When your background is in auto restoration, folks pay attention to which cars you choose to build. Down South in Gastonia, North Carolina, Kim Haynes is one of those auto restorers to whom folks listen. He had completed several NASCAR restorations, but his heart always leaned toward that race car of the '60s with legendary status and limited production...the Daytona Coupe.
"I had always wanted a Coupe, well, since I was a teenager in '60s, anyway," said Haynes, "and after checking out several replicas, I chose Upstate Super Replicars because I believe they are the best on the market."
Haynes chose to build his Daytona as a cruiser. "I want to drive this baby and not make it a show queen or a race-only car," he said. Staying on that course, the interior design follows the original design, but with carpet, custom covered panels, air conditioning, and a headliner "to make it more driveable." He also made the effort to hide the A/C to keep the original cockpit look.
He left little to chance with this project, and after securing the new assembled suspension option kit, he component-shopped through Europa Parts, Interiors by Dean, Anthony Wiring, Classic Gass Fuel Injection, and several fabricators to complete this 40-year dream.
The chassis is pure Upstate, a 4-inch mandrel-bent round tube frame, with 0.135-inch-wall-thickness main rails, providing an original wheelbase of 90 inches. All suspension points are factory installed and drilled, and the frame is acid-washed and etched. The Upstate body is a fiberglass combination of chopper gun and hand-laid construction, with all inner panels, doors, and hood installed. All body panels are made with vinyl Ester resin and replicate the '65 Daytona Coupe.
The body came mounted to the frame, but Haynes modified the doors, installed functional rear brake scoops, modified the rear hatch and foot boxes to the original design, fabricated slider side windows, relocated the battery, modified the interior to include air conditioning, and fabricated a custom pedal assembly.
Haynes installed a Jaguar rearend, watts linkage, Carrera rear shocks with Eibach springs, and Jaguar rear brakes. Up front, he used Carrera shocks, Eibach springs, Amp custom spindles, Wilwood brakes and master cylinder, and a Wilwood pedal assembly.
For that legendary Daytona power, Haynes chose a Ford 302 crate engine, Ford GT40 aluminum heads, electronic fuel injection, four Webber carbs and manifold, Cobra valve covers, a Ford distributor, a Pertronix coil, and a Tremec 3550 five-speed transmission. He hasn't had it dyno'd yet and estimates his horsepower at about 375. With a curb weight of 2,300 pounds, Haynes feels he can legally go from 0 to speed limit as fast as is humanly and safely possible.
In the cockpit, to achieve that homey feel, Haynes installed Stewart-Warner gauges, a custom dashboard, a 15-inch wood steering wheel, black leather seats with black headliner, and carpet, upholstered by Dean Hance of Bessemer City, North Carolina.
Haynes did all the bodywork and painted it in classic PPG Guardsman Blue, highlighting the exterior with Lucas headlights and taillights, Cobra door handles, and Lexan slider windows.
This is one cool Coupe, and a cruiser of the first degree. After 20 years in the restoration business, this was Haynes' first kit car, and this Southerner went Upstate to build it. Not a bad introduction to the genre, we'd say.