1 of 141! 1966 Dodge Coronet 361 Four-Speed

One year before Chrysler’s 440 cid V8 made its debut in the Coronet, “440” represented the next-to-top trim level in the Coronet line. This 1966 Dodge Coronet 440 in Columbus, Ohio comes to market here on eBay as a mostly-original project car. The 361-powered four-speed (1 of 141 so equipped) represented a solid upgrade from milder engines. An extra gear over the three-speed (manual or automatic) transmissions makes it easier to stay in the power band (the RPM range between peak torque and peak horsepower) in real-world driving, too. Would-be buyers of this classic have one choice, Buy It Now, for $12,500. There is no Make Offer button.

Unlike many replacements, these recovered original-style seats look perfectly at home in the black cockpit of this everyman’s Dodge. The bench seat and floor-shift makes for close quarters when seating six, but can’t be knocked when your date scoots into the middle spot on a cool evening. I owned a ”66 Coronet for a while, and this one really stirs up the memories.

That belt trim graces the 440 along with other trim changes inside and out. The rear bumper and hardware come with the sale, along with replacement fenders and quarters. Undercarriage pictures show solid rockers and metal entombed in undercoating. Personally I’d paint those steelies body-color and keep the dog-dish hubcaps.

The 361 began life in the ’50s as one of the original B series displacements. This 265 HP version came only with a two-barrel carburetor. Anything you can do to a 383 or 440 can be done to the 361, and it will respond appropriately minus 22 or 79 cubic inches, respectively. I’d consider taking a 440 crate motor and keeping this look at much as possible with the well-worn valve covers and air cleaner. I spent a lot of time staring into a similar engine bay. Don’t forget, this car, looking much the same, could have been ordered with the 426 Street Hemi! My ’66 Coronet owner’s manual made no mention of the word “Hemispherical” or “Hemi,” only listing it along with the other engines as “426.” One thing’s for sure; you won’t find an original Hemi Coronet in this condition for $12,500.

The ’66 Charger grille with hidden headlights would look right at home here, and in fact they sold Coronets in Mexico with that grille, but I like the wide-eyed Coronet look. Turn signals peek out from the angled outboard positions. Would you call this B-block four-speed Dodge a muscle car?

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Comments

  1. Mark

    Would be a fun driver as a 4 speed, regardless of the amount of cubic inches. Patch it up and drive the wheels off it.

    Like 15
  2. CJinSD

    Big cars don’t get much more attractive than the 1966 Dodge Coronet 440 hardtop, even if this was officially an intermediate when new. Love it.

    Like 13
  3. Dave

    These look really good when the coronet grille is replaced with hidden headlight charger grille. A lot of fun can be had with this car. I like the author’s suggestion of replacing the 361, retaining the valve covers and air cleaner, but dropping in a 440 crate. Put the 361 on a stand. Paint the rims body color- dog dishes, or have a set of stock mags, torque thrusts to slap on now and then. Essentially this car has many faces to flash. I like it.

    Like 7
  4. Skorzeny

    This may be the deal of the week right here… Shouldn’t last long.

    Like 8
  5. KKW

    Years ago I had a 65 Coronet 500, a sportier version, with bucket seats, console, 4spd, and a 265HP, 4brrl 361, not a 2brrl as the story goes. I would restore it as equipped, nothing wrong with a 361.

    Like 7
  6. richard parsons

    Loved my demo 383 4 barrel Coronet when I sold Dodges in 1966 in Los Altos, California.The automatic trans would do neck snapping shifts and gas was 32.9 cents so who cared about mileage. The little Dart with the little V-8* was fun too.The 440 engine came out in the 1967 models and was a stormer.In all the time I worked in the dealership(9 months) I only saw one Hemi, a Charger. The Dana rear end needed with the Hemi was a $600 option. I can’t remember what the Hemi cost but nobody asked for one.

    Like 5
    • William

      That is $2.65 per gallon today. Not great, but okay. Better than the $4.50/gallon some idiot charged me in the Utah desert in 2008. Of course, it is about what we pay today, a relative bargain, but remember what cars get as MPG today vs this car, there is your difference. Conservatively speaking, cars today get at least three times the MPG, so 33 cents a gallon in 1966 is really over seven bucks a gallon equivalent today. Of course, the real differences here are the cost of living in general. People were unionized, made better wages, taxes were lower, most people didn’t have to pay for pensions or health insurance. (Heck, only needed one household income to get along). So, gas prices were not a big deal anyway, also because cars were a big part of entertainment. Less gizmos to sap what was your disposable income.

      Like 11
  7. Dave

    Not a “muscle” car, rather a “muscular” car. Family of six fits in as long as none of the kids is a teenager.

    Like 4
  8. Lash

    I had one….a 273 auto. It was a great car.

    Like 4
  9. Tom

    Only bad thing is 361 motor low compression you would have to build one.

    Like 1
  10. gaspumpchas

    Sold, someone got a cool project!!
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 3
  11. Bill Knott

    I had one with the 425 Hemi, column shift automatic, bench seat in it. I bought it from the original owner for $1600.00 in 1979. Had to sell it in the early eighty’s because I had no place to keep it when going through a divorce. Car was in amazing shape, no rust anywhere and ran like a scalded dog. Wish I still had that car.

    Like 2
  12. William

    Gosh, how rare is a “425” hemi? Should have offered the ex the house, the dog, and your left t*sticle, just so you could have kept that rare beast.

    Like 8
    • Bill Knott

      LOL No need to rub it in. I have had several cars come and go that I wish I had kept. But then again don’t we all :(

      Like 1
  13. One Eye

    1st car was a ’67 Coronet R/T, 361 2 bbl, 4 spd, posi rear, bench seat. $250 cash in ’75, Red Lake Falls, Mn

    Like 3
  14. WH

    We had a Copper 67 Coronet 440 wagon when I was a kid. I like the 67 grille better. If you turned on the flashers and stepped on the brake pedal you could play the radio in our car. Don’t know if it was just a fluke or if other Dodges did the same thing.

    Like 3
    • Rob Bradley

      67 Full Size Dodge Polara’s did the same! Foot on the brake, 4 ways on…….PRESTO! Radio works! (Quality Mopar Engineering for 67′!)

  15. Bob Aubertin

    This car is OVER-PRICED for the condition it’s in. The pictures show a LOT OF ROT and to do a restoration with NOS parts you are looking at a minimum of 50K. Not worth the effort.

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