1970 coronet

1970 Dodge Coronet R/T - Growing Up Mopar

One Fast—and Rare—Coronet

If you grew up in the '80s getting picked up after school in hopped-up Mopars, you might be prone to be a Mopar guy today. Such is the case with Scott Evans, who admittedly is a Mopar guy because of his dad and his dad's circle of Mopar buddies.

"My first exposure to Mopars came in the early '80s when I was 11 or 12 years old," he says. "My dad owned a machine shop which I, along with my brothers, still own today. We lived above the business that was located south of Chicago. My dad hired a few guys that were friends of each other and were into Mopars hardcore."

Street machines and drag racing were widespread among enthusiasts during the '80s, especially on the south side of Chicago. Scott recalls the cars that were being worked on at his dad's shop. "Most were street driven race cars. It wasn't uncommon for me to be taken to school in a Road Runner, Super Bee, or any other hot Mopar that would show up at work that day. A lettered race car sitting outside at the shop and being driven on the street was a familiar sight. DOT street slicks were made many times by being grooved at the shop to give them some tread to satisfy the authorities. That makes quite an impression on an 11-year-old kid. I was hooked."

Though his first street car was an '86 Buick T-Type 3.8 intercooled turbo V-6, Scott longed for a Mopar similar to the beasts he had seen at his father's shop. By 2003, he had acquired two '70 Super Bee project cars. However, he learned of this Hemi Orange 440 Six Pack four-speed Super Track Pak Coronet R/T being sold by Pete Skalba. Pete had intentions to build the car as a Factory Appearing Stock Tire race car. But the original and rare 440-6 four-speed car sitting in his garage seemed better suited for a full restoration. Scott ended up trading both Super Bees plus cash to Pete to bring the R/T home. That transaction was the right move for the right car, since only 97 '70 440 Six Pack Coronet R/T four-speed cars were built.

In the '70 model year, Chrysler's Dodge and Plymouth divisions offered distinct models on the B-Body platform. Dodge had five versions of the Coronet: the Coronet Deluxe, the 440, 500, the performance bargain Super Bee, and the upscale R/T. The Super Bee was introduced midyear in 1968 as Dodge's answer to the Plymouth Road Runner, while the more upscale Coronet R/T was similar to Plymouth's GTX. The Coronet R/T represented Dodge's attempt to blend performance and luxury in one package.

Mark Sekula at Magnum Auto Restoration in LaSalle, Illinois, was the man in charge of the paint and bodywork on Scott's Coronet. The results are nothing short of spectacular. The car came from North Carolina and was still sporting Carolina clay on the underside. Scott says, "The car was driven hard and put away wet. I could definitely see this car sideways down an old clay road, shifting gears from the Pistol Grip, and bouncing over any pothole in sight."

The original and rare 440-6 four-speed car seemed better suited for a full restoration

Undaunted, Sekula restored the body to perfection. The unibody shell was mounted on a rotisserie and painted Hemi Orange. The undercarriage is amazing, almost blinding. The exterior metal, fitment, and gaps are flawless. To put it mildly, Scott was thrilled with the final product.

Upon delivery of the restored body, Scott began the tedious task of assembly. Fortunately he had taken many pictures of the car during disassembly. Those pictures, in addition to the resources Scott had at his machine shop, made the car go together with all parts, components, and fasteners restored to new condition. No part went back on the car untouched. Even all the hardware inside the doors was restored to exact OE status. The final product is a strong testimony to his attention to detail.

Inspired by previous owner Pete Skalba, Scott decided to have Mendez Motorsports build a fluffed-up motor similar to those being run in F.A.S.T. racing. The motor looks factory stock externally, but it packs a bit more punch. After attempting to keep up with Scott going down some Illinois country roads, suffice it to say that though it might not technically be a F.A.S.T. car, it is a fast car.

Scott is especially grateful to his wife Heidi, his dad's influence, Mark at Magnum Restorations, Mendez Motorsports, and even some of his dad's former employees who gave advice and technical expertise. The car made its debut at the 2012 Mopar Nationals, where it won First Place in the '66-'70 Dodge B-Body original class. At the 2012 MCACN show, Scott's car received Gold Honors.

Scott's next project is a recently purchased '64 Dodge post car. Of course, that comes as no surprise for someone who has grown up with Mopars as part of the family heritage. Is there any other car?

At a Glance
1970 Coronet R/T

Owned by: Scott and Heidi Evans, Manhattan, IL

Restored by: Owner; Magnum Auto Restoration, LaSalle, Illinois; Mendez Motorsports, Lowell, Indiana

Engine: 440ci/512hp V-8

Transmission: A833 4-speed manual

Rearend: Dana 60 with 4.10 gears and A34 Super Track Pak

Interior: Black vinyl bucket seat

Wheels: 15x6 front, 15x7 rear steel

Tires: F70-15 front, L60-15 rear Goodyear Polyglas GT

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Dodge Coronet

American car model sold 1949–1959, 1965–1976

Motor vehicle

The Coronet is an automobile that was marketed by Dodge in seven generations, and shared nameplates with the same bodyshell with varying level of equipment installed. Introduced as a full-size car in 1949, it was the division's highest trim line and moved to the lowest level starting in 1955 through 1959. The name was reintroduced on intermediate-sized models from the 1965 to 1976 model years.[1]Muscle car versions were available starting in 1965 with the 440 cu in (7.2 L) Chrysler RB engine, followed in 1966 by the powerful 426 cu in (7.0 L) Chrysler Hemi. Other performance models included the "Superbee", and featured, the 383 cu in (6.3 L) Magnum, among other engine options. The nameplate "coronet" is a type of crown worn by royalty.

In the 1980s, the Coronet was used on Dodge models marketed in Colombia.

First generation (1949–1952)[edit]

Motor vehicle

First generation
Dodge15.jpg

1949 Dodge Coronet 4-Door Sedan

Production1949–1952
Assembly
Body style
RelatedChrysler Windsor
DeSoto Custom
Plymouth De Luxe
(Canadian Market only)
Dodge Regent
Engine230 cu in (3.8 L) Dodge Straight 6[2][3]
Transmission2-speed automatic
3-speed manual
"Gyromatic or Fluid drive"
Wheelbase115 in (2,921 mm)
123.5 in (3,137 mm)[4]
Length
Width73 in (1,854 mm) (1949–52)
74 in (1,880 mm)[3]
Height63+1⁄2 in (1,613 mm)[2]

The Dodge Coronet was introduced with the division's first postwar body styles. Lower trim lines were the Wayfarer and Meadowbrook, with the Wayfarer being built on a shorter 115 inch wheelbase.[6] The only engine for Dodge was a 230-cubic-inch (3,800 cc) flat-head straight six cylinder engine with a single barrel Stromberg carburetor, producing 103 hp (77 kW) (gross). The stock Dodge Coronet was a smooth running car, and the six-cylinder engine could power the car to 90 mph (145 km/h)+ . A limited production model was a four-door, eight-passenger limousine, an extended version of the stock Dodge Coronet which was related to the DeSoto Suburban.[6] One of the most notable features of the first-generation Coronet was a three-speed, fluid-driven transmission that was operated by a foot pedal on the floor. It required no gear selector. It had full instrumentation and 37 inches of head room both front and rear.[7][8]

All Dodge vehicles received a facelift for 1950 but like the 1949 models were still divided into Wayfarer, Meadowbrook, and Coronet lines. The 1950 models can be identified easily by the new grille design which featured 3 heavy horizontal bars. The upper and lower bars formed a stylish oblong shape. Within this oblong grille was a thick center bar with parking lights on each end and a large chrome plaque in the center bearing the Dodge crest. The 8-passenger sedan's length was 216.8 inches.[3]

Dodge received yet another facelift in 1951 but this time the cars remained virtually unchanged for two model years. Busy manufacturing military vehicles for use in Korea, they chose not to dedicate valuable resources to completely redesign civilian vehicles. Still divided into Wayfarer, Meadowbrook, and Coronet lines through 1952, by 1953 the Wayfarer line had been discontinued. The grille of the 1951 model was similar in shape to the 1950 grille, but with the elimination of the thick vertical center bar and the addition of six vents running horizontally between the top and center bars, a whole new look was achieved. The Coronet Diplomat was Dodge's first hardtop coupe, featuring a pillarless steel roof styled after the contemporary Chrysler Newport. The speedometer was now circular, and the other four gauges were rectangles.[3] For 1952 the Coronet had a painted lower grille louver.

  • 1949 Dodge Coronet station wagon

  • 1951 Dodge Coronet Club Coupe

  • 1952 Dodge Coronet Club Coupe

Dodge Wayfarer[edit]

The Dodge Wayfarer is an automobile produced by Dodge from February 1949 until 1952. It was discontinued without a replacement in the United States, although the Kingsway series remained available in export markets. The Wayfarer was the first true roadster built by the Big Three since the 1930s, offering only accommodation for two passengers and no rear seat.[9] However, the roadster concept was soon altered to the plusher Sportabout as higher comfort levels were demanded by the post-war auto buyers.[10] 9325 roadsters and Sportabouts were built, out of a total of 217,623 Wayfarers of all bodystyles.[11][12]: 263 

The "true" 1949 Dodges were introduced in February 1949, after a long production run of the 1948s. The Wayfarer (known as the D-29 series), aside from its shorter wheelbase, shared the boxy corporate design of the new 1949 Chrysler products. While much improved over the earlier Dodges, the Wayfarer still had to do without features such as a crankshaft dampener, the new Micronic oil filter, a splash-proof distributor, and rivetless brake linings. The windshield wipers were vacuum-powered rather than electric, and only the right-hand door received an exterior lock – the roadster receiving none. The Wayfarer arrived with three different bodystyles: a two-door sedan, a two-door business coupe, and the two-door roadster (only entering production in May).[13] The business coupe shared some bodywork with Plymouth's business coupe version, but the other Wayfarers had unique pressings.[5] A one-barrel, L-head inline-six of 230 cu in (3.8 L) was installed, with 103 hp (77 kW). This was to be the only engine option for the Wayfarer's entire production run.

The roadster had removable plastic side windows instead of wind-down units, and a short top which eliminated the need for rear quarter windows. More permanent swing-out vent windows were available as an option. However, Californian regulations on hand signalling meant that roll-down windows had to be added quick and retro-fitted to Californian market vehicles.[13] This happened in September, after which the roll-down windows became a rarely selected delete-option.[10] A roadster with a rumble seat was even tested (with a bottom-hinged trunk lid), but the opening would have had to be moved and the cost of tooling up for such an option meant that it was soon dropped.[13]

1949 production totalled 63,816, equalling 25 percent of Dodge's total number. Of these, 49,054 were sedans, 9342 were coupes, and 5420 were roadsters.[10]

For 1950, the D-33 Wayfarers (as for the entire Dodge lineup) received a facelift with a sleeker grille, new bumpers, and new rear fenders with the taillights mounted directly on them.[14] Mid-year, the roadster was renamed Sportabout as Chrysler realized that very few "true" roadsters were sold. The Sportabout, unlike the rest of the Wayfarer line, also received a body moulding which extended onto the front doors.[10]

A disastrous 104-day strike, lasting from 25 January until 8 May, hamstrung all of Chrysler's production this year.[10] Meanwhile, the arrival of the Rambler Landau convertible meant serious competition for the roadster. While a little more expensive, the new Rambler was much more comprehensively equipped and could seat five rather than two people.[10] Business coupe production also dropped, although the sedan increased for a better overall than in 1949. 75,403 were built, made up of 65,000 sedans, 7500 coupes, and 2903 roadsters/Sportabouts.

1951's D-41 Wayfarers received a thorough upgrade, with a new hood, front fenders, and new slotted grille in two sections. The windshield was bigger and the dashboard new, and underneath there were new "Oriflow" shock absorbers.[11] 1951 was the last year that the Sportabout was available with the removable side windows.[10] A period road tester (Tom McCahill, for Mechanix Illustrated) reached a 87 mph (140 km/h) top speed, and sixty mph from standing was reached in 17.4 seconds.[11]

The 1952s were nearly identical to the 1951s, with Dodge not even bothering to separate the yearly sales numbers.[11] When the 1952s were introduced, the Sportabout was listed with an asterisk regarding availability but was not produced. The business coupe was discontinued in February 1952, with material shortages due to the Korean War forcing automobile manufacturers to focus on their more popular models.[11] Thus, only the two-door sedan was available for most of the Wayfarer's last model year. Production for 1951 and 1952 totalled 78,404, of which 70,700 were sedans, 6702 business coupes, and a mere 1002 of the 1951 Sportabouts.[11] For 1953, the "Meadowbrook Special" series was added to replace the Wayfarer at the lower end of Dodge's lineup.[12]

  • 1949 Dodge Wayfarer roadster

  • 1950 Dodge Wayfarer Sportabout roadster

  • A 1950 Dodge Wayfarer two-door sedan

  • 1952 Dodge Wayfarer business coupe

Dodge Meadowbrook[edit]

The Dodge Meadowbrook is a full-size car that was produced by Dodge in the United States from 1949 to 1954. It was produced by Dodge and offered as the midline trim level from February 1949 until 1954, above the Wayfarer and beneath the Coronet. The Meadowbrook was largely identical to the Coronet, excepting trim and equipment differences.[12]: 266  In 1952 the Wayfarer was cancelled and the Meadowbrook became the lowest-priced Dodge in the United States; export markets (including Canada) continued to receive the Plymouth-based Dodge Kingsway. In its first year the four-door only Meadowbrook made up 30% of Dodge's sales (about 90,000 units), and came with "Safe-Guard Hydraulic Brakes" which included two cylinders per front brake. Dodge also advertised a new "cradled" ride, which was supposedly softer than all the others makers cars. The single-barrel inline-six produced 103 hp (77 kW).[15]

For 1950, the six-cylinder was baptized the "Get-Away" engine. After the late introduction of the 1949s, the 1950 Dodges appeared a little earlier, on 4 January 1950.[16] The 1950 Meadowbrook has a wide, 42.7 ft (13.0 m) turning circle.[17][18] Four-door sedan bodywork remained the only option.[16]

The 1951 Meadowbrook received a thorough change, with all-new front skin. Bumpers were also new, as was the dashboard, and the windshield was enlarged.[19] The engine remained unchanged, as it would until 1954. In 1952, the Meadowbrook made up 32.50% of Dodge's sales (circa 84,000). With Chrysler being entirely focussed on the Korean War effort, the 1952s received almost no changes – modifications being limited to details such as a red reflector dot beneath the taillights and lightly redesigned hubcaps.[19] The 1952s were introduced on 10 November 1951.[20]

Chrysler Wayfarer[edit]

Main article: Chrysler Royal (Australia)

The Wayfarer model name was also used by Chrysler Australia for the Chrysler Wayfarer, a series of ute models built between late 1958 and 1960 (AP2 and AP3 models, some perhaps built as late as 1961) in 1205 examples.[21] Later, there was a ute called the "Chrysler Valiant Wayfarer". This model was built from April 1965[22] until August 1971.

Second generation (1953–1954)[edit]

Motor vehicle

For 1953, the Coronet was totally redesigned.[3] It gained an optional 241 cu in (3.9 L) "Red Ram"[24]Hemi Engine and set over 100 land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats.[25] The windshield finally became one-piece.[3] Electric windshield wipers were standard, while the radio cost $83.[3]

The Dodge Royal line was added above the Coronet in 1954. Dodge was putting more luxury into all of its models which included the Meadowbrook, Coronet and new Royal lines. Still, styling changes for 1954 were modest. The chrome molding on the hood lip was wider than on the 1953 models and a large chrome upright in the center of the grille replaced the five vertical dividers used previously. It still came with full instrumentation.[26] 1954 saw Chrysler's first fully automatic transmission, two-speed PowerFlite, offered as an extra-cost option on all Dodges.

Dodge Meadowbrook[edit]

The 1953 Dodges arrived on 23 October 1952, and featured a revised bodywork based on the 1952s. The doors (now with pull-handles) opened wider, the rear window was a one-piece, and the taillights were oval units. Naturally the grille and chrome applications were altered.[20] The "Meadowbrook Special" series was added to replace the Wayfarer at the lower end of Dodge's lineup.[27] A two-door model and a station wagon were also added.[28] The two- and four-door sedans were both offered in both Meadowbrook and Special trim levels, but the Special did not suit the buoyant US car market and by April 1953 it had already been discontinued. Instead, sales of the new V8-engined Coronet were very strong. The austere Special, intended for travelling salesmen and the like, received no chrome side trim and plain rubber trim around the windows. The interior was equally bare.[20]

The two-door Suburban wagon, offered for 1953 only, sat on a shorter 114 in (2,900 mm) wheelbase than the sedans.[20]

1954 was the last year of the Meadowbrook,[15] and it had a new Powerflite automatic.[29] Offered as a four-door or two-door sedan (called Club Coupé), it was now also available with the optional new "Red Ram" Hemi V8 engine.[20] Of 241.3 cu in (4.0 L), it produces 140 hp (104 kW) for the Meadowbrook, ten horsepower less than in the more senior Dodges due to a lower compression ratio. Thanks to a modest compression increase, the "230" six increased its power output to 110 hp (82 kW).[30] Buyers still flocked to the more prestigious Coronet and Royal lines, and only 15,444 were built.[20]

Dodge Royal[edit]

The Royal was introduced for the 1954 model year as the top trim level of the Dodge line, above the mid level Dodge Coronet and the base level Dodge Meadowbrook.[31] It was offered only with a 241 cubic inch 'Hemi' V8 engine.[31] The 1954 Royal V-8 range comprised 4-Door Sedan, Convertible, Club Coupe and Sport Coupe,[32] the latter being a 2-door hardtop.

  • 1953 Dodge Coronet Sierra 2-door wagon

  • 1954 Dodge Meadowbrook, four-door sedan

  • 1954 Dodge Royal V-8 4-Door Sedan

Third generation (1955–1956)[edit]

Motor vehicle

The 1955 Coronet dropped to the lower end of the Dodge vehicle lineup, with the Wayfarer and Meadowbrook names no longer used and the Custom Royal added above the Royal, Lancer, and La Femme. Bodies were restyled with help from newly hired Virgil Exner to be lower, wider, and longer than the lumpy prewar style, which in turn generated a healthy boost in sales over 1954. Power came from either a 230 cu in (3.8 L) Chrysler Flathead enginestraight-6, now producing 123 hp (92 kW) Two V8 engines were offered: 270 cu in (4.4 L) Polyspheric (poly or semi-hemi) heads producing 175 hp (130 kW) and a 315 cu in (5.2 L) (the "Hemi"). Driven almost out of business in 1953 and 1954, the Chrysler Corporation was revived with a $250 million loan from Prudential and new models designed by Virgil Exner. The Dodge lineup was positioned as the mainstream line in Chrysler's hierarchy, between DeSoto and Plymouth.

The Coronet (and Suburbanstation wagon) was the base model. This was the only line to feature the 230 in3 (3.8 L) GetawayI6 as well as the 270 in3 (4.4 L) Red RamV8. Coronets were available in all body styles except the convertible. Sedans feature "Coronet" badges on the fenders, while the station wagons are called "Suburban". Although the hardtop coupe was officially named "Lancer", it wore only "Coronet" badges. Turn signals were standard on the Royal and Custom Royal models but optional on the base Coronet.

Power windows were new.[33] Wheelbase was 120 inches. They were 212.1 inches long.[34] The trim lines available:

Dodge D-500[edit]

1956 Dodge Coronet D-500 Kiekhaefer Race Team

The D-500 was the first Dodge factory high performance made in honor of the (D-500-1) "Super Stock" model with the only external clues being discreet crossed checkered flags and "500" lettering on its hood and lower rear deck it was also available for order from the dealer on Coronet models, including station wagons and two-door sedans and was related to the 1955 Chrysler C-300. The Dodge D-500 was developed under Chrysler President W.C. Newberg by Carl Kiekhaefer of Kiekhaefer Racing. The standard D-500 trim included a 315 cu in (5.2 L) V8 with hemispherical heads (unlike other Dodge V8s (List of Chrysler engines) which used Polyspheric heads), a unique camshaft, valve lifters, pushrods, carburetor, ignition, and pistons. With a compression ratio of 9.25:1, four-barrel Carter WCFB carburetor, and dual-point distribution, peak horsepower was 260 bhp (190 kW) while torque was a solid 330 lb⋅ft (450 N⋅m). The D-500 also received an upgraded suspension with stiff front coil springs; heavy-duty Oriflow shock absorbers, with the same valving specified for Dodge police cars, were mounted in the springs. Similar units were used in the rear. Overall height of the D-500 was 1.5 inches (38 mm) lower than its standard Dodge counterpart. The D-500 came standard with 15x5.5 inch wheels with 7.60x15 inch tubeless tires. New for safety were safety door locks.[35] The D-500-1 (the first 500 made required by NASCAR, was intended for NASCAR competition. The D-500-1 had an even stiffer suspension than the D-500. Under the hood, the engine received larger valves (about 18% larger), a full-race camshaft, and a double log intake manifold that used two four-barrel Carter WCFB carburetors and a shaved deck for 8.25:1 compression. This all added up to 285 bhp (213 kW). It was the fastest car that year from the factory.

Dodge Royal[edit]

The introduction of the Dodge Custom Royal for the 1955 model year saw the Royal moved down to the intermediate trim level, above the now base-model Coronet.[31] The Royal Lancer name was applied to the 2-door hardtop model and Royal Sierra to the new station wagon models.[31] The Royal (and Sierra wagon) were the next step up. Featuring only the V8 engine, the Royal also lacked the 2-door sedan and wagon models available in the Coronet line. Early hardtop coupes lack the "Lancer" script, although they were officially Lancers, but later models wore "Royal Lancer" badges.

For 1956 the use of the Royal Lancer name was extended to include a new 4-door hardtop model.[31] Station wagons now included 2-door Royal Custom Suburban and 4-door Royal Custom Sierra models.[31] External changes were mainly the growth of tailfins, redesigned taillight housings and side trim treatments. Changes at the front were limited to the addition of six "fins" in the grille (not to be found on the lower-grade Coronet) and an altered hood ornament.[36]

Dodge Custom Royal[edit]

The Dodge Custom Royal is an automobile which was produced by Dodge in the United States for the 1955 through 1959 model years.[31] In each of these years the Custom Royal was the top trim level of the Dodge line, above the mid level Dodge Royal and the base level Dodge Coronet.[31] 2 Door and 4 Door Hardtop models, along with the convertible were referred to as "Custom Royal Lancers" only the 4 Door Sedan was known as strictly a "Custom Royal". The Custom Royal was assembled by Chrysler Australia at its Mile End plant in South Australia from early 1958 utilizing CKD kits imported from Detroit.[37] It was offered only as a four-door sedan.[37] The flagship model was the Custom Royal. All hardtop coupe and Custom Royal-only convertible models were called Custom Royal Lancer. The Custom line featured unique chrome tailfins (although early model year cars went without this trim), special tail light surrounds, and an upscale interior. Backup lights were standard on the Custom line but optional on all others. The Custom Royal also featured the hemi 270 CID Super Red Ram engine.[38]

A La Femme option was available on 1955 and 1956 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer models.[31]

  • 1955 Custom Royal Lancer hardtop coupe

  • 1955 Dodge Royal Lancer hardtop coupe

  • The 1956 Dodge Royal only saw detail changes

  • 1956 Dodge Coronet 4-door sedan

  • 1955 Dodge Custom Royal 4-Door Sedan

  • 1956 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer 2-Door hardtop

Dodge Custom Royal La Femme[edit]

1956 Dodge Custom Royal La Femme

The Dodge Custom Royal La Femme is a full-sizedautomobile that was produced by Dodge between 1955 and 1956. The automobile was specifically designed for women.[39] The La Femme option was available on 1955 and 1956 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer models.[31]

The La Femme stemmed from the observation of Chrysler's marketing department that more women were taking an interest in automobiles during the 1950s, and that women’s opinions on which color car to buy was becoming part of the decision-making process for couples buying an automobile. The La Femme was an attempt to gain a foothold in the women's automobile market.

The La Femme concept was based upon two Chrysler show cars from the 1954 season. Named Le Comte, and La Comtesse, each was built from a Chrysler Newport hardtop body and was given a clear plastic roof over the entire passenger compartment. While the Le Comte was designed using masculine colors, the La Comtesse was painted "Dusty Rose" and "Pigeon Grey" in order to convey femininity. Favorable responses encouraged Chrysler to pursue the La Comtesse concept.

Dodge received the project and renamed the concept the La Femme, which began as a 1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer "spring special" hardtop two-door coupe, painted "Sapphire White" and "Heather Rose". From there, the exterior received special gold-colored "La Femme" scripts that replaced the standard "Custom Royal Lancer" scripts on the cars front fenders.

The interior of the car also received attention and features. 1955 La Femme interiors were upholstered in a special tapestry material featuring pink rosebuds on a pale silver-pink background and pale pink vinyl trim. The La Femme came with a keystone-shaped, pink calfskin purse that coordinated with the interior of the car. The purse could be stowed in a compartment in the back of the passenger seat,[40] and its gold-plated medallion faced outward. This brushed-metal medallion was large enough to have the owner's name engraved on it.

Each purse was outfitted with a coordinated set of accessories inside, which included a face-powder compact, lipstick case, cigarette case, comb, cigarette lighter, and change purse, all made of either faux-tortoiseshell plastic and gold-tone metal, or pink calfskin and gold-tone metal, and all were designed and made by “Evans”, a maker of women's fine garments and accessories in Chicago.

On the back of the driver's seat was a compartment that contained a raincoat, rain bonnet, and umbrella,[41] all made from a vinyl patterned to match the rosebud interior fabric. Marketing brochures stated that the car was made "By Special Appointment to Her Majesty... the American Woman."

In 1956, the La Femme returned, with letters from Dodge’s marketing department to dealerships calling the La Femme a "stunning success". For 1956, Dodge replaced the Heather Rose and Sapphire White scheme with a Misty Orchid and Regal Orchid color scheme. The interior of the car in 1956 did not take its cue from the 1955 model, and instead featured "La Femme"-only seat patterns, headliner, interior paint, and carpet. The fabrics used have proven difficult to reproduce. The seat coverings were made of a heavy white cloth with random, organic-seeming patterns of short lavender and purple loops, in a manner similar to loop-pile carpeting. The headliner cloth was heavy white fabric, with many tiny random splashes of gold paint. The carpeting was loop pile with several shades of lavender and purple. The boxes behind the seats were changed for 1956 to accommodate the rain coat, rain cap and umbrella provided with the model. Both boxes were identical this year, because there was no need to accommodate a purse, which was only offered with the 1955 La Femme.

Dodge dropped the La Femme for 1957 and did not revisit the concept. Because the La Femme was an option package ($143), its total production was never broken out from Dodge's production numbers, although research suggests fewer than 2,500 were made over the two-year period. At least 40 known examples exist of the 1955 version and over 20 for the 1956 version, including at least 3 verifiable Dodge D-500 engine optioned 1956 La Femme.[citation needed]

Many theories exist concerning the low sales of the La Femme trim package. Given the large number of Dodge dealerships in the U.S. at the time, few of them received a demonstration La Femme for their showroom. Entitled “By Special Appointment to Her Majesty... the American Woman" dealer three-fold single-sheet pamphlets promoted the car as "in mood and manner" for a "discriminating, modern woman."[42][43] Other trim-special models such as the Chrysler 300 letter series, Plymouth Fury, and DeSoto Adventurer were widely promoted.

  • Gold-colored "La Femme" fender script

Fourth generation (1957–1959)[edit]

Motor vehicle

Fourth generation
1958 Dodge Coronet (14364512010).jpg

1958 Dodge Coronet 4-Door Sedan

Also calledDodge D-501
Production1957–1959
AssemblyNewark Assembly, Newark, Delaware
Dodge Main Factory, Hamtramck, Michigan
Body style2-door coupe
4-door sedan
4-door station wagon
2-door convertible
RelatedChrysler Saratoga
Chrysler Windsor
DeSoto Firedome
Plymouth Belvedere
(engine and transmission only)
Facel Vega FVS
Facel Vega Excellence
Engine354 cu in (5.8 L) Chrysler FirePower V8
325 cu in (5.3 L) "Red Ram"
230 cu in (3.8 L) "Getaway" L-headstraight-6
Wheelbase122 in (3,099 mm)
126 in (3,200 mm) [44]
Length218 in (5,537 mm) (1957)[15]
222.1 in (5,641 mm)(1959)
Width78.2 in (1,986 mm) (1957)[15]
SuccessorDodge Custom 880 (full-size 1962)
1959 Dodge Coronet 4-Door Sedan

The 1957 model year debuted a new D-501, which replaced the D-500 from the year before as the top Coronet. The D-501 received Chrysler's proven 354 cu in (5.8 L) Hemi V8, which were actually leftover engines from the 1956 Chrysler 300B production. Camshafts from the 1957 Chrysler 392 cu in (6.4 L) engines were installed in the 354 cu in (5.8 L) V8s. A pair of Carter four-barrel carburetors fed the 10.0:1 compression ratio to produce 340 bhp (250 kW), shared with the DeSoto Adventurer and the Chrysler 300C. Other changes included the addition of the Torsion-Aire Ride (torsion bar) front suspension[3] and a heavy-duty suspension with heavy-duty shock absorbers and a heavy-duty leaf-sprung rear. A 3.73:1 rear axle was standard with the three-speed manual transmission and automatic cars included a 3.18:1 rear axle. There were 13 optional rear axles available, ranging from 2.92:1 through 6.17:1. The D-501 received 7.60x15 tires on 15x8-inch wheels. Brakes were 12-inch (300 mm) diameter drums. Only 101 D-501s were produced. A padded dash was optional.[45]

In the September 1957 issue of Popular Mechanics, owners of both the Coronet six-cylinder and eight-cylinder were surveyed.[46] Many people (37.6% of I6 owners and 34.8% of V8 owners) complained that there were too many water leaks. When PM tested a V8 Coronet for water resistance, water got into the engine and pooled in "two spark plug wells" which had to be siphoned out before the engine could run with all cylinders again.[46] However, many did like the exterior styling and the ride comfort. 0-60 mph on 90 octane gasoline was 12.3 seconds.

The 1958 and 1959 Coronet, Royal, and Custom Royal used a DeSoto Fireflite chassis but had less ornate trim. Power came from the 230 cu in (3.8 L) "Getaway" L-headstraight-6 or the 325 cu in (5.3 L) "Red Ram" V8. In 1959 a Silver Challenger model was also offered on the Coronet line. This was a six-cylinder or V-8 model available only in silver paint and only on a two-door body. It came with many extra features at no cost, such as wall-to-wall deep pile carpeting, premium white wall tires and wheel covers, luxury fabrics and upgraded interior and electric windshield wipers.[47] The overall length was increased to 217.4 inches.[3]

The Dodge Custom Royal was also assembled by Chrysler Australia from early 1958 to 1960.[48]

A Dodge Coronet was the only known example of the JATO Rocket Car legend. To publicize Dodge's 'total contact' front dual-leading shoe drum brakes a JATO unit was fitted to a 1958 Coronet and driven at speed across the El Mirage dry lake. A TV advertisement was broadcast during Dodge-sponsored Lawrence Welk Show.[49]

1959 Dodge Silver Challenger[edit]

The first car that carried the Challenger name was introduced as the limited edition Dodge Silver Challenger Club Sedan, an addition to the 1959 full-sized Dodge Coronet model line.[50] and was related to the Dodge Matador.

The Silver Challenger came only in silver paint and exclusively on Chrysler's 217.4 in (5,520 mm) long two-door, on a 122 in (3,100 mm) wheelbase. It was available with either the 230 cu in (3.8 L) "Getaway" L-headstraight-six engine for $2,297 ($20,392 in 2020 dollars [51]), or the 326 cu in (5.3 L) "Red Ram"V8 for $2,408 ($21,378 in 2020 dollars [51]).[52] This car was marketed for the spring selling season to "new-car buyers who've been waiting to get the most for the least."[53] A column-shifted three-speed manual transmission was standard and an automatic was optional.

The 1959 Silver Challenger was marketed with extra features at no extra cost. These included premium white wall tires, full wheel covers, electric windshield wipers, as well as an upgraded interior with silver metallic vinyl and black "Manchu" fabric upholstery, dual arm rests and sun visors, as well as deep pile wall-to-wall carpeting.[53][54]

  • 1959 Dodge Silver Challenger

Dodge Royal[edit]

The Royal continued as the intermediate trim level in the Dodge line for models years 1957 through 1959.[31] A Royal Lancer Convertible was added for 1957 only and the station wagons were moved to their own series in the same year.[31]

  • 1958 Dodge Royal 4-Door Sedan

  • 1957 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer 2-Door hardtop

  • 1958 Dodge Custom Royal 4-Door Sedan

  • 1959 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer 2-Door hardtop

Fifth generation (1965–1970)[edit]

1965–1967[edit]

Motor vehicle

Fifth generation
1966 Dodge Coronet 500 SE front left.jpg

1966 Dodge Coronet 500 SE

Production1965–1970
AssemblyLynch Road Assembly, Detroit, Michigan
Saint Louis Assembly, Fenton, Missouri
Los Angeles Assembly, Maywood, California
Bogotá, Colombia
Body style4-door wagon (1965–70)
4-door sedan (1965–70)
2-door sedan (1965–67)
2-door coupe (1968–70)
2-door hardtop (1965–70)
2-door convertible (1965–70)
PlatformB-body
RelatedPlymouth Belvedere
Plymouth Savoy
Dodge Charger
Plymouth GTX
Plymouth Road Runner
Engine225 cu in (3.7 L) Slant-6I6
273 cu in (4.5 L) LAV8
318 cu in (5.2 L) A V8
318 cu in (5.2 L) LA V8
361 cu in (5.9 L) B V8
383 cu in (6.3 L) B "Magnum" V8
426 cu in (7.0 L) Hemi V8
440 cu in (7.2 L) RB "Magnum" V8
Transmission3-speed manual
4-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Wheelbase116.0 in (2,946 mm)
Wagon: 117.0 in (2,972 mm)
Length209.7 in (5,326 mm)

The Coronet reappeared for the 1965 model year as the intermediate sized B-body using a 117-inch wheelbase, continuing what had been the Dodge Polara, which was once again full-size. For 1965, Dodge sold slightly over 209,000 units, making the Coronet the most popular model sold by Dodge that year. Trim levels initially were base Coronet including a Deluxe version, Coronet 440, and Coronet 500.

The base Coronet and Deluxe were available as two-door sedans, four-door sedans, and station wagons. For 1965 only, Dodge also sold 101 units of a modified wheelbase version of the base Coronet two-door sedans and 440 hardtops specifically for NHRA drag racing. The model known as A990 came with a racing version of the 426 cu in (7.0 L) Hemi engine. The car A990 was stripped of all features and included lightweight base bucket seats from Dodge's A100 truck/van line of vehicles. These altered wheelbase vehicles eventually became popularly known as "funny cars" due to their unique wheel spacing.

The front and rear axles were moved forward significantly from the stock location, putting the front wheels directly behind the front fender, and the rear wheels almost under where the rear seat would normally go; this alteration transferred weight to the rear tires, increasing traction on launch. These were described as funny cars and a new genre of drag racers. Front seat belts and padded dash were standard.[55]

The middle of the Coronet line-up was the 440 and was available as a two-door hardtop, convertible, or station wagon. The 440 designation did not indicate engine displacement as commonly assumed (both then and now, which helped sales to an extent). The nomenclature was a carryover theme from the 1963–64 Polara series. The top of the Coronet line-up was the Coronet 500 and was available as a two-door hardtop or convertible in 1965. Slightly over 33,300 units were sold in 1965 and included as standard, a V8 engine (273 cubic inches), exterior trim and badging, bucket seats, padded dash, and chrome floor console.

Coronets were manufactured at Chrysler's Los Angeles assembly plant and at Lynch Road assembly plant in Detroit and ST. Louis plant in Missouri. Engines offered for 1965 included the base 225 Slant-Six, 273, 318 (Polyhead), 361 (the last year for this big block engine was 1966), 383, and 426 in multiple HP choices ( the 383 came in a special version rated at 330 HP). Sales brochures list the 413 (its last year offered) as available, but no records exist of this engine, commonly used in Imperials, being installed in Coronets for 1965.[56] A tachometer was optional.[57]

In 1966 a four-door Coronet 500 was added, called the Coronet 500 SE (Special Edition). It had special "SE" logos on the C-pillars and on the seatback.[58] There would be no Coronet 500 wagon until 1968. Coronet received a redesign in 1966, and a facelift in 1967. Trim levels initially were base Coronet, Coronet 440, and Coronet 500. In 1966, the Coronet Deluxe was introduced, fitting between the base Coronet and the Coronet 440. The Coronet R/T was introduced in 1967.

The Coronet R/T was available as a two-door hardtop or convertible. The standard engine was Chrysler's largest, the 440 cu in (7.2 L) V8 producing 375 bhp and dubbed the Magnum. The only engine option was the 426-cid Hemi, now in its second year in "Street" trim and again rated at 425 bhp. It was a $908 option. Transmission choices were Mopar's excellent heavy-duty three-speed TorqueFlite automatic or a four-speed manual.

When the 426ci Hemi was made available to the general public for the 1966 model year, it could be ordered in any Coronet model or trim level. No Hemi-powered Coronet wagons have been verified, but a few Coronet Deluxe four-door sedans are known to exist. A total of 136 Coronet 500 Street Hemis were built for 1966.[59] Beginning in 1967, Chrysler decided that the Hemi should be available only in their badged muscle cars: the Dodge Charger and Coronet R/T and the Plymouth Belvedere GTX. The top engine option for the rest of the Coronet line was supposed to be the 383-ci, 4-barrel V8. Despite this, some Hemi-powered 1967 Coronet Deluxe two-door sedans were produced. There is also one Hemi-powered 1967 Coronet 440 two-door hardtop known[citation needed], and One Hemi-powered 1967 Coronet 500 two-door hardtop known, which is not among the 55 WO23 Super Stock cars produced for Dodge drag racers.

1968–1970[edit]

The Coronet and similar Plymouth Belvedere received complete redesigns in 1968, as did the Dodge Charger, which shared the B-body platform. There was a mild facelift in 1970. Trim levels initially included the base Coronet, Coronet Deluxe, Coronet 440, Coronet 500, and Coronet R/T. The Coronet Super Bee was introduced in early 1968 as a companion to the Plymouth Road Runner. In keeping with Dodge's position as a step above Plymouth, the Super Bee shared the Charger's Rallye instrument cluster and the Coronet 440's rear finish panel.

As in 1967, the 440ci RB V8 was only available in the Coronet R/T in 1968. The 426ci Hemi V8 was supposed to be limited to the R/T and Super Bee, but two 1968 Coronet 440s are known to have been built with this engine.

In mid-1969, the A12 package was introduced on the Super Bee. It included a 390 hp (291 kW) version of the 440 with three 2bbl Holley carburetors on an aluminum intake manifold, a black fiberglass lift-off hood secured with metal pins, heavy-duty suspension, and 15-inch steel wheels with no hubcaps or wheel covers. The hood had an integrated forward-facing scoop which sealed to the air cleaner assembly and bore a decal on each side with the words "SIX PACK" in red letters, "Six Pack" being the name used for the 6-bbl induction setup when installed on a Dodge (Plymouth went with "440 6bbl" on the A12 Road Runners). The A12 Super Bee could be had with most Super Bee options, with the exception of air conditioning and tire-wheel packages. The A12 option was a 1969-only package, but the 440 6bbl returned in 1970 as an optional engine on both the Super Bee and the Coronet R/T.

The base Coronet and Deluxe were available as 2-door coupes, 4-door sedans, or station wagons. The base Coronet was dropped in 1969, leaving the Deluxe as the lowest trim level through 1970. The Coronet 440 convertible was dropped for 1968, but a 2-door coupe was added along with the 2-door hardtop, 4-door sedan, and station wagon. This would remain the lineup through 1970. Coronet 500 retained its 2-door hardtop, convertible, and 4-door sedan through 1970. A Coronet 500 station wagon made its debut in 1968, continuing through 1970. Simulated woodgrain trim was standard on the Coronet 500 wagon.

The Coronet R/T 2-door hardtop and convertible continued through 1970.

The Super Bee was available as a 2-door coupe or 2-door hardtop. Chrysler did display a convertible with Super Bee stripes at car shows in 1968, but never offered it as a production model. Some enthusiasts have created "phantom" Super Bee convertibles by adding the appropriate trim and stripes to Coronet 500 convertibles.

The Dodge Super Bee was a limited-production muscle car from 1968–1971. The original Super Bee was based on the Dodge Coronet, a 2-door model and was produced from 1968–1970. It was Dodge’s low-priced muscle car, the equivalent to Plymouth Road Runner, and was priced at $3,027. Available with the Hemi engine, this option increased the price by 33% thus 125 models were sold with this engine option. The Super Bee included a heavy-duty suspension, an optional Mopar A-833 four-speed manual transmission, with high-performance tires, and a stripe (with the bee logo) wrapped around the tail. The name "Super Bee" was derived from the "B" Body designation given Chrysler's mid-size cars which included the Coronet.

A “six-pack” (three two-barrel carburetors) version of the 440 engine was added to the list mid-year. This engine was between the standard engine and the Hemi as a $463 option. The 1969 model year included the base 383 hp (high performance) with the 440 six-pack and 426 Hemi optional. The 440 Magnum (4-bbl) was not offered, but available in the Coronet R/T.

In 1970, the Super Bee was given a different front end look that consisted of a dual oval-shaped grill that was referred to as “bumble bee wings”. Engines, as well as the "ramcharger" hood (that carried over from the 1969 model). Sales fell for the 1970 model. In 1970, four Super Bee convertibles were built.

  • 1965 Dodge Coronet 440 4-Door Station Wagon

  • 1966 Dodge Coronet 440 2-door hardtop

  • 1969 Dodge Coronet Super Bee

  • 1970 Dodge Coronet Super Bee

Sixth generation (1971–1974)[edit]

Motor vehicle

Sixth generation
Dodge Coronet Custom Sedan 1974 (14551262156).jpg

1974 Dodge Coronet Custom 4-Door Sedan

Production1971–1974
AssemblyHamtramck, Michigan, United States
Body style4-door wagon
4-door sedan
PlatformB-body
RelatedPlymouth Belvedere
Plymouth Savoy
Plymouth Satellite
Dodge Charger
Plymouth GTX
Plymouth Road Runner
Engine225 cu in (3.7 L) Slant-6I6
318 cu in (5.2 L) 318 LAV8
383 cu in (6.3 L) B "Magnum" V8
400 cu in (6.6 L) B V8
440 cu in (7.2 L) RB "Magnum" V8
Transmission3-speed Chrysler A320 manual
3-speed TorqueFlite A727 automatic
4-speed Chrysler A833 manual
Wheelbase118.0 in (2,997 mm)[60]
LengthSedan: 207.0 in (5,258 mm)
Wagon: 213.4 in (5,420 mm)[60]
WidthSedan: 77.7 in (1,974 mm)
Wagon: 56.4 in (1,433 mm)
HeightSedan: 53.7 in (1,364 mm)
Wagon: 63.4 in (1,610 mm)

The new Coronet was a twin of the four-door Plymouth Satellite and featured more flowing styling. It was offered as a sedan and wagon, the related and also restyled Dodge Charger covering the coupe market. Slight alterations of the front grille, headlights, and taillights followed in 1972. Sales of the Coronet were low from this point onwards, with around 80–90,000 produced each year through 1973 (compared with 196,242 as recently as 1968), due both to the fuel crisis and to a proliferation of Dodge and Plymouth models, and the growing effect of overlap with the other Chrysler Corporation brands.[61] In addition to the usual changes to the grille, lights, and interior, Dodge introduced its "TorsionQuiet" system of additional silencers and rubber vibration insulators, providing a much smoother ride and a quieter interior.

The front and rear fascias were redesigned, most notably the rear bumper, which met the 1974 DOT requirements. The sedan body style would be the basis of the later Coronets (and its twin, the Plymouth Fury) until the 1978 model year.

  • 1972 Dodge Coronet Custom sedan

  • 1973 Dodge Coronet Custom sedan

  • 1974 Dodge Coronet Custom 4-Door Sedan

Seventh generation (1975–1976)[edit]

Motor vehicle

Seventh generation
1975 Dodge Coronet Custom.jpg

1975 Dodge Cornet Custom 4-Door Sedan
(with non-standard wheels)

Production1975–1976
AssemblyHamtramck, Michigan, United States
Body style4-door wagon (1975–76)
4-door sedan (1975–76)
2-door hardtop/coupe (1975 only)
PlatformB-body
RelatedPlymouth Fury
Engine225 cu in (3.7 L) Slant-6I6
318 cu in (5.2 L) LAV8
360 cu in (5.9 L) LA V8
400 cu in (6.6 L) B V8
440 cu in (7.2 L) RB V8 (police)
Transmission3-speed Chrysler A320 manual
3-speed TorqueFlite A727 automatic
4-speed Chrysler A833 manual
WheelbaseSedan & Wagon: 118.0 in (2,997 mm)[62]
Coupe: 115.0 in (2,921 mm)
LengthSedan: 217.9 in (5,535 mm)
Coupe: 213.8 in (5,431 mm)
Wagon: 225.6 in (5,730 mm)
WidthSedan: 77.7 in (1,974 mm)
Coupe: 77.4 in (1,966 mm)
Wagon: 79.2 in (2,012 mm)
HeightSedan: 53.9 in (1,369 mm)
Coupe: 52.6 in (1,336 mm)
Wagon: 56.5 in (1,435 mm)

1975[edit]

1975 Dodge Coronet Crestwood wagon

For 1975 the Coronet received a refreshed squarer-appearing body as well as a new front fascia with two round dual-beam headlights shared with its Plymouth Fury stablemate. After a four model year absence, a Dodge Coronet 2-door returned for 1975.

1976[edit]

1976 was the final model year for the Dodge Coronet and its body style choices reduced to the four-door wagon and the four-door sedan. The former Dodge Coronet 2-door model was replaced by the Dodge Charger Sport for the 1976 model year.

For the 1977 model year, the mid-size Dodge Coronet was renamed Monaco, and the full-size Dodge Monaco was renamed Royal Monaco.

Coronet in Colombia[edit]

Coronet was used as the model name for the Colombian market Dodge Diplomat during the 1980s.

References[edit]

  1. ^Zatz, David. "The Dodge Coronet: father of the Super Bee". Allpar. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  2. ^ abcIt's true...it's New...it's Dodge for fifty-two (brochure), Chrysler Corporation: Dodge Division, 1951, retrieved 2015-07-03 – via Oldcarbrochures.com
  3. ^ abcdefghijklmnFlory, Jr., J. "Kelly" (2008). American Cars, 1946–1959 Every Model Every Year. McFarland. ISBN .
  4. ^Ristic-Petrovic, Dusan. "1949 Dodge foldout". Old Car Brochures.com. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  5. ^ abGodshall, p. 77
  6. ^ abGodshall, Jeffrey I. (1980). "Wayward Wayfarer: The story of a Dodge". Automobile Quarterly. XVIII (1): 77. ISSN 0005-1438.
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  9. ^Godshall, p. 72
  10. ^ abcdefgGodshall, p. 79
  11. ^ abcdefGodshall, p. 81
  12. ^ abcLee, John (1990). Standard Catalog of Chrysler, 1924–1990. Iola, WI: Krause Publications, Inc. ISBN .
  13. ^ abcGodshall, p. 78
  14. ^Parkhurst, Terry. "1949–1952 Dodge Wayfarer". Allpar.com. Retrieved 2015-07-03.
  15. ^ abcdFlory Jr., J. "Kelly" (2008). American Cars, 1946–1959 Every Model Every Year. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. ISBN .
  16. ^ abLee, p. 267
  17. ^"1991 BMW 850i Automatic". Automobile-catalog.com. Archived from the original on 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
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  19. ^ abLee, p. 268
  20. ^ abcdefLee, p. 269
  21. ^Hoffman, David; Sealey, Mike. "The Australian Chrysler Royal, Plainsman, and Wayfarer". Allpar.com. Retrieved 2015-07-03.
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  23. ^"1953 Dodge Brochure". Old Car Brochures.com. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
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  25. ^"The Dodge Coronet: Father of the Super Bee".
  26. ^"1954 Dodge Owners Manual". Old Car Brochures.com. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  27. ^Lee, p. 263
  28. ^John Gunnell, Standard Catalogue of American Cars 1946–1975, revised 4th Edition, 2002, page 332
  29. ^"Directory Index: Dodge/1954_Dodge/1954_Dodge_Brochure". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  30. ^Lee, p. 270
  31. ^ abcdefghijklJohn Gunnell, Standard catalog of American Cars 1946–1975, Revised 4th Edition, pages 334 to 336
  32. ^1954 Dodge Brochure, www.oldcarbrochures.com Retrieved 16 December 2018
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  41. ^Ahrens, Ronald. "Dodge La Femme: Rhapsody in Pink". www.jeanknowscars.com. Archived from the original on 6 May 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  42. ^Kelly, Erin (1 July 2019). "You Won't Believe The "Woman's Car" Dodge Made In 1955". All That's Interesting. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  43. ^Howell, Justina (31 March 2019). "The Pink Car for Women in the 1950s". The Vintage News. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
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Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Coronet
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1 of 2 Rare Junkyard Find! 1970 Dodge Coronet R/T Convertible with 426 Hemi Restored on Graveyard Carz

The Graveyard Carz crew takes wrecked muscle cars and restores them to assembly line condition. Check out season 10, episode 13 to watch them work some serious magic on this rare Coronet survivor. Subscribe to the MotorTrend App for $2 per month to start watching today!

It's no secret that having a Hemi under the hood of a car, like say a 1970 Dodge Coronet R/T convertible, usually means big money in today's collector car world. But wasn't always like that. By the early 1970s most muscle cars were not only expendable, but also frowned upon, which included anything with a Hemi. The gas crunch and high insurance rates were the primary culprits that brought about the demise of these big cube gas-guzzlers. As a result, many ended up in local junkyards because most people weren't dialed in yet to their rarity.

That said, in the Mopar world back then there were a few folks scattered throughout the country who did have an idea early on that Hemi-powered cars were quite rare and they slowly started to acquire and restore them. Some of these cars, like the 1970 Hemi Coronet R/T Hemi convertible that currently sits in the Brett Torino Collection after being restored by the crew at Graveyard Carz, now serve as rolling testaments to the early efforts of those select few. This particular Coronet R/T is one of only two convertibles produced in 1970 with a 426 Hemi. One was built with a 727 Torqueflite transmission, while this one was optioned with a 4-speed.

Coronet Canadian Junkyard Find

Brett's car was originally found sitting in a Canadian junkyard in the late 1970s. The individual that found it was clearly savvy enough to know that the "R" in the VIN denoted a Hemi, and found it worthwhile to save. Unfortunately for him, it was already missing its drivetrain. The Hemi and A833 4-speed were a distant memory, along with some of the exterior and interior pieces. That didn't prevent him from pulling the rusty Dodge out of the yard and eventually restoring it back to its former glory.

Restoration of these cars today can be a challenge because there aren't as many parts being reproduced for B-Bodies like the Coronet as there are for some of the more popular Mopar models. But when the car was initially put back together, you could still walk into a dealership and buy NOS parts, the junkyards were still filled with their lowly siblings, and running cars could be bought up for a few hundred bucks. In the early 1980s, this particular Coronet R/T convertible began to show up at North East Hemi Owners meets in the Tri-State area and could be spotted at least twice a year during their holiday events. It had been given a 1980s level restoration, right down to the day-two Cragar wheels.

Eventually, the R/T convertible made its way into Brett's over-the-top collection of rare Detroit iron. It was still wearing the respray applied back then and was starting to show some wear, with the most obvious eyesore being a dent in the front fender. But what really pushed things to another level was when it was started up and the Hemi began to make internal noises and had a drop in oil pressure. At that point he picked up the phone and called Mark Worman at Graveyard Carz, who had already done a couple of restorations on other vehicles in Brett's collection.

1970 Dodge Coronet R/T Convertible Restoration

After it was sent up to Mark, it ended up sitting for a number of years until work was started. Eventually the guys at the shop got the restoration moving and did their usual routine of a complete teardown to get the R/T ready for an acid bath. Since the car looked like it was in really good condition, and complete, the plan was to use as many of the good parts as possible when it was put back together. Brett actually wanted to try and keep some parts in their unrestored state, like the bumpers, to preserve some of the car's originality. After the Coronet R/T convertible returned from its acid dip, the sins under the skin were exposed. The biggest issue the restoration team faced were the rear quarters. When the car was restored after its junkyard escape, replacement panels were hung over portions of the original quarters and then finished off with an ample amount of Bondo. When they reached this point in the restoration, the options were few. At the time no one was reproducing quarters, so they were faced with either finding another set, or using the ones that had been hung—they opted for the ones on the car. They were removed and properly rehung. The car eventually made its way to the paint stage and was sprayed in a Deep Burnt Orange Metallic, which apparently isn't a very popular color so it had to be custom mixed. They eventually laid down the base coat/clear coat PPG paint.

The Hemi Coronet was also sent out for a complete refresh. This particular engine, which was the one installed when the car was first put back together, actually has no serial number on the block. According to Mark, it was a 426 replacement block that you could buy over the counter back in 1972. The A833 and Dana rear were also given a full rebuild. The restoration was slow to start but when things started to move, it all came together, and along with seeing this car in its restored state, those who want to understand the whole process a little better should pull up the MotorTrend App and watch season 10, episode 13 of Graveyard Carz to see what was done to it.

1970 Dodge Coronet R/T Convertible Build Information

  • Engine type: 1972 426 cubic-inch big block
  • Bore x stroke: 4.255 (bore) x 3.750 (stroke) inches
  • Block: 1972, 426 cast-iron replacement block
  • Rotating assembly: Stock forged crank, stock forged connecting rods, aluminum pistons
  • Cylinder heads: 1970 cast iron
  • Camshaft: Stock Chrysler
  • Compression: 10.25:1
  • Induction: Stock Chrysler cast iron manifold, dual Carter AFB carburetors, factory Ramcharger hood
  • Electronics: Stock Chrysler distributor
  • Oiling system: Stock oil pan, high volume oil pump
  • Exhaust: Stock cast iron exhaust manifolds, stock pipes, stock mufflers
  • Cooling: Stock 26-inch radiator
  • Transmission: A833 18-spline heavy duty 4-speed
  • Shifter: Factory 4-speed Pistol Grip shifter
  • Driveshaft: Stock Chrysler
  • Rearend: Stock Dana 60 posi with 4.10:1 gears
  • Front suspension: Factory original torsion bars,(restored), stock shocks
  • Rear suspension: Factory original leaf springs (restored), stock shocks
  • Steering: Factory original power steering box (restored)
  • Front brakes: Chrysler original 10.5-inch discs
  • Rear brakes: Chrysler original 11-inch drums
  • Sheetmetal: Original sheetmetal
  • Paint: PPG 2-stage Deep Burnt Orange Metallic
  • Stripe: Reproduction from Phoenix Graphics
  • Convertible top: 1970 Crush Grain reproduction
  • Paint and bodywork performed by: Graveyard Carz
  • Instrumentation: Original Chrysler instrumentation
  • Dash: Original dash
  • Steering wheel: Original steering wheel
  • Upholstery: Original seats with reproduction covers, reproduction carpet
  • Audio: AM 8-track radio
  • Wheels: Chrysler Rallye Wheels 15 x 7 (front and rear)
  • Tires: Goodyear Polyglas GT F60-15 (front and rear)
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