1967 White Hat Special Dodge Charger

Todd FitchBy Todd Fitch

The rake and five-slot mags on this first-generation Dodge Charger dial the time machine back to the mid ’70s to early ’80s, where it would have looked menacing and quite at home in any high school parking lot. Dodge built this body, a fast-back Coronet, to answer Dodge dealers’ request for a specialty vehicle similar to sister company Plymouth’s fastback Barracuda. Thanks to Pat L. who spotted this Round Lake, Wisconsin muscle car seeking a new owner here on craigslist. For $8,750 it could be yours.

To understand the birth and evolution of this unique Dodge, please read Dodge Chief Engineer Burt Bouwkamp’s 2004 account of Charger history on AllPar.com. This variation of the “B” body, which underpinned a host of Chrysler muscle cars, debuted a year earlier as a 1966 model, and shared a front clip with the Coronet sedan, though only the Charger got the cool hidden headlights (shown in the exposed position on this feature car). I built a ’66 Coronet for the Silver State Classic Challenge, and coveted the Charger’s cool hidden headlights.

Various MoPars offered “White Hat Special” packages that included a vinyl top (not always white) and other features as described in this vintage Coronet advertisement. While the more pedestrian Coronet had the typical single-hood dashboard and two-foot-wide speedometer the Charger featured sporty round instrument pods. Chargers also had front and rear buckets and a console that extended to the rear cargo area. This 1967 console gained a rear floor cutout for easier access to both seats vs. the ’66 console which rear seat passengers had to step over to reach the far seat. The top trim line Coronet 500 also came with the rear console.

This car’s “V8” fender badges indicate it left the factory with a 318, the first year of the LA block. The Polysphere or “wide block” 318 ended production in ’66. The seller claims the car is a “Factory 383 2 bbl 4 speed. One of 117 built,” but no VIN or body tag confirms this claim. The current engine is described as a “1971 383 Hi-po motor… with the factory correct A833 4 speed and 3.91 sure grip 8.75 rear.” You don’t have to be a Mopar expert to know that this combination will get you to the church on time. The seller has driven the car “around the block” which is always better than “ran when parked.” This picture also shows power steering and manual brakes, and an Accel Super Coil — a typical mod from an era when the driver probably splashed on a generous quantity of Drakar Noir. This fastback muscle car looks like a good starting point. Is it worth nearly $9,000… or more?

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Comments

  1. Dave

    Cool for sure. Looks like it’s gonna need some work in those quarters though.

    2+
  2. Troy S.

    Absolutely how I remember so many of these cars looking years ago.Some guys even dressed up their 318’s to look fast. A bone stock charger would have gotten little attention back in those days .

    0
  3. T Mel

    Wisconsin rust typically goes a lot deeper than what you see on those quarters. My guess- the entire chassis is likely going to need quite a bit. Nine grand is a stretch in my book unless maybe it hasn’t spent it’s whole life in cheeseland.

    4+
  4. Howard A Member

    Folks, I can tell you right now, this car was NOT from Wisconsin. Fact is, I bet the photo of it on the trailer, is them bringing it back from far away to make a substantial profit, and that’s ok, I guess. It would never look like this. When new, I remember, they couldn’t give these away, it was a colossal flop, according to auto historian Patrick Foster. Like the Marlin, it had a limited fan base ( if only they had hatchbacks) and apparently, they sold half as many ’67’s as ’66’s. The next generation of Chargers changed everything, but not these. 4 speed makes this a very rare car indeed.

    3+
  5. redwagon

    From the last picture of the window sticker the car was sold originally in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. There is a lot less rust on that car than I would expect for spending it’s entire life in WI.

    0
    • leiniedude

      Not that it makes to much of a difference on the rust issue, but this is in Round Lake Illinois. I like the style of this year, my White Hat off to you Todd!

      1+
    • GP Member

      I have a 1965 Rambler that was sold new in Menomonie WI., now in Knapp WI. (about 7 miles away) No rust ever, so it can be done.

      0
  6. jdjonesdr

    Rode hard, put away wet comes to mind.

    1+
  7. Dave

    It’s a lot of dough for a rusty first-gen. That said, a rusty second-gen fetches crazy money. Nothing you guys don’t already know – just sayin. I kick myself hard for selling my ’68 RT some ten years ago….sigh…

    0
  8. Miguel

    FYI, the Mexican made 1967 Coronets 2 and 4 doors came with the flip around headlights.

    They are neat cars even though the majority came with the slant 6.

    I tried to post a picture but I am getting an error message.

    0
    • Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

      Hi Miguel – About the Mexican Coronets w/ hidden headlights – that’s cool – I have never heard that! Also the picture upload error has been reported. Hopefully fixed soon. Thanks!

      0
  9. Madmatt

    My dad had a 66 black with red interior,it was very sharp,
    it even had those same wheels/offset.
    It was a 383 high perf,4 bbl dual exhaust,with automatic,
    the fastest car I probably ever rode in,out of many,
    but the needle on the gas gauge moved pretty damn fast too!
    I have always liked the styling,and clean lines of these,awesome find!

    1+
  10. Tyler

    As an owner of 2 first gen Chargers I can certainly attest that complete cars are a must. Single missing parts and pieces are non existent. (Still searching for a better section of trunk chrome 10 years in). Another example, I spent nearly 3 years searching for a radio (who needs a radio). There’s several differences in the ’66 to ’67 not mentioned in the article’s write up. The wiring schematic does not apply to both years. Perhaps one of the coolest features on these cars were the electroluminescent dash lighting system–which never seemed to work long-term and was scrapped after ’67. 1st Gen Chargers are super fun to drive and honestly you never see them on the roads or at shows either. There’s always a gathering around them at shows as they’re often thought of as the ‘forgotten chargers’. Personally, I never saw another complete ’66 until they were the featured car at Iola WI in 2016. 2bbl or 4bbl, mileage never seemed to differ, 8-13 MPG’s city/highway. Couple years after restoring mine, got ‘ol county cop tagged me at 156 in a 55. I’ve since learned to lean off the gas pedal, but the last possessions I’d ever sell would be these cars.

    Unfortunately the bug is still inhibiting me from posting a picture…

    3+
  11. lawrence

    Like a 1965 Mustang – Howard – the following year didn’t sell as much – as most knew there was something on the horizon. The 1966 made a statement on the tracks – so enough said.

    And as for the LA motor – it appeared in 1964 – the new LA motor – was a 273 designed for the little A body mopars – as the poly would not fit.

    1+
  12. Michael thomas

    I love the trailer hitch, when you just have to get your boat to the lake on time.

    1+
  13. Ralph

    Can anyone tell me the significance of having a Blue Crystal medallion instead of a Red one? I have a 66 and it had the Blue Med in the trunk lid assembly and it was factory installed.

    0
  14. Tyler

    I like these so much better than the generation that followed. Hard to believe that the 4 speed option was over twice as expensive as the 383 upgrade.

    0
  15. John H

    Had a ’66 in blue with white interior when I was in high school. That had the 318/auto, but it still felt good when you mashed the fast pedal! Unfortunately, my sister zoned out one day while driving it and ran into the back of a parked tractor trailer. The Charger definitely lost that round!

    0
  16. Doug P

    These cars had awesome lines and one of the nicest interiors. Got to love the center consoles.

    1+

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