Junkyard gem: 2006 Dodge Charger Daytona R/T

the Dodge Charger The story has taken some fascinating turns since then the first 1966 models appeared in showrooms to promote the “Evade rebellion” against the similar looking Rambler Marlins that had struck Crown-based fastback Mopars on the market by a year. You had the B body Charger until 1978, which at first resembled hers Plymouth Satellite and then Chrysler Cordova Siblings, then a few years break before introducing a Simca-derived front wheel drive Charger for 1982 to 1987. All of these Chargers had two doors apiece, but DaimlerChrysler’s did Charger revival for the 2006 model year marked four Doors…and more horsepower available than any stock charger ever*. Here’s one of those ’06 Chargers, Hemi and all that were found at a Denver area self-service junkyard a few months ago.

The VIN says this car is a true R/T; the 2006 Daytona was just an appearance package that included a large trunk spoiler and flashy graphics in addition to all the other R/T goodies, so I can’t be sure if this car was launched as a real Daytona or not. It appears that the graphics were taped off and then retouched when the heavy coat of Rattlecan Flat-Black was applied to this car, but they could have been applied over the third backyard paint job.

A spoiler once lived here, but it appears to have been built in after the black paintwork.

The original paint according to the build tag color On this car was GoManGo!, with an exclamation mark. Later the spelling for the name of this color changed to two words and no punctuation marks.

the Original Chrysler Hemi engine evolved from an experimental World War II aircraft engine design and first appeared in Chrysler models for the 1951 model year. In the late 1960s, the Hemi makes absurd power on the race track and dangerous power (considering the scary brakes and suspensions of the era) on the street.

The wild compression ratios, lumpy cams, and huge carburetors used on the 1966-1971 street Hemis made them so uncivilized as to be almost unroadworthy. They overheated, stalled, polluted the spark plugs, vapor-locked, and generally unhappy when engaging in anything other than full-throttle mayhem or looking cool with the hood open. the 21st Century Hemi shares only the name with its predecessor, and modern engine control makes it perfectly comfortable on the road.

The 2006 Charger R/T got this 5.7-liter, 345-cubic-inch Hemi rated at 350 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. When these engines first appeared in the ewe chicken-Type yards, seven or eight years ago, they were drawn immediately. These days it seems that anyone who wants a junkyard Hemi already has one, and those engines tend to go there The shredder along with their cars.

manual gearbox? Sorry, the last production Charger to get one of these was built in 1987. This car has an “AutoStick” five speed slush box.

To all appearances, this car lived fast. Did it die young? 16 years old is almost four years older than the average car or light truck now on American roadsbut you’d expect a true special-edition performance car to stick around a little longer…or maybe not.

RIP, Dan McCafferty.

* Means US market street legal and mass production chargers only. Not Race cars, dealer installed hot rod engines and so on. If you consider modern power rating plus the fumbling with performance numbers common in Detroit in the old days, consider that in 1970 Chrysler’s marketers would probably have estimated the 2006 Charger SRT8’s 425 net horses at something like 600 horsepower. Naturally, the 1970 Charger R/T weighed just 3,638 pounds, so its optional 426 Hemi’s 425 gross horses were up against about 520 pounds less than their 2006 counterparts.


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