The first NASCAR stock car to reach and maintain 200 MPH during a lap around a race track will likely fetch an enormous price at auction soon. Modern engineering has since “lapped” the fifty-year-old technology many times over, but at the time, the speedy feat signaled a new era for racing.
Now, the baby blue Dodge Daytona that Buddy Baker drove around Talladega Superspeedway’s oval in March of 1970 is up for sale. The car’s current owner, famed NASCAR crew chief Ray Evernham, will list the historic Daytona with no reserve at auction later this month. Mecum Auction officials expect to fetch between $350,000 to $450,000 when it crosses the block on Saturday, May 21, Fox News reports.
In September 1969, Charlie Glotzbach set a then-record of 199.446 MPH behind the wheel of the same Daytona. Six months later, Buddy Baker averaged 200.447 MPH during a private test at the same track, ushering in a new standard of speed as the sport moved away from its traditionalist roots to nationwide popularity.
The famed Dodge began its life as a Dodge 500 press car. It was stolen, recovered, and then converted into a race car ahead of the 1969 Daytona 500. After the race, it became one of the early Dodge Daytona development cars. The iconic nose cap, tall rear wing, and 426 cubic-inch V8 became a mainstay of the era as the Dodge returned to the track for competition.
NASCAR legends Bobby Allison, Dan Gurney, Bobby Isaac, and James Hylton all drove the car over the years. The car never won a NASCAR Cup Series race, but did win USAC Stock Car circuit races with Don White behind the wheel before retirement.
NASCAR Hall of Fame legend Richard Petty remembers the 200 MPH car era well, especially the dirt tracks
Ahead of the Bristol Dirt Race earlier in the season, NASCAR’s winningest driver in history, Richard Petty, weighed in on the evolution of track surfaces over the years. Petty even collected the sport’s final dirt track crown back in 1970 — the same year the Dodge Daytona broke the speed record — until Bristol brought back the spectacle in 2021.
“When my dad first started, it was all dirt,” Petty remembered. “When I started, at least half the races were dirt and we ran dirt throughout the ‘60s. We were fortunate to win on dirt in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1970, which was the last dirt track race until they came to Bristol.
“Dirt is the groundwork for what NASCAR is now with the superspeedways and all that. If we hadn’t had the dirt tracks, we wouldn’t be here. It’s good to have a throwback and say we’re going to Bristol. It’s dirt and where NASCAR started. It makes me feel good that our history [lives on].”