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This weeks interview guest was Mr. Tony D’Agostino, owner of Tony’s Mopar Parts. Tony has built a great business selling new, used, and NOS parts to Mopar owners over the past 25 years and has owned a multitude of Mopars, including a “Gold” level winning 1969 Dodge Daytona (but more about that later).
Mopars have run in the blood of Tony’s family as far as he could remember. When he was 14 years old he started buying cars. His first attempt was to purchase a 1969 Daytona, but unfortunately his mother over-ruled that plan, so he instead purchased a 1970 Roadrunner convertible (which he still owns today). Little did he know that the Roadrunner would be the humble beginnings of Tonys Parts.
He purchased a second Roadrunner as a parts car for some pieces he needed, then sold some of the other parts and more than recouped his cost for the whole parts car. This gave him the idea that a business could be born in repeating the process, which has grown into the business he still owns and operated today.
Ever since his brush with that first Daytona, Tony has been interested in the famed winged wonders. Today he owns one of each, a Daytona and a Superbird, and the Datyona underwent a full blown restoration using every component of NOS parts he ad available for it (muffler clamps, engine drive belts, etc.). When it was judged at the Mopar Nationals it won a Gold for it’s level of restoration.
Tony walked me through some of the finer points of restoring such a high class car. He pointed out with several examples where just because something is not shiny, or free of over spray, or not even straight, does not mean that it is incorrect.
The Daytonas and Superbirds were built for one reason only, to get enough cars into dealerships to satisfy Nascar standards of what was considered production levels. In 1969 Nascar required 500 vehicles to be built, so Dodge had to build them fast in order to race. That means the cars were built in a hurry and were not assembled under production circumstances. Tony found things during his restoration such as over spray under the hood, crooked emblems, and even a different honeycomb grille that most other Daytonas do not have.
During the interview Tony was able to walk me through a lot of the changes a Daytona had to go through in the transformation from a Charger R/T to a winged race car. The car was produced as a 1969 model, but the front clip was changed to a 1970 in order to mount the nose cone better.
The trunk was removed and prepped for installation of the wing. The back window was removed and a special plug was installed to make the glass flush with the roof line for better aerodynamics. Almost every panel was modified and repainted before the cars were finished and shipped to dealers.
Tony’s level of knowledge regarding these cars pushed his Daytona over the top with the restoration and made it the Gold class winner it is today.
For more information about Tony, his cars and his parts, you can visit http://www.tonysparts.com
Thanks for a great, and engaging interview, Tony!