Dodge Daytona, Plymouth Superbird, Ford Talladega, Mercury Cyclone 40th Reunion at Talladega Super Speedway

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

This is NOT a staged photo; this is what happens when over 100 Aero Cars come to town. There are two Dodge Daytonas, a Charger 500, a Ford Talladega and a Plymouth Superbird all lined up at the local Sonic having a burger and fries just like it was 1969 all over again. Man, it was cool!

Once every five years there is a reunion of all the NASCAR Aero Cars (factory built production vehicles with special aerodynamically maximized bodies for high speed racing on the Super Speedways) held at the Talladega Super Speedway. In 1969 the war between Ford and the Mopars was really beginning to heat up.

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Many of the cars drove in, some were shipped (one came from New Zealand), some came on open trailers and others in enclosed trailers. However, all most all of them hit the streets when they got to town.

In 1968 Ford kicked the Mopars around on the race track with their new “Sportback” styling on the Ford Torino and Mercury Cyclone. The Fords were so fast even Richard “The King” Petty gave up on the Mopars and drove a Ford in 1969. For the new season Dodge planned a full fledged attack with a tweaked 1969 Dodge Charger 500. It had a special sloping rear window and a flush mounted grill to make it more aerodynamic and faster at high speed. Dodge made one big mistake; they started talking about it before it got to the track.

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

The Motels in town became instant car shows!

Ford knew the new Charger would be strong competition so the Blue Oval boys quietly went back to work and created their own “better” version of the Torino and named it after the new fastest track on the NASCAR circuit, Talladega. It had an extended and sloping front end and the entire car was lowered an inch to keep it ahead of the new Charger 500. It worked, for a while.

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Dodge again went back to the drawing boards and by mid-season delivered the wild winged 1969 Dodge Daytona to the NASCAR Super Speedways. It gave the Fords and Mercurys all they could handle. In 1970, in order to get King Richard Petty back in a Mopar, Chrysler built a similarly winged Plymouth Superbird.

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Unfortunately, by 1970 Ford had pulled out of racing and NASCAR was writing rules to neuter the Aero Cars to the point they were no longer competitive.

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

That was a different time but every five years those Aero Monsters with the Hemi engines return to the Talladega Speedway to remind us all of the way it once was. In 2009 on November 1 we helped burn the memory of Aero Cars into the minds of all who would watch.

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

These cars are driven and range in condition from rough drivers to beautiful show winning cars.

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

The Daytona-Superbird Auto Club held its reunion from October 28 through November 1, what follows is a recap of all the activities. If you want to have an awesome experience and hang out with some of the best car folks you will ever meet get an Aero Car and meet us next year for the 41st Reunion at a location yet to be announced. However, we do know that in 2014 we will be back at Dega!

Daytona Superbird reunion at Talladega

Reunited Car and Owners

Daytona Superbird reunion at Talladega

Tim and Pam Wellborn’s Estate

Daytona Superbird reunion at Talladega

The Wellborn Muscle Car Museum

Daytona Superbird reunion at Talladega

Halloween Party at the Museum, Click Here

Daytona Superbird reunion at Talladega

Daytona Superbird reunion at Talladega

Talladega Speedway Car Show and Parade Lap

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Some participants brought their own sleeping quarters and comforts of home with them.

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

This is the way to travel!

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Do you have the keys? I don’t have the keys!

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

There was an excellent array of race cars including this Ramo Stott number 07.

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Unfortunately we heard of a number of mechanical issues on the way to and during the event but it did not dampen anyone’s spirits.

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If you want to see some photos of the 2008 Reunion, Click Here

 

Comments (2)

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  1. Carl Sharp says:

    Richard,

    As I was looking at the website, I just realized that you are missing a critical photo!

    Unfortunately, I didn’t get my camera out in time to get the shot, either. On Saturday, as we were all caravanning to the track in Talladega from our hotels in Alexander City (a distance of about 70 miles) on those quiet county roads, I was just far enough back in the caravan to see some truly amazing sights – I’m talking about the bewildered looks on the faces of some locals as we went by at significantly more than parade speeds.

    Just imagine living on a quiet back road, only to have about 150 roaring, snarling muscle cars go driving by. Not just any muscle cars, but, Charger 500s, Talladegas, Spoiler IIs, Daytonas, and Superbirds! (And Lloyd Heintz following along in his white pimpmobile…)

    One guy stepped out onto the front porch of his trailer (shortly after daylight) as we all drove by.

    What a sight for each of us. This guy was staring at what must certainly have been one of the greatest car shows on wheels to ever pass by his home, and we were staring at a wide-eyed, rudely awakened local guy, standing on his front porch in his underwear with his mouth open, his eyes wide, and totally glazed over with amazement. (I won’t repeat what the backseat passengers in my Talladega said about the event, but they were too taken by the moment to capture it with a photo.)

    Thanks for a great website and some great photos, even if you did miss the best one on Saturday morning.

    Carl Sharp
    Liberty, IN

  2. rfleener says:

    Carl, You are right. Katrina and I noticed very similar things when we were “flying low” through some of the small towns. The looks on peoples faces was a site to remember. I can only imagine what I would do if I woke up early and saw such a site fly by our home! It will be a lifetime memory.

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