There seems to be an interesting exchange of culture between the United States and Great Britain. In exchange for their classic rock bands (The Beatles, Rolling Stones, and The Who), we trade them our movies, money, and automotive fever. Sure, England has a rich history in curvaceous, small sport-roadsters, but nothing has caused a greater stir across the pond than the sight of a rumbling American musclecar tearing down the parkway.
Pete Wiseman of Melbourne, England, caught that musclecar itch long ago. Aside from this exquisite Hemi Orange and black Daytona, Pete also owns a Six-Pack Super Bee, making him the envy of his neighborhood. Having spotted this XX29-code solution to the '69 NASCAR season online, Pete had to have it. The previous owner had done a near perfect restoration of the winged legend with some hints of personal flair. Pete admits the car is nearly identical to how he first found it; the only modifications he did to the car were minor.
When purchased, the Daytona's 440 ran a high-lift camshaft, which unfortunately made insufficient vacuum to properly feed the vacuum-assisted brakes and hide-away headlights. so Pete had the engine pulled, refreshed, and equipped with a stock Mopar Performance Purple cam. now he jokes about swapping out the original RB block for a Ray Barton Hemi.
Though they came stock with the car, Pete swapped the original-style Magnum 500s for a set of body-color-matching steel rims and polished dish caps. The Magnums were 14 inches, and Pete knew a taller 15-inch rim would better fit the coke-bottle-shape body. The look means a little more business, much the same way the A-12 Super Bees came with blacked-out steel rims from the factory.
The Daytona was ordered with some daunting options, such as a Dana 60 loaded with hefty 4.10 gears and a 727 TorqueFlite transmission. That, coupled to the potent 440, made for a wild street combination. The more track-oriented Daytonas were optioned with higher 3.23s and a four-speed, but Pete can't complain either way, since small two-lane roads through England's fog and gray rain don't agree with anything, regardless of gear ratios.
The car came with the original buildsheet and a complete list of the previous owners, dating back to a certain unnamed Country Western singer who first ordered the orange B-Body. The story, as paraphrased by Pete, is that all the members of the band drove winged cars, Daytonas or Superbirds, and this member felt obliged to follow suit.
Pete takes great pride in the fine details, from the Creative Industries original nose to the twin jacks that came standard in all Daytonas, the typical vertical bumper jack thatcame on all Chargers, and the Daytona specific scissor jack for the front. Thanks to the aftermarket industry, all the period correct labels and decals are in place, as well as the tubing, retainers, and clips. "It's the small things that make this restoration right," said Pete.
Regardless if the Daytona is a certified restoration or not, it still looks fearsome blowing down the green canopied lanes of Pete's hometown, which is exactly why he's got the musclecar itch. It apparently doesn't matter where you are, just as long as you scratch it.
Who: Pete Wiseman
Where: Melbourne, England
What: '69 Dodge Daytona
Color: Hemi Orange, black stripe, wing
Engine: 440 Magnum
Transmission: 727 TorqueFlite Automatic
Rearend: Dana 60 4.10 gears
Wheels/Tires: Front and Rear: 15-inch steel rims, polished center dish caps