No matter which car loses, we’re all still winners.
Chrysler’s winged warriors from the golden age of NASCAR are nothing if not visually striking. The aero advantage seem obvious compared to the standard Dodge Charger and Plymouth Road Runner on which they were based, never mind the Torino Talladega – Ford's NASCAR competitor that was actually quite aero for the day but still looked like a brick next to the sculpted Mopar twins. Of course, the radical exterior treatments weren’t just for show – the Dodge Charger Daytona was the first NASCAR to break 200 miles per hour (322 kilometres per hour). The Daytona and Superbird were so dominant on the racing circuit that NASCAR ended up rewriting the rules to outlaw them.
There’s no question the aero packages made a difference, but how much? The folks at Autofocus decided to find out, so they managed to track down a pair of 1969 Chargers and corralled them at a wind tunnel for some proper scientific testing. Aside from exploring the differences between the standard Charger and the winged Daytona, a brand new Charger Hellcat was thrown into the mix to see how new-school would fare against old-school.
Spoiler alert – the standard 1969 Dodge Charger has the aerodynamic proficiency of an office copy machine, but you probably already knew that. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s still one of the best-looking cars of all time.
We will leave the video to spell out all the details, but we need to give credit where credit is due. Back in the day the Dodge boys knew a thing or two about making copy machines go fast, and it wasn’t just because of the Hemi under the hood. But you still might surprised to see how modern street-car design stacks up to 50-year-old racing technology. It would seem these days that less certainly is more.