"I ran some want ads, but got word by networking with some Mopar enthusiasts that the car had been at the Mopar Nationals in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1985. I located the owner who, together with his son, had about 20 cars in a building on his property. He had no interest in selling this 143-mile show car, but we "danced" a little, I begged a little (OK, I begged a lot), and he finally gave in, priced it, and we struck a deal. It was important to him that the car be reunited with the Supercharger after all of these years, though his son couldn't understand that.
"There was one thing that depressed me about the Daroo I, though: It had only 143 miles when I found it, but it was painted red! Apparently, this car was purchased from Chrysler wearing its original candy apple green paint. The proud, new owner then displayed the car at a show in Michigan where George Barris was in attendance. Barris walked up to the car and was confused by the Daroo I's green paint job. Barris had delivered Chrysler an orange show car in 1968, but unbeknownst to him, Chrysler had repainted it green for the '69 season. The owner was now as confused as Barris and asked George what was the correct, original color. Barris responded, 'Red'; the car had been a red Dart. The candy apple green was stripped off and red was applied. I couldn't believe it, and obviously, I needed to fix that despite the mileage."
Despite that, how original is it? The odometer on the '67-vintage chassis now shows only 144 miles since new! The 383 engine (which, it should be noted, was always in the Daroo I; the 340, mentioned in the formal press materials, was never in it) is untouched, complete with all the original hoses, filters, wires, and belts. In fact, the car still sports the then top-of-the-line Firestone racing tires it wore in all of its public appearances.
Most of us would be happy to own this car, but the truth is that Juliano's pursuit of the excellent has made it possible for nearly all of the best-remembered Chrysler concept cars of the muscle era to be reunited. For the last few years, Juliano has graciously displayed some of them at Carlisle's All-Chrysler Nationals, so people can see such cars as the Daroo I and the Daytona-based Supercharger roadster together for the first time since the Scat Pack shows of the era. In addition to cars, Juliano has also amassed a spectacular array of original dealership and show car displays, paperwork, and memorabilia, in hopes of creating a museum someday to display everything. Mopar Muscle has plans to let you see part of that treasure trove in the future as well.
The Ugly Sister
The Daroo I was a big hit when it made its show circuit debut in 1968, but had one small problem: It could be in only one place at a time. So Chrysler decided to try its hand at creating another Dart show car. This particular car was built by Imperial Customs in Oklahoma, who were also building Funny Car bodies for Chrysler-backed racers at the time. However, the Daroo II failed to attain the drama of the Brownlie/Barris design (most likely due to financial considerations).So while the Daroo I was living large at Cobo Hall in Detroit, the big show in Chicago, and in New York, the Daroo II was on the "Motel 6" circuit, appearing at the Fort Worth County Fair; the York, Pennsylvania, Auto Show; and at a dealer opening in Florida. The crowds were less than awed by the Daroo II, and this ugly sister to the Daroo I was mothballed early in its career; it wasn't shown again after March 1969.