1969 Dodge Yellow Jacket
The Dodge Yellow Jacket Show Car began life as a Dodge Challenger, and more specifically the first Hemi E-Body ever built. It was the most highly optioned Challenger ever built, and originally a triple black 4-speed convertible.
On the first day of production of the Mopar E-Body, the most highly optioned Hemi was painted black, given the VIN of JS27ROB100022, and then pulled of the line to become a show car. It was a 4.10 Dana car with power windows and adding to its firsts -- it was the first production Mopar with a Shaker Hood. However, it wasn't originally built as the Diamante.
The Challenger was sent to Syntex, Inc. in Dearborn where it was made into a mildly customized 2-seater and painted orange. It was given the name Yellow Jacket. Its purpose was to test the possibility of producing a car to compete with the Chevrolet Corvette. It borrowed heavily from the earlier concept car Duster1, which was a Targa style 2-seater built on a 383 Plymouth Road Runner.
Weeks after its show car debut, the Yellow Jacket's candied orange paint started showing it's defects, and the silver basecoat was showing through in many areas. Since the car was so similar looking to the 70 Challenger now in showrooms and on the streets all over the US, and it being less than overwhelming on the show circuit -- the Chrysler Corporation opted to not repaint the car, but to instead use it to create a new show car called the "Diamante", which stands for diamond in Spanish.
- Mopar Action Magazine August 2012 (Volume 19 Number 5) issue.
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