What's the next best thing to finding just the right hard-to-find 1969 Daytona to buy? Building one exactly the way you always wanted one! Tracy Ewing of Salem, Ohio and a crew of talented guys including dad Jim Ewing, father-in-law Don Huston and good friends Bob Hovis, Jim Hovis, Wayne Lafferee and Tony Demont did precisely that and ended up with the gorgeous red machine pictured here.
Tracy's Daytona consumed nearly four years and 2,500 man hours of very hard work. To start the project, Tracy purchased a 1970 Charger R/T minus its drivetrain and interior from Ted Janak in Spring, Texas. Ted, who supplies the winged car world with fiberglass reproduction parts, sent Tracy home with enough fiberglass to make the Charger's transition into a Daytona.
When Tracy got the Charger, it had a coat of white latex house paint on top of three or four layers of car paint. The car had originally been green with a green interior. He went to work removing all the remaining parts of the car and started stripping the paint. Tracy says "If you haven't stripped latex paint from a car before, you've missed quite a treat (NOT!). Paint stripper turns the paint to the consistency of glue!"
Every panel on the Charger was dented, so Tracy and his crew spent a lot of time doing body work after the paint was off. The car was then painted flash red and a black interior was installed. Since the car was a 1970 model, Tracy utilized the electric headlight motors to raise and lower the Daytona's headlight doors. They also used all-thread and turn buckles mounted between the front fenders and the nose mounts to allow for easy and better alignment of the fenders with the nose, a truly ingenious idea that Chrysler should have implemented!
Trim parts, seats, tail lights and other small items came from a 1969 Charger parts car that Tracy purchased. A Chrysler New Yorker parts car supplied the transmission, wiring for power seats, air conditioning, tilt/telescoping steering column, radiator, fan and shroud and other miscellaneous items. The crew rebuilt a .030 over 383 and mildly modified it for the Daytona's powerplant. Fellow Winged Warriors member Mike Svec, who lived close by, allowed Tracy to look his car over and ask questions when needed.
Tracy regularly drives the replicar to club National Meets and it never fails to attract a lot of attention!
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