1969 Dodge Charger Daytona vs. 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird

In 2007, these cars would have cost nearly twice as much, but they are still priced above five years ago. Hemi magic still outweighs Daytona’s rarity

It’s a long time since any Dodge Daytona or Plymouth Superbird raced on the high banks in NASCAR competition, but they routinely fly across auction blocks these days. There’s no question the 1969-only Daytonas, with 503 produced, are more desirable than the 1970-only Superbird (with 1,935 produced), but what if a 440-powered Daytona faced off against a 426 Hemi ‘Bird, at least in terms of current values? The 2009 Mecum Spring Classic Auction gave us that scenario. Here’s what the auction company catalog had to say about the two cars:

Lot S150: 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona

Chassis number: XX29L9B400581

Only 503 Daytonas were built, so every one is a rarity, especially this unrestored Bright Green Metallic 440 Magnum 4-speed.

Of the 503 Daytonas, 70 were powered by the 426-ci/425-hp Hemi and 433 outfitted with the 375-horsepower 440 Magnum V8. The car offered here is one of only 139 440/4-speed manual transmission cars. It is, more importantly, in exceptional original and unrestored condition throughout. It received a careful professional repaint in the late 1970s to remedy the substandard finish that was generally a feature of Creative Industries’ work in converting the Charger to Daytona specs. At the same time, the door jambs and trunk were left unchanged to preserve as much of the car’s originality as possible. The finish remains outstanding, with a wonderful patina.

The body of this 1969 Daytona has never seen damage of any kind. The trunk is undisturbed to the extent that the internal wing supports still hold the liner down, and both jacks remain in place. The car retains its entire factory-installed matching-numbers drivetrain; glass, trim, wheels, chrome and all other hardware are original. The deluxe bucket seat interior is showroom fresh and has remained completely unmolested throughout the car’s life, except for routine cleaning and detailing.

Accompanied by complete owner history and the original factory broadcast sheet, it is in need of nothing but a caring new steward.

Lot S180.1: 1970 Plymouth Superbird

Chassis number: RM23ROA170172

Plymouth acolytes bristled when Dodge introduced the winged Daytona in 1969, and with high-profile racers like Richard Petty signaling their desire for a similar weapon, Plymouth responded with the Superbird. Two 440 engines and the 426 Hemi were available. This Superbird is one of just 58 Hemi 4-speeds. Finished in Alpine White with a black vinyl roof and black interior, it has 16,342 actual miles and ranks as one of the finest restored Superbirds in existence.

Awards include OE Silver Certification at the 2002 Mopar Nationals, where it was also awarded the highly coveted “Big Daddy’s Choice” award by drag racing legend “Big Daddy” Don Garlits. In 2003, it was voted “Best Muscle Car” at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, signifying this car’s status as possibly the finest restored Plymouth Superbird in the world.

Colin Comer

Colin Comer - Editor at Large - %%page%%

Colin is the founder of Colin’s Classic Automobiles in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as well as SCM’s resident American car expert. His fascination with cars began at an early age, and according to him, he never grew out of it—nor does he wish to. Colin regularly appears on television, and he is the author of the books: “Million-Dollar Muscle Cars” and the “Complete Book of Shelby Automobiles.” A hands-on guy, Comer maintains an impressive collection of his own and is an avid vintage racer. He is a regular contributor to both Sports Car Market and American Car Collector magazines.

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