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The second generation Dodge Charger, which arrived in 1968, was and still is a muscle car styling masterpiece. However, it didn’t take long for Chrysler engineers to notice that that iconic form wasn’t very functional on the high-speed ovals of NASCAR. The recessed grille and rear window added aerodynamic drag by the bucketful, enough to cancel out any advantage the mighty 426 Hemi under the hood might have provided. The blocky Dodges were no match for the equally new but much slipperier Ford Torino and Mercury Cyclone fastbacks on the big tracks, prompting Dodge to create the Charger 500 and, after that, the Charger Daytona.

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