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Dodge Coronet



History

Part I

1965-1970






Introduction: The Dodge Coronet was Dodge's entry into the midsize segment. It first appeared in the mid 1950s, disappeared, and then reappeared in the mid 1960s. With R/T trim, and packing some serious power, the Coronet was a true muscle car sleeper.


1965 Dodge Coronet






Comments: The Dodge Coronet was reborn for 1965 as Dodge's midsize entry. From the start, the Coronet meant performance and was available with the full race 426 Hemi, seriously under rated at 425 bhp (most estimates are 550-600 bhp). But the Race Hemi was a little too uncivilized for most amateurs and few were sold.

Production: .
Engines: 426 Race Hemi V8 425 bhp.
Performance:


1966 Dodge Coronet






Comments: 1966 saw the introduction of the Street Hemi, and the Dodge Coronet was the perfect showcase for it. The Street Hemi was made more manageable by installing a hydraulic lifter cam and a 10.25:1 compression ratio. It was rated at the same 425 bhp as the Race version and cost less than $500 more. Only 340 Coronet 500 Hardtops received the Hemi engine (204 of them four speeds), along with 21 convertibles (12 with four speeds). Another 379 Coronets also had Hemis.

Production: .
Engines: 426 V8 Hemi 425bhp@5000rpm, 490lb-ft@4000rpm.
Performance: 426/425: 0-60 in 6.1 seconds, 1/4 mile in 14.5 seconds.


1967 Dodge Coronet






Comments: The Dodge Coronet was face-lifted front and rear for 1967. Simulated air vents and racing stripes were added to the body sides. Mag-style wheelcovers were new, while bucket seats and a console remained standard. New for 1967 was the Coronet R/T (Road/Track), which was the performance model that was equally at home on the road and on the track. The Coronet R/T 2 door hardtop was priced at $3,199 and the R/T convertible at $3,438. Standard was the new wedge-head Magnum 440 cid V8. With a four barrel Carter AFB carb, it was rated at 375 bhp. A TorqueFlite automatic was standard and a four-speed manual gearbox was optional. Also standard on the R/T was 7.75x14 red stripe rubber, heavy-duty shocks plus torsion bars and leafs, stronger brakes and a front sway bar. The Coronet received a Charger-like grille, but lacked the retractable headlights of the Charger. A non-functional hood scoop, R/T badging, and front bucket seats added to the performance image. If that wasn't enough, buyers could order the mighty 426 Hemi for just $457 more. Only 238 Hemi Coronets were produced, including 2 convertibles, of which 102 had the TorqueFlite transmission.

Almost all Hemi Coronets were R/T models, but a few Hemi powered Coronet 440 two door hardtops snuck out of the factory. These were built to meet National Hot Rod Association Super Stock B rules and the WO23 cars, as they were known, were the latest in a line of special lightweight models for drag racing. A Street Hemi Coronet 440 tipped the scales at 3,686 lbs, resulting in a power to weight ratio of 8.67 lb/bhp. The body had standard sheet metal with a big fresh air scoop. Sound deadening and body sealer was deleted and the battery was mounted in the trunk. The usual sway bar in front was also deleted, as these models didn't really need to turn that much. There were two versions. The first came with a TorqueFlite modified with a 2,300-2,500 stall speed torque converter and 4.86:1 Sure-Grip Chrysler built 8 3/4 inch differential. The second had the four speed manual transmission with Hurst linkage, reinforced gearing and clutch, and explosion-proof clutch housing. A 4.88 Sure-Grip differential was also included. The SS/B cars did not come with a factory warranty. Fifty examples needed to built and when 55 were built, Dodge pulled the plug. Plymouth also built 55 similar Plymouth Belvedere II two door hardtops (RO23). These were the ultimate Coronets.

Production: R/T: 10,181. Hemi: 238 SS/B: 55.
Engines: 426 V8 Hemi 425bhp@5000rpm, 490lb-ft@4000rpm. 440 V8 375bhp@4600rpm, 480lb-ft@3200rpm.
Performance: R/T 440/375: 0-60 in 7 seconds, 1/4 mile in 15.4 seconds. 426/425: 0-60 in 6.1 seconds, 1/4 mile in 14.5 seconds.


1968 Dodge Coronet






Comments: The Dodge Coronet was restyled for 1968, and the rounded, Coke bottle-inspired lines of the new models made the 1967 models appear dated. Also, the R/T badging was shared with the more attractive Charger, leaving the lower priced Coronet a bit in the shadows. At mid-year, the introduction of the even cheaper Super Bee provided even further internal competition. But the Coronet continued on with standard bucket seats, dual exhausts, stiff suspension, heavy-duty brakes, and a 150 mph speedometer. The TorqueFlite automatic transmission was standard and Bumble Bee stripes (or bodyside stripes) were no-cost options. R/Ts also added a special "power bulge" hood with simulated air vents. Just 94 Coronet R/Ts with four speeds and 136 with TorqueFlite were ordered. Just one manual and eight automatic Hemi Coronet convertibles were produced. Imagine their value today! Hemi cars had a special heavy-duty suspension, but air conditioning was not available.

Production: R/T: 10,456. Hemi: 230
Engines: 426 V8 Hemi 425bhp@5000rpm, 490lb-ft@4000rpm. 440 V8 375bhp@4600rpm, 480lb-ft@3200rpm.
Performance: R/T 440/375: 0-60 in 7 seconds, 1/4 mile in 15.4 seconds. 426/425: 0-60 in 6.1 seconds, 1/4 mile in 14.5 seconds.


1969 Dodge Coronet






Comments: The big news for 1969 was the addition of a new optional engine, the 440 Six Pack. The new engine was created by taking the existing 440 and replacing the single four barrel carb with three two barrel carbs. The new engine was rated at a stout 390 bhp. The new engine also received a fiberglass performance hood. Available on other Coronet R/Ts was a Ramcharger fresh-air induction system (standard on Hemis) with twin hood scoops, plus a wide choice of rear axle ratios. Styling was similar to 1968 except that the previous front fender medallion became a large decal that appeared as part of the rear bumblebee stripe. The 440 four barrel remained standard on the Coronet R/Ts. The Hemi was just another $418 more. Only 96 two door hardtops (58 with four speeds) and 10 convertibles (6 with TorqueFlite) were built with the Hemi.

Production: R/T: 7,238.
Engines: 426 V8 Hemi 425bhp@5000rpm, 490lb-ft@4000rpm. 440 V8 375bhp@4600rpm, 480lb-ft@3200rpm. 440 Six Pack V8 390bhp@4700rpm, 490lb-ft@3200rpm
Performance: R/T 440/390: 0-60 in 6.6 seconds, 1/4 mile in 13.65 seconds @ 105.14 mph.


1970 Dodge Coronet






Comments: The Dodge Coronet R/T received all new front sheet metal for 1970, including a smooth split grille which tapered towards the center. Dummy rear fender scoops were now standard and wore R/T badges (repeated on the nose and between the segmented, tapering taillamps). A bumblebee stripe circled the rear. Engines were the same as before, with the Hemi an additional $718 more. But low sales made 1970 the last year for the R/T and the convertible. Only 14 Hemi Coronet R/Ts were built, 12 hardtops and just two convertibles. From 1971 on, the Coronet was only available as a four door sedan or station wagon.

Production: R/T 2D Hardtop: 2,319. R/T 2D Convertible: 296.
Engines: 426 V8 Hemi 425bhp@5000rpm, 490lb-ft@4000rpm. 440 V8 375bhp@4600rpm, 480lb-ft@3200rpm. 440 Six Pack V8 390bhp@4700rpm, 490lb-ft@3200rpm
Performance: R/T 440/390: 0-60 in 6.6 seconds, 1/4 mile in 13.65 seconds @ 105.14 mph.








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