Yesterday, when we covered the introduction of the Dodge Challenger at Daytona, we noted that Mike Joy failed to mention Plymouth when talking about the Superbird, and then referred to it as the Superbird Daytona. No doubt, Joy knows his NASCAR, but he also sent us a message today politely taking umbrage at our inference that the Plymouth brand was specifically omitted from the introduction. His message and our response after the jump.
I enjoyed your review of the Challenger announcement in Daytona, but I'd appreciate a small correction regarding my (mostly unscripted) remarks.
I tried to be careful to say Superbird AND Daytona, and not combine them as one model. I'd greatly appreciate your making that small edit, thanks.
PR chose to group all the historic cars under the banner of "Chrysler Group brands". As for Plymouth, if you looked closely around the parking lot display, there was a Charger, and lots of E-bodies.... all Challengers... no 'Cudas, no Road Runners, no Satellites, no GTX's, etc.
Point being, there was no specific intent to omit Plymouth, or to diminish the contributions of the Plymouth Superbird. Instead, the Chrysler Group folks chose to concentrate on the brands that are in the showroom today.
I'm one of the biggest fans of the Chrysler TransAm effort of 1970. Dan Gurney, Sam Posey are friends of mine, and I was at many of those races. The AAR Cuda and Challenger TA remain two of my favorite cars to this day. Sorry for any misunderstanding.
Of course, Mike; you've been around racing for years and have probably forgotten more than we'll ever know, and the Mopar wing cars are some of the most famous racing machines ever built. But while you say that there was no specific intent to omit Plymouth, we're still wondering a bit. As for the "Superbird Daytona" comments, we just re-watched the press conference, and you do refer to the Charger Daytona and then the Superbird (sans Plymouth) after specifically mentioning the Chrysler 300 running at Daytona, but you then refer to the Superbird as the "Daytona Superbird," which we can accept considering it was built for superspeedways, but you then refer to it as the "Superbird Daytona," which frankly leaves us a little suspicious of Chrysler PR's motives. Then again, we sorta understand it; nobody wants the failure of an entire brand mentioned when introducing a new model. Thanks for writing, Mike. And keep reading.
[UPDATE: We received this e-mail from Joy just as the post was winding its way through our labyrinthine system of shaky servers:
Thanks Davey... I'll have to correct my correction, then. After writing you, I reviewed the info supplied to me by Chrysler... I dont mind sharing it with you verbatim...
"Welcome to Daytona, the scene of many historic Chrysler Group victories... won in classic cars and plioted by legendary drivers: Chrysler 300, by Lee Petty Dodge Daytonas / Plymouth Superbirds piloted by Buddy Baker, Bobby Isaac, Richard Petty, etc."
So the Plymouth omission falls squarely on my shoulders, although it was unintentional. Guess I should have left a longer pause between "Superbird" and "Daytona" in my remarks then, so they wouldn't have sounded like one model.
I was quite impressed with Eric Ridenour's current knowledge of the auction market for for Daytona's and E bodies. We had a quite a backstage discussion about it, and the numbers just wowed Tom LaSorda.
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