Rare Classic B-Body Convertible Muscle Car with Original Big Block Engine

1966 Dodge Coronet 500

Technical specifications of Dodge Coronet 1966

Price: US $19,500.00
Condition: Used
Item location: Brighton, Michigan, United States
Make: Dodge
Model: Coronet
Type: Convertible
Trim: 500
Year: 1966
Mileage: 73,000
Color: Red
Engine size: 361 V8
Number of cylinders: 8
Fuel: Gasoline
Transmission: 727 Automatic
Interior color: White
Vehicle Title: Clear
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Car description

The Coronet comes from the same B-body platform as the Charger, GTX and Road Runner, making it among the first to launch the Mopar muscle car era. Among all vehicles on the B-body platform between 1966 and 1970, less than 1 percent were built as convertibles and most convertibles were built with small block engines. This Coronet 500 has the higher trim level and its original big block engine still runs great. Although this car has been in Michigan for the past three years it has never seen winter driving, salt or even rain. It was originally sold in Tennessee and spent at least 30 years stored in a garage. The actual mileage is just over 73,000.

In 2008 this car received a new convertible top that works flawlessly. At about the same time the seats were recovered to the original condition. There have been no modifications to the interior, no metal cutting or alterations to the wiring. The speedometer and odometer work and are accurate. The Ammeter also works. The original radio is still there, but it does not work.

The painted surfaces are in the best condition you are likely to find on any Mopar from this era that has not undergone a full rotisserie restoration. It is a solid car with no perforation. Underneath you'll find some surface rust in some areas, but far less than any unrestored Mopar I have ever seen. Let's face it. These cares were built to last 5 years, but 52 years later this car is in amazing shape. I suspect that at about the time it got a new top it also was repainted and presents very well. The typical comment from most observers is something like, "Wow, nice car!"

With drum brakes on all four corners, Mopars were never noted for their stopping ability, so the braking system has been upgraded and now stops on a dime. The front end was converted to discs with a dual reservoir power booster. The conversion includes an adjustable proportioning valve to the original rear drums. But for the purists, all the original parts were saved.

Big block Mopars often had a problem with overheating, so to avoid that possibility the original radiator was replaced with a modern aluminum unit and electric fans. No modifications to the sheet metal were made to make this change. Not surprisingly, this car has never overheated, not even idling in the summer heat during the Detroit dream cruise. The original radiator was retained and included.

This car has its original eight and three-quarter rear end. I'm not sure of the gearing, but it cruises at highway speeds with no problems at all. Mopar leaf springs typically begin to sag at some point so this one has been upgraded with air shocks, again with no cutting or modifications to the sheet metal. Even the air valve is mounted in a grommet - no holes drilled for any upgrade.

The 361 engine is cut from the same block as the more famous 383. The big difference between the two was not the 12 inches of displacement, but the way the engines were configured. Most 361's had a two-barrel carb and single exhaust, making them a much milder performer, but this one has been upgraded with a four barrel intake, Cater carburetor and dual exhaust making it look and perform like a 383. The only way one could tell that it is a 361 would be if they knew where to look for the metal stamp. The original intake manifold and carburetor are included, but I can't imagine many good reasons for ever going back. The original valve covers are included, but I have upgraded to aluminum to dress up the engine. The engine starts reliably every time and runs like a top. Even when it has been sitting in the garage for weeks or over a long Michigan winter it starts up reliably once the fuel system is primed. The 727 Torque-flite automatic transmission shifts smoothly and operates like new. The water pump has been replaced as a preventative measure. The power steering pump has been replaced with an original, period correct replacement. The tires and wheels are new, giving this car a slight resto-mod appearance. The original steel wheels and hub caps are included.

Aside from the wheels that make this car look awesome and the other upgrades mentioned above, this car is in amazingly original condition. Even the trunk has the original spare tire and jack. Speaking of the trunk, it received a protective coating at some point and the metal is well preserved. There are a few surface rust spots, but no perforation and like the rest of the car, it is very solid.

Classic cars are generally rated on a six-point scale. A rating of 1 would indicate a showroom condition, numbers matching vehicle. These are the ones that sell on Barrett-Jackson in the high fives or six-figure levels. A rating of 2 would be a full rotisserie restoration, but not necessarily with the original parts, but typically selling in the 30's through 50's. This Coronet 500 is a high 3 - practically all-original, presents very well at a show, but is a driver without a full restoration. When you also consider its rarity, this car is an incredible value at the asking price. Original owner’s manual and broadcast sheet included.

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