Aero Warriors: Putting rubber to pavement at 200mph.
March 19, 2006 9:18 PM   Subscribe

Aero Warriors: Battling at super speedways on Sunday to sell cars on Monday. In 1969 only showroom stock cars were permitted in NASCAR sanctioned events. This meant in order to compete a car had to be produced and available through dealers in minimum quantities. Only minor changes for racing were allowed. And in 1969 Ford and Chrysler were locked in a Battle Royale to win races. To this end both produced cars designed to dominate on the 1+ mile speedways. For Chrysler: the Dodge Charger 500, Dodge Charger Daytona, and Plymouth Road Runner Superbird. For Ford: the Ford Torino Talladega and Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II. Aero Warriors is the story and history of these street legal, 200mph (320kph) capable, wildly winged cars from the Chrysler side of the line.
posted by Mitheral (16 comments total)
Superbird/ Daytona - Best cars ever. Completely, utterly impractical and irrational as streetcars. I still want one all these years later.
Fuel consumption? Who cares?
posted by Joeforking at 11:52 PM on March 19, 2006

A number of racing leagues around the world still require homologated vehicles to be based on production models, such as the WTCC. Some of the coolest homologation specials were the ones produce to meet FIA rally regulations, resulting in some absolutely insane street legal cars like the 4WD Mazda 323 GT-R, the Ford Escort Cosworth, and the infamous Lancia Delta HF Integrale.

Like the various Nascar series, the World Rally Federation no longer has strict regulations on how similar the competition vehicle is to a production model at its top levels, relegating the production cars to the lower level Group A. For a while, though, Group A cars were the top of the heap in competition because the previous generation of specialized vehicles, the Group B rally cars, were deemed too fast to be safe. Can't really blame the WRC for their decision; the casualty toll after the final Group B season in 1986 was six people killed and 31 injured after two seperate crashes.
posted by chrominance at 11:57 PM on March 19, 2006

(my bad, turns out the current production-model class in the WRC is Group N.)
posted by chrominance at 12:12 AM on March 20, 2006

I've wanted a 69 Talladega for about 20 years now. I keep hoping I'll come across a neglected one somewhere, selling cheap.
posted by bashos_frog at 3:35 AM on March 20, 2006

The saying used to be Race on Sunday, sell on Monday. At some level the cars (NASCAR) still at least look like showroom cars. That is all set to change with "The Car of Tomorrow"
posted by Gungho at 4:32 AM on March 20, 2006

Now that we've outed all the mefi car geeks....

I want one. They are both fast and furious, and a fitting response to the rash of noisy imports with bad spoilers in my college neighborhood.
posted by mecran01 at 5:13 AM on March 20, 2006

mecran01 writes "a fitting response to the rash of noisy imports with bad spoilers in my college neighborhood."

One of the source materials at the site talks about the secret wind tunnel testing. Testing that was pretty obvious to anyone within 25 miles because the cars were driven off the trucks and there wasn't a gearhead alive who didn't know what a full race hemi sounded like.

So if you ever get to embarass those imports make sure to install exhuast cut outs so they know what they got stomped by.
posted by Mitheral at 6:35 AM on March 20, 2006

While employed at a Chrysler assembly plant in my youth, I worked on and got to drive some of these.

Yes, it was every bit as much fun as you would expect.

(We also built a group of "company cars" for Richard Petty.)
posted by Enron Hubbard at 6:56 AM on March 20, 2006

Gungho, they already look nothing like the showroom cars. Compare this to this. If anyone seriously goes out and buys a Ford Fusion or Dodge Charger because their favorite racer drives something with decals that look like the headlights on the car they want, they need serious help. I guess it happens all the time.
posted by zsazsa at 7:15 AM on March 20, 2006

If you are basing any purchasing decisions on Nascar you need serious help.

Unfortunately I have a cousin who drinks Budweiser due to its "Official Beer of Nascar" status. My family reunions suck.
posted by vaportrail at 12:08 PM on March 20, 2006

I want to see stock hybrids compete in nascar-style races -- big caveat is that you can't add fuel at any point during the race.

Yeah, I'm boring.
posted by davejay at 2:49 PM on March 20, 2006

/as a budding gearhead, i remember dad pointing out a 70K mile '70 Superbird sitting forlorn on a used car lot in the late 70's that they couldn't give away due to the fuel crisis. pity, considering it's now a $150,000+ car restored correctly.

fyi, the only reason for the insane spoiler height was so that you could actually open the trunk.
posted by rhythim at 3:51 PM on March 20, 2006

Post is missing this link: Aero Warriors.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 4:12 PM on March 20, 2006

"Aero Warriors is the story and history of these street legal, 200mph (320kph) capable, wildly winged cars from the Chrysler side of the line."

Street legal? 200?

Not on this planet they couldn't
posted by Relay at 4:42 PM on March 20, 2006

shoesfullofdust writes "Post is missing this link: Aero Warriors"

It's the main link of the post, you might have Norton Internet Security removing it for you.

Relay writes "Street legal? 200?
"Not on this planet they couldn't"

200 was easy, 216.946 MPH was possible if you had room to really stretch. An average of 195mph over 100 miles was also possible.

I wouldn't be surprised if there was cheating happening with teams substituting trick parts (like the rumored 24 gallon tank that made the 100 mile standing start record possible) but none of those parts would have made the car illegal on the street. Race motors were tuned for high speed running and were barely streetable because of heavy overlap and high lifts but they weren't illegal unless the PCV system was removed. And a race prepped superbird would overheat if allowed to idle for long periods because the fan was sized for 100+mph running. Again that kind of tuning wasn't illegal in 1969. Plus the Hemi in NASCAR trim was running the single carb mandated by NASCAR, a dual quad was good for another 40-50 hp.

I'll give you they were probably running non DOT tires though. An intelligent thing to do considering the tire tech of 1969.

I wouldn't be surprised if the 71 Charger that set the records at Bonneville could reach 220 with modern tires and synthetic engine/ transmission/ differential lubricants. Tires especially are orders of magnitude better now and Bobby was scrubbing a lot of speed in the corners from lack of traction.
posted by Mitheral at 5:34 PM on March 20, 2006

Interesting. No Norton here. Just an old version of Moz with a rule based ad filter. Never seen it do anything like that before. My apologizies to you Mitheral for mucking up the thread.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 6:21 PM on March 20, 2006

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