1968 Dodge Charger by Steve Mirabelli
By his own account, Mirabelli spent about 3,000 man hours on the incredible vehicle before you. in the Daytona. This 2006 Dodge Charger SRT8 “Daytona”, or 1968 Dodge Charger – as I like to see it – is the result of dedication and incredible skills of 600-years old Steve Mirabelli
The guy wanted to mix a late-model SRT8 with a 1968 Dodge Charger body, resulting in a functional and drivable ’69 Dodge Daytona. A ’69 Daytona with all the power, performance, safety, economy, and serviceability of a new SRT8 Hemi. Who could say ‘no’ to that?
Dropping a vintage Charger body onto a late-model LX chassis is a complex process. At a company like Chrysler, it takes a dozen engineers, a room filled with supercomputers, and a studio of stylists. But not with this incredible muscle-car, designed and built by a single guy inside his garage.
The exterior of Mirabelli’s Daytona does deviate in subtle ways from the original. Aside from the late-model LX’s wheelbase and track, you should also note the Superbird-look nose, drop-down headlight doors, updated side mirrors, one-piece door glass, late-model door handles, recessed wipers/cowl, carbon-fiber accent pieces, and the low-key fuel-filler door. It does, however, look great. Am I right?
Unlike most contemporary impressive vehicles, this Daytona’s interior benefits from OE-inspired interior pieces that most people will assume are from some other kind of car. The cabin shows off stock SRT8 Charger-sourced seats, dashboard and instrument cluster, stereo, steering wheel, shifter, custom door glass, as well as custom inner door panels, headliner, and headliner console to match.
Powering up this retro looking beast is a naturally-aspirated Chrysler Hemi 6.1L, Gen III series, overhead valve V8, developing 425 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, mated to a NAG1-derived W5A580 5-speed automatic transmission with factory lock-up converter. The exhaust system remains stock, with the 20-inch alloys wrapped around in Goodyear rubber.