Winged Wonders - Dodge Charger Daytona and Plymouth Super Bird
by Dave Weber, images by Doug Breithaupt



In 1969 Chrysler Corp also known as Mopar introduced a modified mid-sized bodied race car to run on the Nascar tracks. These nearly identical in appearance cars were produced by the Dodge and Plymouth Divisions. The Dodge Charger Daytona and sister car, the Plymouth Super Bird were innovative in style. Nascar entries were competing for racing supremacy and aerodynamics were emphasized. Thus the Mopar "Winged Wonders" were introduced. The cars only lasted for 2 years and were discontinued after the 1970 model run.

The regular production models of the Dodge Charger and Plymouth Road Runner were modified with an elongated fibreglass nose piece that covered the existing grille opening and a roof high spoiler was installed on the trunk lid. This gave the appearance of an airplane wing. Please consider the era in which these were introduced. Fins were discontinued long ago and most cars were squarish in style. The result was a very streamlined car which was very unusual in appearance.

This styling effort was successful . In 1969 a Super bird operated by Bobby Issac did win the coveted Daytona race . It was powered by the large "Hemi" engine. In order to run on the track back then , Nascar required that a nominal amount of similar street cars be produced. Thus about 1,000 Charger Daytonas were produced and it can be assumed that an equal number of Road Runner/ Super Birds were also available. The most famous driver of this car on the track is the now retired Richard Petty who ran his # 43 on the Nascar circuit during that era.

Occasionally even today, one or more of these cars will appear at car shows in some parts of the country . This is remarkable since almost 35 years have passed since these cars were produced.

Doug Breithaupt and I have attempted to identify the models of these cars that have been issued in 1/64 scale. Some more may exist, but I believe most if not all have been included in the following summary. For uniformity, I have listed the toy/ model manufacturer in alphabetical order under each of the full size marques.


1969 Dodge Charger Daytona - Kidco

1969 Dodge Charger Daytona - Ertl
1969 Dodge Charger Daytona - Hot Wheels

1969 Dodge Charger Daytona - Racing Champions

DODGE CHARGER DAYTONA

ERTL produced a very detailed model in their "American Muscle" series in about 2000 . This model is a "street" version and has a hinged rear trunk lid . When opened , a spare tire is visible. This series is no longer available but models may still available from private dealers.

HOT WHEELS introduced a First Edition model in 1996 . It is assigned model #14908. It has no special features.

JOHNNY LIGHTNING produced their model # 079 in 1998 as part of the Stock Car Legends series.

KIDCO/ UNIVERSAL introduced their "Tough Wheels" model in the late 80s. It has a 1982 copyright date on the baseplate. The logo states " Hemi 440".

RACING CHAMPIONS issued their model race car in the early to mid 90s. It has a 1992 copyright on the baseplate.

PLYMOUTH SUPER BIRD

HOT WHEELS issued a model of the # 43 Petty race car in 1998. This was a Limited Edition in the "Petty Generation Collectibles" 3 Pack.

JOHNNY LIGHTNING first issued model # 201 in the Muscle Cars USA Series in 1995 . It is identified as a 1970 model and is a street model. A second casting # 080 was issued in 1998 as a # 40 Petty stock car. This was part of the Stock Car Legends series.

PLAYING MANTIS issued a set of "Speed Rebels" in 1997. These models replicated the first set of "Muscle Cars USA" but were a slight bit smaller in size and were priced to sell for a dollar each. The Plymouth Super Bird from this set is listed separately because Johnny Lightning was never identified with this product.

RACING CHAMPIONS has issued both "street" and race car models. The street model was produced in 1996 as model # 54 in the Mint Edition Series. It was also issued in the 1996 set 3 in the same series It features a side view mirror on the drivers side and has a hinged engine hood. The race car version carries a # 40 logo for driver Pete Hamilton who was a companion driver to R Petty . As I recall some of these models available in the early 90s, were also issued in limited availability with the modified logo on the rear fenders that read "Southern Plymouth ". Value at the time of issue was almost double that of the regular model. I have no idea what the limited edition cars are selling for at the present.

This concludes my summary of the "Winged Wonders" . Additions and corrections are invited.


1970 Plymouth Super Bird - Racing Champions

1970 Plymouth Super Bird - Hot Wheels

1970 Plymouth Super Bird - Johnny Lightning

1970 Plymouth Super Bird - Johnny Lightning

1970 Plymouth Super Bird - Racing Champions