Story and images by Al Rogers
At a private event near Augusta, Ga., on May 7, NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Bobby Allison and close friend Tim Walker confirmed plans to re-create a race-ready version of the iconic No. 22 1969 Dodge Daytona best known for its red, gold and white paint scheme and Bobby Allison name on the driver’s side door. Allison drove the No. 22 Daytona in 1969 and 1970 for Mario Rossi’s Automotive Engineering race team.
Allison and Walker intend to write a new page of NASCAR history with the build of the race-ready Daytona. A set of Nechels Engineering blueprints have been acquired from Bill Rossi (son of Mario Rossi) to serve as a template for the recreation.
MoPar and NASCAR enthusiast Al Abbott donated an original 1970 Dodge Charger body for the re-creation. The Charger body shell was pulled out of Abbott’s MoPar graveyard and after Allison posed with it, the body was loaded onto an open trailer and transported to Mooresville, N.C.
According to Walker, the intent is to build the No. 22 Dodge Daytona re-creation much like it would have been done back in the day. The plan calls for Allison to have a role as consultant, adviser and overseer of the project.
“Bobby will definitely do some wrenching during the build,” Walker added. “I’ve known him for over 40 years, when we met at the 1972 Daytona 500. He’s going to have a hands-on approach.
“It will have the Bobby Allison touch and he’ll be putting his mark on the Daytona build just as he did back in the day.”
Walker has already reached out to highly skilled craftsman with hopes of having them join the project. The time, labor, parts, supplies and other items will be donated.
“This race car will be built for the purpose of giving something back to a close friend, someone I respect and look up to, whose career was cut short and taken away from him,” Walker said. “It’s my mission to make this happen and see it through to the end, when we unveil the Daytona at one of the NASCAR tracks.”
Many NASCAR followers will recall the horrific wreck at the Pocono Speedway in 1988 involving Bobby Allison and the Miller High Life Buick he was piloting. It marked the end to his stellar racing career. The NASCAR Winston Cup Series lost one of its most recognizable and favorite drivers during that race.
For NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison, the build of the Daytona No. 22 re-creation has reenergized his passion for racing. It’s a new chapter of his race car history and reconnects him with one of his favorite drives, “Daytona No. 22.”
Al Rogers and Firsatsaatleri have been given an opportunity to follow the build of Bobby Allison’s recreated 1969 Dodge Daytona and bring the story to the readers over the coming months.