Friday, September 2, 2011

A Daytona in a Farm

I got a tip from a nice gentleman in Wisconsin, he mentioned that there was a fairly rare and desirable Muscle Car not far from a town I know. So after running a Dodge SRT (www.drivesrt.com) event in Rockford, I headed north for the night. The next morning I followed the directions down winding roads to a farm in the middle of nowhere.  Where the mythical car was rumored to be.  From the road you would never have known what was hiding there.

One of the Sons heard me pull up to the gate and came and asked if he could help me with something. I told him who I was and why I was there. He said he would ask his father if it was alright to let me in and allow me to see the car. A few tense moments passed and thankfully the father said yes, and the gates to a Mopar legend opened. 

And there, sitting in the corner of the yard was what I was there for... one of those magical barn finds...  the ones dreams are made of... a real 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona.

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I talked to the owner of the car for about an hour.  A very nice older gentleman. He is the original owner. Funny story, his wife was in Madison and saw this car for sale at the Dodge dealer up there. Called her husband at work and asked him to come see it. They ended trading in their 1968 GMC Pickup Truck on it because, as he said, “It wasn't one of their... finest vehicles...” So for the next 4 years they drove the Daytona everywhere.

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Unfortunately one day after getting a full tank of gas in town, the family came home, then swapped cars and went out to dinner. This was roughly late 1974. They got back, and the next day try to go drive the Daytona and the thing shudders, there was a terrible noise and the car quit running. After tearing apart half the engine and taking the gas tank out, they discovered someone had drained all the gas out of the car and replaced it with water. Hydrolocking the engine.

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The only major damage they found after dis-assembly was that some of the push rods were bent. But instead of fixing it during the gas crunch and with winter around the corner, they filled the engine with heavy duty oil, drained the entire cooling system and topped off the transmission. That's it.

And ever since, they move the Daytona where ever the family goes.  It was in a garage for a few years, but they needed room in the garage.... for stuff, so they moved it back outside. And so it sits outside, uncovered until the day they are able to restore it, they say.

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So I parted company with my new friends, told them to stay in touch and keep me up to date on the car. If they ever needed anything, just to let me know. I would help to the best of my ability.

There were some other finds of the day, but I will share those in another blog.

Ryan Brutt
HemiPwr70@aol.com

3 comments:

Patricia said...

do they have any plans to get it running again its a shame to she this happen to a mopar legend

Anonymous said...

Wonder if they know that they could buy a whole fleet of new cars with the value of this one?

the econobiker

Anonymous said...

Some of the cars were going for a million dollies at one point. This one would of fetched 100k min of it was cared for.

 
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