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Danbury Mint 1:24 1969 Dodge Daytona 440

Reviewed by:   Tony Perrone
     
  Danbury Mint 1:24 1969 Dodge Daytona 440 diecast car
 
 
 

This is a wonderful progression in the Dodge Charger lineup of offerings from Danbury Mint. Specifically, it enriches our Dodge Daytona supply by 100%; as now, we have TWO! The white hemi-powered ’69 Daytona, though a street-legal muscle car, was set up and fabricated to look more like the NASCAR race-prepped cars that ruled the oval tracks in the late sixties. This 440 version is more like what we probably see cruising the boulevards of our memories. Although still pretty rare, there were more of them made. NASCAR rules required 500 units of any car planning to be raced at Daytona be made available to the public, and in this case, Dodge issued 503. Of these, 433 were equipped with the 375 horse 440 cube motor while only 70 bore the 425 horse 426 cube hemispherical combustion chambered mill. They were only made for one year, 1969, and discontinued.

Internally, the Danbury design team refers to this model as “The Pickle.” Anything but sour, I would have to redefine it as a “gherkin,” because up close – it…is…sweet! The color’s subtlety is remarkably poignant. Bright, cheerful and exceptionally glossy, it has just a hint of metallic. Helping to make it ‘pop’, is the white interior and the focus-of-attention rear wing. Naturally everyone realized the wing’s value as a down force providing tool but what the Dodge Boys didn’t divulge was the invaluable contribution to stability at speed that the twin rudders, holding the top airfoil, provided. As further evidence that the folks at DM listen to our comments; they included the rear wing support brackets inside the trunk that were omitted on the Hemi Daytona. Twin V-shaped braces are now seen, in correct flat black, beneath the wing struts. Also in the trunk, we now see the proper dual jacks. The Daytona came with a front and rear jack, one standard and the other an orange scissors jack, necessary to fit below the Daytona’s unique, pointed nose-cone. (You will note the twin jacking instruction pages mounted on the inside trunk lid of both Daytona models, perfectly scaled down.)

Aside from the engine differences, this car comes with an automatic trans. The shifter resides in the beautifully fabricated wood grained console, while the dash and floor are done in black and the seats and side paneling is richly cloaked in brilliant white. Black fabric seat belts are seen fixed to the seats and shoulder belts are mounted on the roof. The front seatbacks tilt all the way forward providing access to the back seat. The proper pedals for the auto trans are fabricated and the steering wheel is correctly done in wood rim fashion with center horn hub. (The Hemi version sports an interior colored wheel with a semi-circular chrome horn ring.) Outside, the 440 has an opening gas filler cap, chrome-foiled “Charger” script neatly adorning the roof sail panel and carried over from the Charger 500, a flush mounted, chrome trimmed rear window to aid in better aerodynamics. In true DM fashion, the antenna retracts into the front fender.

Gone are the Hemi Daytona’s dog dish hubcaps, which are the correct factory caps, but which many collectors find uninspiring. In their place are fully styled, five-spoke black-out wheels with chrome trim rings. Thin whitewalls replace the redlines. Like the white Hemi, this car uses the front fender reverse mounted air scoops and the working hood pin assemblies. In this scale, they are sensational. A tool is provided so that you may poke a button under the front bumper to open the quad headlights. Under the hood expect nothing but the best precision detail. The 440 Magnum motor is fully replicated utilizing materials of vinyl and rubber, wire and zinc. All is painted and tampoed spectacularly. The heater hoses, their supports and miniature clamps, simply have to be seen in person to be fully appreciated and the twin throttle linkage and springs (one painted yellow, no less) are incredible works of art on their own. DM even replicated build marks. Check out the driver's side valve cover. Metal wires of small scale gauge replicate brake lines running downward to the chassis as well. Turn the model over, and you’ll see that transmission fluid lines are in place along with bare metal torsion bar suspension arms. The front wheels articulate fully with the steering linkage. Rear suspension works on leaf springs and shocks. The wire mesh screening used beneath the front fender air scoops can be seen from below as well. In this configuration, all of the Daytona’s finer points are highlighted and so too is DM’s acumen for providing us with outstanding models. This sweet pickle is deserving of a 9.7 rating on the Thrillometer! (Now, off to hunt the fridge for that jar of Vlasic’s.)

(01/21/2005)
 
 
  Danbury Mint 1:24 1969 Dodge Daytona 440 diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1969 Dodge Daytona 440 diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1969 Dodge Daytona 440 diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1969 Dodge Daytona 440 diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1969 Dodge Daytona 440 diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1969 Dodge Daytona 440 diecast car

 
 
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Danbury Mint | 1:24
Danbury Mint 1:24 1969 Dodge Daytona 440

Danbury Mint 1:24 1969 Dodge Daytona 440

 
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