Wings Over Alex City
The Museum’s Great Group of NASCAR Warriors; the Wellborn Musclecar Museum will display three at MCACN on Nov 17-18.
Story by Geoff Stunkard
“Back in 1969, my dad took me to the Talladega race, and that was when I became interested in the Bobby Isaac Daytona; when that Dodge was going around the track, it just permanently became ingrained in my mind. I never dreamed that someday I would own the real car and drive it, especially not in Germany and at Goodwood and places like that.”
While many people know the Wellborn Musclecar Museum for the terrific collection of 1971 Hemi Chargers there, the aerodynamically-enhanced 'wing car' models from 1969 and 1970 have also been part of the collection since before it started. As Tim states, his attendance at that first race at Talladega played a huge role on his impressionable mind back in 1969; as a result, the car he drove in his high school years was a real Dodge Daytona. This car, Hemi Orange with a 440 and white interior, was his regular driver, but in 1979, it became an even larger tribute to the car Bobby Isaac had piloted back on that September on the high banks of Talladega.
“I found a 2100-mile ‘68 Hemi Road Runner that been totaled, and took the engine, K-member, wiring, everything, and just swapped it right into that Daytona. It all fit perfectly, I got everything needed for a B-Body Hemi, and my goal was to make this into a tribute to Bobby Isaac and the K&K car. So I decided to letter it up, and had the call-out letters, ‘Dodge’ lettered on the nose, and pinstripes painted on it.”
He drove the car for a couple of more years, but money was tight; when he made plans to get married, the Daytona was sold to a gentleman in Atlanta, and Tim lost track of it. As things became better economically, Tim wondered whatever happened to it. Ironically, it came back to him 22 years later.
“I’m getting ready to load up for Barrett-Jackson on a Wednesday night, and I get a phone call. It is the owner I had sold that car to,” he recalls. “I asked him some questions and he says, ‘do you want to buy it back?’ I said, ‘absolutely,’ and I drove straight to Atlanta that following Sunday afternoon when I returned, wrote him a check, and brought it home. It came back showing just 312 miles since the day I had sold it.” Talk about preserving history…
By now, Tim and Pam had already purchased a few other Daytonas and Superbirds. In fact, they were able to purchase the original K&K Insurance Daytona that had been part of the collection at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. This car had set records at Bonneville, and, through Tim’s efforts, got the very first 528” crate motor Hemi from Chrysler. Tim, licensed to drive at speed, then toured the car in exhibition races across Europe, driving it at 150+ mph speeds at places like Germany’s legendary Nürburgring and Goodwood’s Festival of Speed. This car has been on display in the new NASCAR Museum in Charlotte since the day that facility opened.
One car in particular does stand out. This was a Charger Daytona that Tim had found and bought from the owner’s ex-wife, and it has a story. The car was sold through the Lenox Dodge franchise in Atlanta; its origins of its ordering are lost; it was likely bought by the owner Tim found out about through Lenox’ used car department as a repo. CONTINUED Read more