Classic Dodge Coronet - the Forgotten Muscle Car
Dodge Coronet: Evolution of a Muscle Car
If you love the Dodge Coronet you already have an appreciation of what a fine car it was. Yet it often takes a back seat to more popular muscle cars throughout the years. Although the Dodge Coronet didn’t hit muscle car status until the late 1960’s when they were decked out with the 426 Hemi and 440 Magnum engines, the 1953 model did show a hint of the power to come with the introduction of the optional 241 cu. inch Red Ram Hemi engine.
That coronet with it’s shiny new Hemi won over 100 land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. How is it that the Coronet doesn't get the recognition it deserves?
Despite that grand claim the Dodge Coronet as a muscle car is still overshadowed by the successful introduction of the Dodge Charger in 1966, as well as other competing muscle cars from Plymouth and Ford. What do you think? Is the Dodge Coronet one of the forgotten muscle cars? Does it deserve more recognition from car enthusiasts and non car buffs alike?
1956 Dodge Coronet - Classic Salmon Pink with White Two-Tone
A stunning classic two-tone 1956 Dodge Coronet with a 270 cu in (4.4 L) V8 with dual rocker arms. Back in the 50's this would have been one of the hottest cars at the drive-in or root beer stand. She still shows off her lines and curves with a whole lot of style.
Even today this classic Coronet turns heads and starts up some mighty fine conversations about the "good 'ol days". What were you doing in 1956 and what was your favorite car of the time?
What's Your Favorite Dodge Coronet?
What is your favorite generation for the Coronet?
1958 Dodge Coronet Hood Ornament - Canvas Art Print by Jill Reger
1966 Dodge Coronet the Famous Coen Brothers Movie Car
This beauty shown above had it's 15 minutes of fame. This 1966 Dodge Coronet was the featured car in the 2009 Coen Brothers film "A Serious Man" which received a Golden Globe nomination and an Academy Award nomination for best picture.
The year before this model was released was one of the most popular years for the Dodge Coronet. With just over 209,000 1965 Coronets produced it was the most popular Dodge model that year.
From 1965 to 1967 you had plenty of options when it came to styling. You had your base version Coronet along with a Deluxe version, a Coronet 440 and Coronet 500. Among those trim levels you had the option of two-door sedans, four-door sedans, station wagons and convertibles. What was your favorite trim package in the mid '60's? I'm not so sure many would say the station wagon... (but maybe if you really love grocery shopping!)
1967 Dodge Coronet Station Wagon
How does a station wagon turn into a muscle car?
As the muscle car revolution hit the cars of the 60's and 70's Dodge brought the Coronet along for the ride, but the Coronet's beginnings were a bit more humble. In fact one of the first limited production model Coronet's back in 1949 was a four-door, eight passenger limousine - basically an extended version of the stock Dodge Coronet.
It seems looking back at the changes the Coronet has undergone throughout the years that Dodge just didn't know what to make of it. The Coronet had become the testing grounds for other more successful models. But it did have it's brief stint as an outrageous muscle car and for that we are grateful.
The evolution continues...
In the same year Dodge was experimenting with the Coronet as a family station wagon it also began to toy with the idea of the Coronet as a Muscle car. The Fifth Generation Dodge Coronet began it's muscle car transformation in 1965 when Dodge reintroduced the Coronet as it's mid-sized car.
Between 1965 and 1970 the Coronet went from family car to muscle car, but then after hitting its muscle car peek in 1970 Dodge had other plans as the Charger took over as Dodge's muscle car option, and the Coronet was relegated to four door family car or station wagon once again.
1967 Dodge Coronet Convertible
The Coronet 500 was the top of the line Dodge Coronet in 1967 and the convertible version was a rare option. 1967 was the last year of this style Coronet before they played with a more muscle look in 1968.
Above is a beautiful example of the hard to find 1967 Dodge Coronet Convertible - enjoy a photo gallery and several videos where you can hear the outstanding sound of the big block V8 and the ear candy exhaust note!
1967 Dodge Coronet 440 Convertible- The Muscle Car Phase Begins... Well Almost
1970 Dodge Coronet R/T 500
Last year for R/T styling
1970 was the peek year for the Coronet as a muscle car. After 1970 the Coronet was doomed to family car status. Quite the shame since this 1970 version sported a smooth split grille which tapered toward the center, dummy rear fender scoops and R/T badges which really gave the Coronet a tough powerful muscle car look.
Slow sales on muscle cars in general and particularly the Coronet resulted in 1970 as the last year for the R/T styling and even the convertible Coronet. Only 12 R/T Hemi models were built and an even fewer two Hemi convertibles. A real loss to the muscle car clan. The "Sub Lime" green Coronet 500 featured below was among only 2319 hardtop R/T's produced, this one sports a 440 Magnum 390HP engine that went 0-60 in 6.6 seconds!