him pictures, he decided to make one last attempt to find the car. Brian has family out near Treherne so he spent a bit of time researching and finally found some good solid leads that lead him to a person somewhere in the area who knew the car. He told Brian it had sat somewhere on his property for many years and just a few years previous to Brian showing up, what was left of the car was finally towed to Winnipeg and met it's final demise at the car shredder. The fellow that owns the car now is the third owner. The original owner was from the Lynn Lake area of northern Manitoba and he had traded the car in on a GMC 1/2 ton at a local truck dealership called Stern Trucks. This is where I found and bought the car in 1974 for $1500 when I was just out of college and starting my mechanic career. Evidence of the cars life in Lynn lake can be found by looking at the gas tank and the frame rails on the car.
Lynn Lake at that time (and even today I believe) has very few paved roads and the gravel pounded the hell out of the frame and gas tank. As a matter of fact, when I bought the car there was a piece of carpet in between the gas tank and the tank straps to keep the gravel from punching a hole in the tank. Another thing in the pictures that can be seen are the Challenger Rallye mirrors I installed. It originally came with just the standard B Body drivers side remote mirror. One last note to the story.
When Brian told me about your website, I forwarded the link to several of our club members. One of them, Mike A replied back that he was standing beside the guy who took the pictures in the early 80's in Carberry that appear on you website. He says the guy who took the pictures was a guy by the name of Robin M. Is this possibly the same Robin that sent you the pictures originally? I've attached a number of pictures of the car before and after the conversion, including another scan of the first one I sent.
It is kinda cool to "set the record straight" and see my old wheels on the 'net. I had heard
through some of the club members that the current owner had been telling people that it was an original car, but another club member and winged car nut, Pat K actually stopped in Carberry a couple years back to check out the car. Pat had talked to me and knew the background on the car but he was in the area and wanted to have a look. It was winter so he didn't actually see the car but he did talk to the owner who told Pat that it was NOT original. When I sold it too him ikn '83 I made it very clear that it was not an original car and gave him all the details. When it was in the Auto-Trader I had numerous calls from all over the country looking to buy it but once I told them it was not an original, they were not interested.
I'm really starting to ramble here so I'll sign off. Looking forward to seeing the pics and story on your website.
Thanks again Rick!!! Great story!