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This week’s podcast show guest is Gary Beineke. He and his wife Pam met in high school, and after she showed him how to pull a tire off of a rim with a spoon he knew she was the one for him. Together they have a huge passion for Mopars, speed, and history, and they spend all of their free time building cool Mopar projects simply because they love it!
The Beineke’s both love the G-Series era of Mopar muscle, so it genuinely peaked their interest when they came across some old historical information that stated Chrysler really was developing wing cars for the 1971 NASCAR season. As we all know, NASCAR was none too fond of the “aero cars” on the track, especially the Mopars, because with their slick shape and monster HEMI’s they were clobbering the competition week after week. As such, Chrysler saw the writing on the wall and abandoned their aero car program for 1971, but not before building a few clay models and publishing some test reports. That’s where the Beineke’s came in.
Seeing an opportunity to build the “what if” G-series Mopar of their dreams, they took the pictures and test reports and created their first 1971 Daytona. It was white and was a “production car” version, looking almost as if it had rolled off of a Dodge assembly line years ago. Following their success with that they created their first ’71 “Aero SuperBee”, and then followed that up with their first ’71 Superbird. Not too shabby for a few years of work, right? Following that they created several other “what if” Mopars that I’ll feature in the next show.
A couple of years ago the Beineke’s took a ride along trip at a NASCAR track and were able to experience first hand the thrill of running wide open in a stock car. After they climbed out and wiped the grins from their faces they returned to their shop and decided to build another ’71 Daytona, but this time one that was built for straight line speed. Their goal was a 200+ MPH capable car that could eventually run at Bonneville, just as Bobby Isaac did with his ’69 Daytona back in the day.
After creating the car it literally had it’s first trip out (ever) during a standing-mile event. Gary found that the car was incredibly unstable at high speeds and was scratching his head as to the reason. A well timed finish line photo of his run revealed that the nose of the car was literally creating lift under the car, and there was roughly a 6 inch gap between the top of the front tire and the wheel lip on the fender. He and his wife then met up with a former Mopar engineer who had worked on the winged car program, and the three of them then spent some time in a wind tunnel getting all of the kinks worked out.
The result? The Beineke’s now have a 200+ MPH ’71 Daytona, and 40 years to the day that Bobby Isaac ran his Daytona at Bonneville, so did the Beineke’s. Both Pam and Gary drove the car over 200 MPH, but Pam took top honors with a 208 MPH run! Their next build will be of a ’71 Superbird. It will wear Petty Blue and the famous #43, but unlike the K&K Daytona it will be a “tri-athelete”, built for speed and cornering. I’m already looking forward to featuring it.
This interview is the first part of a two part series with Gary Beineke. Look for Part 2 in the next release of The MuscleCar Place podcast! For a sneak preview of the Beineke’s other builds, visit their website 71wingcars.com.
Thanks for the interview, Gary!