The 1969 Dodge Charger 500 (L) and 1969 Ford Torino Talladega. Photographs by Alex Stewart, copyright and courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.

By 1968, aerodynamics had develop into as critical to NASCAR groups as horsepower, forcing Mopar and Ford into what is now referred to as the “aero wars.” To conquer the ’68 Ford Torino on superspeedways, Dodge made the ’69 Charger 500, though Ford countered with the ’69 Torino Talladega and Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II. All were accessible in new car or truck dealer showrooms, and on Labor Day weekend, the early aero wars are reborn at RM Sotheby’s Auburn Fall sale, where by a 1969 Dodge Charger 500 will as soon as all over again do struggle versus a 1969 Ford Torino Talladega, this time in a various kind of arena.

1969 Dodge Charger 500

1969 Dodge Charger 500.

Well-liked belief is that the Ford Torino fastback, which debuted in 1968, fired the initial salvo. Dodge responded with the reshaped ’68 Charger, which certainly seemed aerodynamic to the bare eye, but was not analyzed at higher pace in a wind tunnel. The Charger’s recessed grille made turbulence and carry at the entrance end, while the inset rear window and sail panels did the identical at the rear. A rear spoiler assisted to partly mitigate this, but the Charger still proved to be a handful for drivers on the fastest tracks, and as a end result, Ford products and solutions (including Mercury) received 27 of the 1968 season’s 49 races.

1969 Dodge Charger 500

In June 1968, Dodge released a new version of the Charger to the gathered media. Termed the Charger 500, its human body was redesigned particularly to counter the aerodynamic rewards of Ford’s Torino. Up entrance, the Charger 500 used a flush-mounted grille, borrowed from the ‘68 Coronet, though out again the system was reshaped in far more of a fastback style, eradicating the conventional Charger’s traveling buttresses. To meet up with NASCAR homologation regulations, a complete of 500 were being prepared for manufacturing, although finally, someplace in between 392 and 580 – depending upon source – were being designed for customers.

1969 Dodge Charger 500 1969 Dodge Charger 500 1969 Dodge Charger 500 1969 Dodge Charger 500

Ford wasn’t idle whilst Dodge reworked the Charger. In response, it made the Torino Talldega, which employed a more time and lessen nose (escalating the size of the car by 5 inches), also with a flush-mounted grille. Beneath, a new bumper – actually a repurposed and somewhat reshaped Torino rear bumper – even served as a crude air dam, lowering entrance carry at large speeds. A Mercury variation, dubbed the Cyclone Spoiler II, was also created for NASCAR teams and showroom clients, and in full, roughly 750 Torino Talladegas and somewhere around 351 Cyclone Spoiler IIs have been assembled for retail gross sales.

1969 Ford Torino Talladega

1969 Ford Torino Talladega.

The initially real showdown amongst the new Mopars and Fords came at the 1969 Daytona 500, in February. In the 1st qualifying heat, Ford dominated, with David Pearson (Ford), Cale Yarborough (Mercury) and Donnie Allison (Ford) on the podium. For the next qualifier, it was Dodge’s turn, with the first a few places taken by Bobby Isaac, Charlie Glotzbach and Paul Goldsmith, all driving Dodge Charger 500s. The race itself did not disappoint (except, of system, a person was a lover of GM), with the Fords, Mercuries and Dodges battling for the lead in the course of. On the previous lap, thanks to fresher tires, Lee Roy Yarbrough managed a go on race leader Glotzbach, who tried using valiantly to recapture the posture off of transform 4. Following 500 miles, it was Yarbrough who won by less than a vehicle size in his Ford, followed by Glotzbach (Dodge) and Donnie Allison (Ford).

1969 Ford Torino Talladega

The outcome was not what Dodge anticipated, and shortly following its reduction on the large banks, a new Charger would arise in NASCAR levels of competition. Dubbed the Dodge Charger Daytona, it sported a pronounced proboscis, tapered for optimized airflow, mixed with an oversize “basket handle” rear wing. Plymouth would get its have variant, referred to as the Superbird and based mostly upon the Highway Runner, and its introduction was more than enough to entice Richard Petty back to Mopar for 1970, after his self-imposed exile with Ford in 1969.

1969 Ford Torino Talladega 1969 Ford Torino Talladega 1969 Ford Torino Talladega 1969 Ford Torino Talladega

The 1969 Dodge Charger 500 to be supplied in Auburn was built in September 1968 and initially offered by way of a dealership in Illinois. As requested, it came with the 375-horsepower, Magnum V-8, mated to a four-speed handbook transmission. Options incorporated the Keep track of Pak with 3.54:1 gearing ability brakes woodgrain panel and console bucket seats driver’s aspect remote mirror tachometer and an AM radio with an 8-observe tape participant. At some place in its historical past, it was restored in its authentic crimson finish and equipped with a Hemi V-8, and in this configuration offered at a 2006 Pebble Seashore auction for $139,700. Right now, outfitted with the suitable 440 V-8, RM Sotheby’s expects the Dodge to sell concerning $65,000 – $80,000 when it crosses the block in Indiana.

The 1969 Ford Torino Talladega to be offered was developed in January 1969, at Ford’s plant in Atlanta, Ga. Completed in Presidential Blue, the Ford arrived powered by the Cobra Jet V-8, rated at 335 horsepower and mated to a C6 three-pace automated transmission. Like all Torino Talladegas, it arrived with a black inside, a vinyl and fabric bench seat, and an AM radio. RM Sotheby’s anticipate this restored illustration to fetch in between $45,000 and $55,000 when it heads across the auction phase.

1970 Plymouth Superbird

1970 Plymouth Superbird.

Fans of the later Mopar aero warriors will not be unhappy, possibly, considering that the sale also includes a restored 1970 Plymouth Street Runner Superbird, with a “Super Commando” V-8 mated to a 727 TorqueFlite 3-velocity computerized transmission, envisioned to offer in between $100,000 – $125,000.

The RM Sotheby’s Auburn Drop auction usually takes place from August 30 – September 2 at the Auburn Auction Park in Auburn, Indiana. For extra specifics, check out