Yesterday saw the first-ever rain-postponed Daytona 500, the ‘Super Bowl’ of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. One hundred thousand-plus fans went home in disappointment, forty three cars dripped Atlantic rain while their respective drivers wrung out their nomex undies, and two erstwhile presidential candidates awkwardly attempted to affix a brave face while officials finally made the call to move the race to Monday. And all the wet while the winner’s circle awaits a victor of what is touted as being the largest single sporting event in the world. But, the weather permuting, it will be filled today.
Ever since 1959, what has more typically filled Daytona is a Sunday drive by a bunch of a two-door sedans. Most often those are of American origin, and they have evolved over the years from nearly factory stock to today’s mere shell over a tube chassis that is as close to stock as are the track’s banked curves to those of a freeway onramp. Still, the cars that run the super speedways need to bear some resemblance to an actual production car, if only in profile. That has led to the creation of some special edition American coupes featuring add-on aero-aids that are sometimes in stark contact to their middle America styling roots.
If your desires are to race on Sunday and sell on Monday, then those special NASCAR models need to be made available to the Joe Sixpacks of the nation, and that has resulted in some cool one-offs made possible by the need of teams to fit a template taken from a street car that’s actually sold to be used on the streets. After all, they still call them stock cars. Of those cars that have traded paint on Daytona’s storied two and a half miles, only one can be called winner, no matter how close the margin of victory. Of those Daytona winners, which one is your favorite?