Dodge Charger Daytona
Most people are familiar with the classic Dodge Chargers of the late '60s and early '70s — after all, them goshdarn Duke boys drove one. The Dodge Charger Daytona, however, was a whole different species from the classic car your parents and grandparents tinkered on in their driveway.
The Dodge Charger Daytona had a huge wing on its rear end and a massive nose piece that made it more aerodynamic. Dodge developed it specifically to compete — and win — in NASCAR races. That's exactly what the Dodge Charger Daytona did.
The Dodge Charger Daytona was the first car to break 200 mph (321 kph) in a NASCAR race and ended up winning so many races that NASCAR banned it and its sibling, the Plymouth Road Runner Super Bird [source: Davenport]. What's really cool about the Dodge Charger Daytona is that it raced back when NASCAR was a lot closer to true stock-car racing than it is today. That's right: A few lucky people got to waltz into their local Dodge dealership and drive off in one of these. Good thing NASCAR bans don't extend beyond the racetrack.
Author's Note: 10 Banned Race Cars
Look, I'm all for a level playing field. I'm also all for safety. But isn't the point of racing to, you know, see who can go the fastest? In researching this article I found that some of the bans made sense to me, like the Group B rally cars. In order to make those cars safe, you'd have to change the whole nature of rally racing. But some of the cars and technology behind them don't seem like they needed banning. Guess I'd be a pretty unscrupulous race team owner.
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- Gillies, Mark. "Chaparral 2E." Car and Driver. June 2007. (June 15, 2015) http://www.caranddriver.com/features/chaparral-2e
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- Hendrick Motorsports. "HMS Chassis No. 2429, aka 'T-Rex'." Feb. 16, 2005. (June 15, 2015) http://www.hendrickmotorsports.com/news/articles/9391/hms-chassis-no-2429-aka-t-rex
- Philpot, Chris. "Garage Banned: Sometimes in Racing, an Idea is So Good It Gets Outlawed." Car and Driver. Aug. 19, 2013. (June 19, 2015) http://blog.caranddriver.com/garage-banned-sometimes-in-racing-an-idea-is-so-good-it-gets-outlawed/
- Racing-reference.info. "1997 Grand Prix of Monaco." (Sept. 10, 2015) http://racing-reference.info/race/1997_Grand_Prix_of_Monaco/F
- Redgap, Curtis. "Dodge determined to win at NASCAR; development of the Charger Daytona." Allpar.com. 2006. (June 15, 2015) http://www.allpar.com/racing/dodge-nascar3.html
- Spurgeon, Brad. "Wings Must Go, Formula One Decides." May 9, 1998. (Sept. 10, 2015) http://www.nytimes.com/1998/05/09/sports/09iht-prix.t.html
- Taylor, Simon. "Lunch with ... Gordon Murray." Motor Sport Magazine. Jan. 2008. (June 15, 2015) http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/january-2008/70/lunch-gordon-murray
- Ultimatecarpage.com. "Chaparral 2J Chevrolet." (Sept. 10, 2015) http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/91/Chaparral-2J-Chevrolet.html
Part of the thrill for spectators in car racing is the wrecks — assuming everyone is OK. But who is left picking up the bill when those expensive cars end up destroyed?