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1-Of-97: 1970 Dodge Coronet R/T

This 1970 Dodge Coronet R/T would’ve turned heads for many reasons in its heyday. This classic had something for everyone, whether it was its paint and trim combination or its drivetrain. It has fallen on hard times and needs the right person with a stout heart to breathe new life into it. The process won’t be easy, but you’ll probably agree that we’ve seen sadder cars brought back from the brink once you look closely. If you feel up to the challenge, you will find the R/T located in Scottsdale, Arizona, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has hit $5,600, although this remains short of the reserve.

Let’s commence this saga by discussing this Cornet’s original color combination. It rolled off the showroom floor resplendent in Code Y1 Bright Yellow, which was called Top Banana or Lemon Twist on some Plymouth offerings from that model year. It also scored a Black vinyl top and Black stripes. There’s little sign of any of those features today, with the car receiving at least one color change during its life. However, that is the tip of the iceberg. As is so common in classics from this era, the buyer will face plenty of cutting and welding if they plan on whipping the body into shape. The rear quarter panels are bad, as are the floors and the trunk pan. The frame rails are okay, with only a small section on the driver’s side rear requiring attention. The Ramcharger hood is intact, but much of the exterior trim and chrome is gone. The shopping list is likely to be a long one, but we’ve seen rustier Mopar classics resurrected in the past. I’m not about to write this one off as a lost cause just yet.

I’ve reached a stage in life where I value consistency, and this Coronet project offers plenty of that! Its interior requires the same level of attention that the buyer will lavish on the panels and paint. I think that this is a “what you see is what you get” proposition, so if you can’t see a particular part, you shouldn’t expect to find it squirreled away in the trunk. However, it is worth reflecting upon how it would have looked when it was shiny and new. The upholstery would have been Black vinyl, while the original owner selected bucket seats and a console with a floor shift poking through. There was also a radio and faux-woodgrain trim. Most of these components are but a memory, and anything remaining will need to be restored or replaced.

The owner claims that this Coronet R/T is 1-of-97 built with the 440 Six-Pack/TorqueFlite drivetrain combination, and my reference material confirms that figure. That brute of an engine churned out 390hp, making the R/T capable of charging through the ¼ mile in 14.1 seconds. Sadly, this photo is indicative of what potential buyers can expect from the drivetrain today. The engine and transmission are gone, as is the 3.55 Sure Grip center out of the 8¾” rear end. The buyer will begin the process with a blank canvas, leaving them with a few decisions to make. Sourcing date-correct components to perform a faithful refurbishment is possible, and I could understand why purists may follow that path. There is also scope to slot something different under the hood. That could include a period-correct Hemi, or a restomod may be another option worth considering. The choice will come down to a matter of taste and the healthiness of the buyer’s bank balance.

While I tend to be an optimist, I am also a realist. I acknowledge that returning this 1970 Coronet R/T to something resembling its former glory will be neither easy nor cheap. The harsh reality is that even if the new owner can source all of the date-correct components, it will be lucky to command a value far beyond $60,000 due to the loss of its numbers-matching status. Therefore, somebody could choose to create a Hemi clone because even non-original versions can attract some impressive prices in the current market. Which path would you choose?


  1. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    Flintstones material.

    Like 11
  2. 8banger 8banger Member

    There’s but a scant few of us left who even want cars like these. Most of my younger customers have hopped up Grand Cherokees or Nissans – both not so wise decisions exactly.

    Like 16
  3. angliagt angliagt Member

    No pictures of the front end?

    Like 5
  4. Vance

    There are no pictures of the front end because there isn’t any front end to look at. I love this vintage, but this car needs everything, too much work for me. But I am sure some nut will pay waaaaay too much. It’s too bad because this was a sweet car at one time.

    Like 14
  5. Aelia

    I’d say it’s closer to .6 of 97 at this point

    Like 0
  6. Chasbro

    I’ll take it. Where and when do I get the $5600. Oh, wait, they WANT $5600. for it? Never mind. Sorry for the sarcasm, that much rust makes me feel nauseous. Good luck to the next owner.

    Like 4
  7. Melton Mooney

    Sixpacks and hemis used to be rare, but lately is seems that finding a musclecar era slopar with any motor at all is rare.

    Like 6
  8. Gary

    The way prices are going this will be a $125,000.00 car next year. Quarters, floorpans and trunkpan, a months work and $2000.00. another $45,000.00 rounding up parts and time to put it together. $70,000.00 + – return on a two year investment sounds pretty good.

    Like 2
  9. Tyler Thompson

    The crusher!

    Like 1
  10. danny

    I agree with Gary. Regardless of what all the NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY sayers think. The back end on this car will be beyond 100K. Make fun about these cars all you want, this is a buyers market on these cars and the sky is the limit!

    Like 5
    • Tom

      Serious question; what makes you say that it’s a buyer’s market? Seems the other way around, especially considering where the economy appears to be heading right now. Combine that with the government’s push for EV’s, the popularity of Resto-mods and the fact that there are fewer people every day who are willing to pay huge money for restored muscle cars, and it seems that a major correction is coming.
      I grew up with these things and I love them, but I don’t see crazy prices lasting much longer…

      Like 1
  11. 433jeff

    I think its worth 5600$, probably sell for double, i say that from what i have seen, I remember the days where it was blown up with everything intact and worth 1250$, those days are gone.

    Its not for me as i like the earlier ones.

    Some day instead of G Govier documenting these cars we will have a new guy covering the electric cars, We wont talk about superchargers anymore we will talk about How sequential battery routing That will put you back in the seat. I will be looking up at the grass by then, but a whole new crew will have a fondness of the electric cars

    Like 3
  12. Shane

    My 69 Green and White Super Bee I bought in 1980 for only $200 bucks with running engine was also a factory 440 Six Pack car….man days gone buy tho. It was a good engine for me and it would scream when you wanted it to lol…mine was a 4 speed car. I have no idea how many were made of mine.

    Like 2
  13. Gary

    Passed on a Sublime 70 Road Runner 440/6 with a four speed, a extremely nice car back in 76. I didn’t pass on so much as my grandpa did as I was 12. We would drive around the back roads some evenings looking for a car for me to work on and gramps thought it was a good deal at around a grand. (Don’t remember exactly, it’s been 45 years) l think it was the first through fourth gear burning rubber smoke fest as the owner and I were going up the road. We got back and gramps said ” There is no way in Hell you are getting that car boy”. 1968 Charger is the best looking car of the sixties/ seventies, 70 Road Runner and 70 SuperBees are close seconds/thirds.

    Like 6
    • TR JONES

      Sounds like you had a great relationship with your Grandfather! I’m 63, mid seventies I was in H.S.; saw some cool stuff. SIX BARREL/HEMI were very rare though.

      Like 1
  14. Kh4fan

    Cause for question, I’m not a Mopar guy but I believe that a 440/6 pack would have been equipped with a Dana60 not 8 3/4 ?

    Like 0
    • Mojuunk

      Only if it had a 4 speed.

      Like 0
    • keith clark Member

      I believe the Dana was for 4 speed cars and optional on automatics

      Like 1
  15. Greg

    Yeah, it’s a head turner, alright. Makes you turn your head in disgust

    Like 0
  16. Danny

    That is right Gary keep turning your head as I drive by you to the bank. The old days of picking these cars up for nothing are long gone and live only in people’s memories! Get over it. Besides what you pay now versues what these cars are selling for, more then equates to cost.

    Like 1
  17. Danny

    Tom, thank you for a change regarding a serious question. First, do you really honestly believe Americans are going to go out and purchase a ten year old volt battery car for their car collection? Second have you by chance seen the huge sells of vinal records being sold vs downloads of music? The record plants cannot keep up with demand! What about all those commercials on TV with music from the 60sand 70s. These muscle cars and music represent Americana at its finest! Check out the car auctions on TV, they are jammed with people, many not even buying a car, but wanting involved in this venue. Last, do you honestly believe Big oil is going to roll over, and forgo all those billions of dollar? Power in this country changes hands quiet frequently, I promise you gas and these cars will be around for a very long time, everyone wants to own a dream!

    Like 0

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