Mysterious 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona Spent Decades in Storage, Gets Second Chance

Introduced in 1969 as a homologation car for the NASCAR series, the Dodge Charger Daytona is arguably the most radical muscle car of the golden era (alongside its Plymouth Superbird counterpart). But it's also one of the rarest because Dodge built only 503 units.
1969 Dodge Charger Daytona barn find 7 photos
Photo: Auto Archaeology/YouTube
1969 Dodge Charger Daytona barn find1969 Dodge Charger Daytona barn find1969 Dodge Charger Daytona barn find1969 Dodge Charger Daytona barn find1969 Dodge Charger Daytona barn find1969 Dodge Charger Daytona barn find
Come 2022 and some of these "winged warriors" are still around in restored or survivor forms but many of them are still hidden in storage or simply missing. Some of them may never get a second chance, but a Daytona that spent decades in hiding was rescued and it's about to become road-worthy again.

Documented by barn-find hunter "Auto Archaeology," this orange Daytona had a rough life. Its history is a bit unclear, but the car was modified in its early years, when it gained a front spoiler lip, white stripes, and reversed scoops on each side of the hood.

Unfortunately, the car was also retired in storage pretty early and it ended up spending a few decades off the road. Our host mentions two decades at some point in the video, but the Daytona has also moved around a lot and no one really knows how much time it spent in barns and garages. Based on the way it looks, I'd say this Daytona wasn't driven since the 1980s.

But don't let its crusty appearance upset you. The Daytona has been rescued since this footage was shot and it's already on its way to becoming a road-worthy classic. The current owner doesn't want to restore it though. While the 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) V8 will be rebuilt, the shell will remain as is, so this Daytona will continue to parade a weathered look. Which is kinda cool.

The footage also shows a second Daytona in the same garage, but it's ruined beyond restoration. That's because it caught fire many years ago and someone decided to turn its front section into a fire pit. Apparently, the owner still has most of the parts, but this Daytona would cost a fortune to restore. Perhaps even more than its market value as a Concours-ready classic, which is anywhere between $400,000 and $1 million depending on specifications.

You'll also see a third, blue-painted Daytona in the video below, but that's not a genuine "winged warrior." The nose cone and the wing are authentic Daytona parts, but they've been attached to a regular Dodge Charger.

As the host says, this is a two-and-a-half 1969 Dodge Daytona barn find, which is a rare opportunity. Check them all out in the video below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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