1969 Dodge Charger 500
Most muscle cars fans know the Charger lineup well, including the wild Charger Daytona from 1969. But, the Daytona’s predecessor, the Charger 500, was far less known and not so successful. In the late 60s, Dodge was desperate to race in NASCAR and the Charger was the perfect candidate. However, since NASCAR cars approached high speeds of almost 200 mph on newly-constructed superspeedway tracks, aerodynamics played a key role in a car’s performance and results.
With its deep grille and concave rear glass, the standard Charger wasn’t aerodynamic. So, despite the powerful engines and skilled drivers, it just couldn’t achieve the speeds required for winning. Dodge decided to introduce a limited edition Charger 500, which they named the 500 because they made that many of them. It came with a flushed grille, fixed headlights and regular rear glass to improve the aerodynamics of the car.
The 500 was better but not as good, so Dodge decided to go further and present the Daytona. The Charger 500 came with two engines, a standard 440 and an optional 426 Hemi. Since the Daytona was much more successful and interesting, everyone soon forgot about the Charger 500, except for those hardcore Mopar muscle fans.