The 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona and 1970 Plymouth Road Runner SuperBird were built for just one reason - to dominate stock car racing. This site is about these "Aero Warriors", the most exotic of a select group of cars designed and produced by American automotive manufacturers in the late 1960's.Background
As stock car racing evolved from its depression-era beginnings on the back roads, open fields and small dirt tracks throughout the United States, it soon became clear that strong organization would become critical to the sport's continued success. In the United States, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA), the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and the United States Auto Club (USAC) were the major sanctioning bodies that provided this organization. Through the efforts of these groups, stock car racing continued to increase in popularity throughout the United States during the 1950s and 1960s.
This growing popularity was not lost on the nation's auto makers, who were beginning to take notice of what was later popularized by the phrase, "What wins on Sunday, sells on Monday." In other words, an auto manufacturer's sales responded positively when one of their automobiles won a sanctioned race. Before too long, the major American auto makers were funneling money and high performance parts to many stock car racing teams. Using this approach, the automotive factories hoped to realize more victories on the tracks and more sales in their show rooms. Factory involvement reached intense levels by the end of the 1960s.
This factory involvement lead to increasingly exotic types of automobiles on the nation's speedways. The gradual divergence of the racing cars and their stock counterparts eventually lead to implementation of a homologation rule. This rule required American auto makers participating in sanctioned stock car racing to produce a minimum number of street legal versions of any body style (or motor type) which would race on the tracks. This legitimized the racing cars' "claim" to having been based on a true show room stock production automobiles, available to the public at dealer show rooms. The Aero Warriors were therefore produced in very small street legal quantities (including about 550 Dodge Daytonas and 1950 Plymouth SuperBirds) to make their racing siblings eligible for ARCA, NASCAR and USAC competition.
The Dodge Daytona and Plymouth SuperBird demonstrated the extremes to which the factories would go to earn victories on the nation's race tracks. The winged Aero Warriors graced the nation's speedways from September, 1969 until September, 1972, when major sanctioning body rule changes ended their reign. Their legacy is one of success, having won over 45 percent of the NASCAR races they competed in, as well as scoring a total of eleven victories in ARCA and USAC.
Certain names and images appearing in the Aero Warriors site are the property