1 of 738: 1966 Dodge Coronet 500

One of the holy grail engines from the 1960s is Chrysler’s 426 Hemi which output nearly one horsepower per cubic inch. Only 738 of them went into the Dodge Coronet in 1966, which would make a sweet survivor or an excellent restoration a valuable commodity. But what is one of these cars worth when the engine is long gone and much of the interior has been ravaged by rust? That’s the question with this 1966 Coronet 500 which is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma and available here on eBay for the “discounted” Buy It Now price of $8,977.50.

Just shy of 11,000 street 426 Hemi’s were put into Dodge and Plymouths cars between 1966-71. While that might not sound like a small number, as a percentage of all the cars Chrysler built during that time period, the percentages are tiny. The engine was new for 1966, leading the way for other big-block Mopar motors to come out in the late 1960s (including the high-performance 440 cubic inch “Wedge” which could be had with multiple carburetors good for up to 390 hp). But, in 1966, you could walk into a Dodge dealership and order a Coronet 500 with the Hemi, which is what someone did with this car 54 years ago. But out of more than 250,000 Coronets ordered in 1966, only 738 of them had the Hemi, including just six convertibles.

This ’66 Coronet 500 is being offered by a dealer, but the Hemi engine and its 4-speed companion are nowhere to be found. Instead, you will find a lot of rust and gaping holes. We’re told that while the motor has flown the coop, the original Hemi K frame with skid plate and Hemi boxes for the rear end are still in play. As the story goes, a family of raccoons got inside the Dodge and did some rather significant damage. Where the passenger side bucket seat once sat, that space is open now to daylight. Besides that, the trunk pan is also rusty as are the rear quarter panels. Both bumpers are bent, and the right front fender is rusting at a different pace that the rest of the car, suggesting a possible past accident and replacement.

Surviving with the car is its original broadcast sheet, but the fender tag has disappeared, perhaps in concert with the motor. The seller refers to this as a “significant car and a significant project,” of which I agree with the latter. But since the buyer will have to source another Hemi engine if they want to replicate how the car left the factory, that won’t be cheap. What would this car be worth if you could turn back the hands of time? Commentary from Hagerty reminds readers that a 1966 Coronet 500 convertible with a Hemi (one of just 12 built with a 4-speed) sold at auction three years ago for $176,000!

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Comments

  1. JonArd

    I can see why there are no comments … sometimes one can visualize what a restoration will look like … there is nothing here upon which to visualize …

    Like 6
  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    This is retarted. No Hemi, no transmission, no fender tag, no floor, and yet this body shell is significant? Why not just buy a nice Coronet with a 318 for 15K, remove the fender tag, and tell the same story?

    Like 21
    • Dave

      …and when you finally get to register it after spending beaucoup bucks you find that the VIN is already in use in another state.

      Like 3
      • Bill

        In another state with your hemi lol

        Like 5
  3. DavidH

    $8977.50! NOT HAPPENING! Unless that is how much I will get paid to take it off the hands of the seller. Ridiculous.

    Like 9
  4. Chris M.

    While all of the above comments are reasonable and I don’t disagree with them. This car is bad but not so bad that it won’t get restored. With a verifiable build sheet you can have an exact reproduction fender tag. The inner fender aprons and cowel don’t look too bad (from the photos.) The trunk looks sound. If it has the original Dana 60 axle then it’s certainly worth considering for about what the seller is asking, maybe even 10-12k. It’s a low production Hemi car. Despite whatever financial trends are taking place original Chrysler Hemi cars will always have sound value. Just my opinion of course.
    Merry Christmas.

    Like 15
  5. Superdessucke

    Really amazing what raccoon and rodent urine can do to metal. This is a great example.

    Never let rodents anywhere near your car. Peppermint extract is a great tool for that.

    Like 2
  6. Keith Member

    Fender tag missing tells me there is possibly a fake out there somewhere

    Like 9
  7. Morley

    The only thing missing from this story is a fire, building collapse orit was owned by Garlitts. However this will sell and it will be at BJ auctions and sell for gazillions– There comes a point , if there is nothing left, but emotion and greed—oh I forgot , this is America and it seems that is all that is left!!!!!!!

    Like 3
  8. dogwater

    pop cans

  9. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    With a great deal of investigation and research it might be possible to retrace past owners and locate the original engine and transmission. Ofcourse it would be tedious and probably find many dead ends, but it’s like tracing your ancestry through DNA, there are many stop signs, u-turns and dead ends, but it can be done. Then you’d end up with a very valuable car. Not for the faint of heart.
    God bless America

    Like 3
  10. Mike

    9 grand for someone’s parts car, and most of the parts are gone….I’m in the wrong business

    Like 3
  11. i8afish

    Love that green shag carpeting!

    Like 8
  12. Steve Clinton

    “I knew the motor mounts were rusted, but I never thought the Hemi would fall out the bottom while cruising down the highway!”

    Like 3
  13. Super Glide

    It was a heavy engine. LOL!

    Like 1
  14. Bill

    SCRAP! Let the poor girl die in piece please lads she’s to far gone.

    Like 1
  15. ray vacca

    we put a few 12 gauge shells thru bodies in better shape than this heap…. and i was raised in a molar family. Dad had a 67 coronet 500 wagon. ….. with a 318
    ray

    Like 2
    • Steve Clinton

      Your dad was a dentist? LOL

      Like 7
  16. ray vacca

    that’s Mopar. dang auto correct!

    Like 3
    • Steve Clinton

      Oh, well, never mind. :-)

      Like 1
  17. BRUCE

    Very misleading on the “Restored Value” !!! This is NOT one of the 12 convertibles !! ’66 hemi 4 spds sell for 60k – 80k and you could never restor it for that. But I think you already knew that……B.H.

    Like 3
  18. Carl

    Wouldn’t take nothing but time and money…..

    …….and make that a lot of money, and you too can have yourself a HEMI car.

    Might be better off waiting for someone else to take the plunge and jump in later and pick things up.

    Or better yet, take a $100g’s and head over to Phoenix in January and buy your self one that you can drive off the lot.

    Like 1
  19. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    I’ve got just the floor pan to back bumper this one needs !

  20. Burger

    I watched these being loaded off the trucks at B.C. Hawk. Those were exciting times to be a car nut. It was cool when Hemi’s were just notable cars on the street and not the fodder of car collecting douchebags to chalk up bragging rights. My buddy Bob has a black Hemi coupe. Grand Spaulding and all that jazz. Bought it back when it was just a low miles $10K used car. While the Hemi is neat, it makes using it and parking it without armed guards a no-go. Honestly, I’d rather have a 383.

    Like 1
  21. Keith Member

    I have a question for someone to answer, I thought all hemi four speeds came with a Dana? No?

    • Burger

      My understanding was that when you got a Hemi, you got the Dana 60 behind it. No exceptions.

  22. Carl

    HEMI’s had DANA’s with the 4 speed. HEMI Auto’s had 8 3/4. I see that this pile of rust has an 8 3/4. But if this was an original 4 speed HEMI car it would have been delivered with a DANA. Plus the trans would have been a 18 spline. 440’s, 383’s and others had the 23 spline. No exceptions.

    • Burger

      Why would Mother Mopar step the rear end down to an 8.75 behind a Torqueflite ?

      • Carl

        Good question. I have 2 original 67′ HEMI cars. One I purchased new. Both were built in October of 1966. All HEMI cars in those days were built at the St Louis facility.

        My original is an auto with the 8 3/4. The other is a 4 speed and it has a DANA. Standard gears for the 8 3/4 was a 3:23 posi and the DANA was a 3:91.

      • Burger

        My 440 magnum/4-speed has the 3.23 Posi 8.75

        I am not a Hemi guy, just wondering why the 4-speed was the differentiating factor in the rear end install, not the engine. 🤔

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