A Few Creative Thoughts
In 1969 Chrysler was producing hundreds of cars a day in its factories across North America. Mass production on this scale thrived on as little variation in the assembly process as possible. The more variation, the more cost, and more cost (without good reason) was not what the car buying public or the company stock holders were looking for.
Enter some well-reasoned variation, the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, one of the final shots fired by Chrysler in the NASCAR Aero Wars. Although the Daytona's roots were firmly planted in the mass produced Charger line, the plethora of special parts and processes necessary to transform common Chargers into Daytonas was enough to throw Chrysler's Hamtramck assembly line into seizures. Hence the decision was made by Chrysler to divorce portions of the Daytona's assembly from the main line by transporting the cars to another facility owned by Creative Industries of Detroit.
Creative Industries began business in 1950, and for the next several decades it handled specialty work for a number of auto makers, amassing an impressive resume of projects that included the Dodge Charger Daytona conversion. Creative Industries also did conversion work on the Daytona's predecessor, the Charger 500, and would go on to produce many of the special parts used on the Plymouth SuperBird.
In 1986, 50% of Creative Industries was purchased by Masco Tech. Five years later, Masco Tech purchased the remaining 50% interest.
Fortunately, at some point during the Charger conversion work, a Creative Industries employee must have taken a number of photographs. These photos are the remarkable black and white ones showcased here. They are made available through the courtesy of Greg Kwiatkowski, who counts them among the many rare and unusual documents in his Chrysler memorabilia collection.
The Rest Of The Story
While conducting research to prepare the history portion of this page, the author located a Detroit area address (3080 East Outer Drive) for Creative Industries. When contacted about whether this could be the location seen in the black and white photos, Greg Kwiatkowski was adamant that it was not. Greg understood from a conversation several years ago with fellow Chrysler employee Igor Gronowicz that the conversions were accomplished somewhere around the 10 Mile Road area just outside of Detroit, but he had never investigated further. Soon after this discussion with the author, and armed with a full tank of gas, the black and white photos, a camera and lots of patience, Greg went looking for the exact location where the Daytonas began life. And he found it!