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Classic Dodge Coronet - the Forgotten Muscle Car

Updated on April 1, 2016

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

Two-tone 1956 Dodge Coronet
Two-tone 1956 Dodge Coronet | Source

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?

See results

1958 Dodge Coronet Hood Ornament - Canvas Art Print by Jill Reger

1958 Dodge Coronet Hood Ornament Art Print
1958 Dodge Coronet Hood Ornament Art Print

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
1967 Dodge Coronet Station Wagon

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

A rare convertible Dodge Coronet 440 from 1967
A rare convertible Dodge Coronet 440 from 1967

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!

1970 Dodge Coronet Hemi R-T Hardtop - 12x8 Photographic Canvas Giclee Art Print

Art Print of a 1970 Dodge Coronet Hemi R-T
Art Print of a 1970 Dodge Coronet Hemi R-T

1969 Dodge Coronet SUPERBEE Video - Now That's a Classic Muscle Car!

What Model Year Coronet Do You Love the Most?

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    • E Andrew Brandon profile image

      Ean Brandon 

      5 years ago from United States

      ADIDAM aka ALL DAY I DREAM ABOUT MUSCLE! Im partial to the Plymouth muscle cars but this is a bad a dodge

    • EzLoanLookUp LM profile image

      EzLoanLookUp LM 

      5 years ago

      car muscle - our favorite type of cars!

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      They're all sweet! COUNTRYLUTHIER Blessed.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Dodge dream car owner, started with 1963 dart, followed with 1964 44o 2dr HT, then 1966 coronet 440 2dr HT, then 1967 daRT gt ht, THEN 1969 R/T cONV, THEN 1972 mONACO, on to 1982 pickup, to 1998 pick up along with a 1994 spirit to a1995 5th ave. then 2004 (oops) Chrysler pacifica and now to my 2011 Durango, guess i just LOVE MOPAR products, have never had a problem with any car I have owned. Most were or ar driven over 100, 000 miles. the 1982 was a 318 with 200,000 mi when i traded for the 98.

    • curtmaxwall profile image


      7 years ago

      A Classy lens!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      It is a true sedan Car that has been designed with the perfect blend of amazing styling, cutting edge technology and advanced safety. Second Hand Cars in Mumbai

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Mopar, yes. Good lens.

    • Doloughlin profile image


      7 years ago

      love the cars my lens still underconstruction would love if you could like it and spread the word thks

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My first car was a Dodge Coronet 500. I can't recall the year. I'll ask my brother because I bought it from him. GREAT CAR!!! LOVED it, absolutely loved it.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Beautiful. The 70' version seems as a charger with face of 'cuda.

    • meisgood132 profile image


      7 years ago

      What a fantastically dodgey lens. If you love cars then have a peep at -Best Cars Ever Made- this.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for trip down memory lane, man down the street had one of these when I was growing up. I would just stop and watch him disappear over the hill every day

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The 65 drag coronet looks amazing

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This sure looks like a strong muscle car and a robust one too.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      dodge charger '69 still my fave ones :) if ain't wrong, the convertible series is INSPECTOR GADGET cars isn't it?

    • profile image

      Pete Schultz 

      8 years ago

      I will have to let my brother know about this lens, He bought a 1966 Coronet, just like the one in the video, but dark blue. He drove it for decades! His oldest son drove it for three years or so when he was in high school, he graduated in 1989.

    • pramodbisht profile image


      8 years ago

      really nice cars

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great cars, I wish I have one of them !

    • Pixelhound profile image


      8 years ago from west vancouver BC Canada

      Really enjoyed your lens I love early 70s muscle cars!

    • beerhead profile image


      8 years ago

      Love these cars. Great lens!

    • ZablonMukuba profile image


      8 years ago

      the cars are awesome

    • Timewarp profile image


      8 years ago from Montreal

      That split grill on the '70 is fierce!

    • Rusty Quill profile imageAUTHOR

      Rusty Quill 

      8 years ago

      I think many would have the same impression as you - the Coronet really felt left out in the race to be the best muscle car. But they sure have a number of fun cars throughout their line even if many forget about the tougher side of the Coronet. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Never thought of the Dodge Coronet as a Muscle Car but then I had forgotten about the 1970 R/T. This was a fun walk down memory lane! Blessed!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Mopar2ya from Billings, MT I own a 1972 Coronet and I also purchased a 440/727 combo I plan on installing. Yes it's a 4door ! I don't care It's gonna be big n bad after the big block goes in I want to copy the black n white cop car theme of the era, complete with light bar ( I hope ) I will send photos anytime possible. Out Here

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This is just brilliant. great lens. cyprus car

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I also think the superbee was very underrated. It sure was feared by many for some reason. I have a 1969 superbee. If anybody will give me one please e-mail me



    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Looking for any information on my car,a 1956 dodge coronet d500-1 conv.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I voted for the fourth gen. Cause I owned a 1970 super bee 440 six pack, 4 speed, 3.55 rear.

      I had it for 10 years, ohhh, the memories it brought me and the terror it caused in the streets !!!

    • glenbrook profile image


      10 years ago

      I learned how to drive in a 74 Coronet (Crestwood) wagon. I hated it at the time (just 'cause it was a station wagon) but I wish I had it now. I voted for 6th gen. in your pole because of sentimental reasons, but I really like the 5th gen. a little better - same body style with cleaner front end and not as much smog junk on the engine.



    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      10 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love Dodge cars and that is all I ever drive but never had a Coronet. Sure would have been nice, though. Great lens.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Awesome lens! I love the Coronet. I also gave you a Squid Angel Blessing!

    • davewashere profile image


      11 years ago

      I haven't forgotten about the Coronet. I always thought it looked cool as hell. I especially liked its starring role in the movie 25th Hour. The car was actually cooler than Ed Norton.

      Check out my Dodge Charger lens.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      La Dodge Coronet station wagon del 67 es la que tengo, es igualita y del mismo color.


    • profile image


      11 years ago

      That's a beautiful 1957 Coronet you've got there, and that red ram hemi looks hot!


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