Recently, a ’69 Dodge Daytona—rusted under a layer of grime and time, but still in one piece— was a lucky barn find for a classic car dealer. Barn finds sometimes yield the best historic cars, and this is among the most rare.
The muscle car found in Glenwood, AL is considered a prized vehicle in classic car circles despite being rusted over and in poor shape. For car collectors, it’s equivalent to finding a Picasso in the attic or a letter from Abraham Lincoln in their grandfather’s papers.
What Makes This ’69 Dodge Daytona So Rare
The ’69 Dodge Daytona is one of 503 Daytona’s built that year. The Daytona’s parts are all original, and all the numbers match the records from the factory. It has a Mopar 440 Magnum V-8 mated to a three-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission, factory headrest-equipped bucket seats—a rare option for 1960s-era muscle cars, dash cluster with clock/tachometer, original R4 Charger Red paint and a white wing spoiler.
According to the car’s records, an Alabama judge originally purchased it and sold it in 1974 to an 18-year old future anesthesiologist for $1,800. It was that owner who painted custom flames on the front of the car to trick it out before a trip to spring break in Florida. The ’69 Dodge Daytona third owner, Charlie Lyons, runs a car restoration shop in Irvington, Alabama. Lyons will sell the car at auction where the two-owner car is valued between $150,000 and $180,000. Hagerty— an insurance company specializing in classic car insurance—says a Concours-worthy model can command $262,000. A perfectly restored Hemi-powered ’69 Dodge Daytona sold at auction in 2015 for $900,000 to actor David Spade.
The car has been sitting in a barn in Alabama for more than 40 years and the vehicle does not run in its present state. Experts say, whoever buys the sports car will need to spend a lot of money if they wish to restore it.
’69 Dodge Daytona’s Place In Racing History
What makes this car so rare and valuable is Dodge built only 503 ’69 Dodge Daytona’s to homologate the model for NASCAR racing. The Dodge Daytona, and its successor Plymouth Superbird, terrorized NASCAR tracks for 18 months.