BARNSTORMER!

BARN FIND DAYTONAS AND THE PERILS OF SPECULATION

IT’S SOMETHING we all dream of. Finding a rare classic like a matching numbers Dodge Charger Daytona in a rural barn seems implausible yet that’s exactly what happened to Charlie Lyons of Charlie’s Classic Cars in Alabama. Originally on the hunt for a ’70 Chevelle, he’d heard on the grapevine of a Mopar gem enjoying a gentle dotage on a local farm and, after a great deal of pestering, managed to buy the Daytona for what has been reported as a low six fi gure sum.

There’s more than one element of implausibility about this car, an aspect of which is the fact that it was originally bought new by a circuit judge as a daily driver for his wife. The gas-guzzling Daytona was subsequently returned to the Dodge dealer, presumably after the lady wife got bored of laying 14 second quarters on the way to Walgreens.

It was then bought for $1400 by the second owner who kept it until 2015, latterly residing in his hay barn and, by the looks of it, enjoyed by a family of mice.

With the odometer stalled at 20,553 miles, Lyons consigned the car to Mecum auctions in Kissimmee, sat back and prepared to cash in. Except that it didn’t quite work out that way. The bidding for the ostentatiously unrestored Daytona ran out of impetus at $90,000.

The moral of this story?

Even car dealers can overpay if they get a bit too personally invested in a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity. Buyer beware.

DODGE WAS required to crank out 500 Daytonas in 1969 in order to homologate the vehicle, but ended up capping the run at 503. There were two engine options, with the bigger engine making fewer horses. This barn find car sports the 375hp 440ci base model, with collectors really falling over themselves for the 425hp 426ci Hemi of which only 70 were built.

Nevertheless, this car, with its 440ci, 727 Torqueflite and sought-after bucket seat/ console combo would make a great base for a resto.