MOPAR and NASCAR
Dodge and Plymouth had always had a keen interest in racing and NASCAR was no exception. By the later part of the 1960's aerodynamics were becoming a part of the technology. When Dodge introduced thier newly restyled Charger for 1968 they had high hopes its swoopy body would give them a advantage on the superspeedways of the south. In realty the car was aerodynamicly "dirty" with its recessed grill and tunneled in backlight. The engineers decided to clean it up a bit by bringing the grill flush with the front end and adding a "plug" to the twin sail panels creating a true fastback. Instead of retooling the entire car line, they built the minimum number of cars with these modifications. The special Charger was called the Charger 500 and was offered to the public in limited numbers. Actually only approx. 400 were actually built. That was enough for NASCAR and the new Charger was cleared for competiton. Ford and Mercury were also major players in NASCAR at the time and they did not sit idly by. Soon they had thier own aero cars, the Talledega and Cyclone Spoiler2. The engineers at Chrysler went back to the drawing board and decided to pull out ALL the stops. The result was the Dodge Daytona of 1969. With its pointed nose and 3 foot tall wing it really stood out! The reasoning for the nose cone extension is obvious. The reason for the tall wing? So you could open the trunk lid! The tall stancions did wind up helping the car though...it was thought they added straight line stability at over 200 mph on the high banks of Talledega Motor Speedway.
Plymouth was not left out and in 1970 they too had a aero warrior, the Superbird. Where as the Daytona was based on the Charger, the Superbird was based on the Road Runner.click thumbnails to view full size
Here is a 1970 Plymouth Superbird in "Sub-Lime".
Here's another Superbird in B-5 blue. All Superbirds left the factory with vinyl roofs to save on body finishing costs. A "plug" was added to the rear window area to smooth up the airflow around this area.