You knew that a second-generation Charger would take the top spot, didn’t you? How could it not? The 1968-1970 body style, with its Coke bottle curves, has starred in countless television shows and movies such as “Bullitt,” “The Fast and the Furious,” and “Dirty Mary Crazy Larry.” Perhaps a lesser-known example of the marque is the 1969 Charger Daytona, sold to the public for the sole reason of homologating the body style for NASCAR races. After all, it was called “stock” car racing.
Besides the 23-inch tall rear wing, the Daytona has a wind-cheating “nose cone” somewhat crudely grafted on to replace the traditional grill and bumper. The two reverse-facing scoops on the front fenders are air extractors to improve aerodynamics underneath the car. Buyers had their choice of a 440 cubic inch Magnum V8 producing 375 horsepower or an optional 426 cubic inch Street Hemi good for 425 horsepower.
Though extremely valuable today, the Charger Daytona was not popular when it was new. Of course, its styling was polarizing, but it was also criticized for being difficult to park because of its extreme length. Lastly, it was pricey at approximately $4,600 — the same as a new Corvette.
All told, Dodge sold 503 Daytonas in 1969, just barely enough to qualify the car for NASCAR racing. An urban legend exists that the cars sold so poorly that a few dealerships converted them back to regular Chargers in order to find buyers. If true, we’re betting that all parties involved are kicking themselves since Hemi Daytonas can sell for over $1 million today.