383 Powered: 20k Mile 1968 Dodge Coronet Wagon

OK, no full-size Chevrolet station wagons, at least for a while. Instead, let’s turn our sights towards Dodge, specifically a 1968 Coronet model 440. This example is listed as a 20K mile barn find and that claim alone makes it worthy of further investigation. So here we go, located in Montrose, Colorado is this 1968 Coronet 440 station wagon and it is available here on Facebook Marketplace for $11,500.

Often, the Coronet 440 moniker leads one to think that the Coronet in question is powered by Mopar’s vaunted 440 CI “RB” engine but that’s not the case, it’s just a model name. In 1968, the Coronet midsize model came in four different flavors starting with the Coronet Deluxe, then moving to the Coronet 440, with the Coronet 500 next in line, and finally, the performance-oriented R/T sitting at the top of the heap.

The trim tag for this wagon checks out, not that there was a reason to believe that it wouldn’t, it was more a verification to ascertain which 383 CI V8 engine is domiciled under the hood. As it turns out it is a 290 gross HP, two-barrel carburetor equipped motor working through a TorqueFlite three-speed automatic transmission. The seller claims, “RUNS & DRIVES GREAT!!”. The underhood compartment is pretty clean, though a bit dusty. Only 20K miles? Hard to tell, talk among yourselves and please advise what you think.

The exterior, what can be seen of it, appears unmolested and unrusted. The seller states, “BODY IS IN GREAT CONDITION”. It’s hard to verify as there are no comprehensive images included in the listing. The original finish, designated as Medium Tan Metallic, code Y, is sunburned in places and there is a trace of surface rust showing on the tailgate. While it may be a barn find, this Dodge has definitely spent some time in the bright western sunshine. Nevertheless, the chrome is good and the trim seems to be all there. There also appears to be aftermarket wheels at all four corners, they are hard to discern but look like a “Halibrand” style of alloy.

This Coronet is a nine-passenger model, so it will deliver some nice functionality to its next owner. The seller says the “INTERIOR IS SUPERB!” and the few images that are available present an attractive two-tone vinyl upholstery that looks unmarred. The same goes for the headliner and the instrument panel, though the image of the way-back area is fuzzy. It appears to be dusty at the least, hard to tell for sure beyond that if anything is out of sorts. The armrests look discolored but that may be the result of the same climatic conditions that have done their work on the tan exterior. All in all, it shows well, however.

This much is for sure, Dodge station wagons of this era, say compared to the full-size Chevies that we have been featuring here on Barn Finds lately, are not commonly found any longer. Some of that has to do with the sheer number of units produced and other factors are simply that station wagons were not always considered collectible or worth saving. This one gets cred for its general condition, big-block motor, and the fact that it is a survivor Dodge. The price is a bit stiff, not stiff enough to cause a gulp, but it is optimistic. But you have to ask yourself, when and where will you find another?

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Comments

  1. Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

    Nice find, Jim! My Grandparents had a ’69 Coronet 440 sedan, gold inside and out, 318 automatic. They used it to tow a travel trailer all over America with no air conditioning… and no complaints! With a few upgrades, I’d rather drive this 383-powered wagon than a modern full-sized SUV any day. Plus such a car would hold its value while the SUV loses money every day. Thanks for the memories!

    Like 14
    • Jim ODonnell Jim ODonnell Staff

      Hi Todd!

      Glad you enjoyed it, a bit of a diversion from the Chevies and Fords that are more commonly found.

      Thx,

      JO

      Like 3
  2. Bob C.

    Brings me back to my first car, a 68 Coronet 500 sedan with bucket seats. I always liked the push style buttons on the dash. The ignition was a little tough finding in the dark because it was at the bottom of the dash and it handled like a pontoon boat, but I loved that car.

    Like 2
  3. Will Fox

    Methinks 120k Miles. The paint is sun baked on upper flat surfaces, and besides; all photos are conveniently ‘fuzzy’ and full of sun glare, so no real details seen. However, the front seat looks in good shape, but it’s basically the only interior detail you can make out other than the steering wheel. After market rims are a nice touch; I wonder if the originals come with it? I would look this over very carefully in person before plunking down any cash.

    Like 6
    • Steve R

      You are overlooking the proof the seller provided to back up his mileage claim. A picture of the speedometer.

      Steve R

      Like 10
      • 1-MAC

        5 digit odometer could be on its second trip. Not to worry a 2383, torquqeflite auto is good for that and many more.

        Like 2
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    No proof of anything as old as that speedometer is. I wonder if the reason all the pictures are taken in a shed is that it doesn’t run…..

    Like 1
    • Steve R

      I was being sarcastic.

      It often seems like the sellers word is often taken at face value by whoever does the write up for this site just because a claim is inserted into the ad. I’d like to see more skepticism when there is no corroborating evidence presented.

      Steve R

      Like 8
      • Jim ODonnell Jim ODonnell Staff

        Steve R

        Wrong! I take little at face value. Note the included comment: Only 20K miles? Hard to tell, talk among yourselves and please advise what you think.

        I’m not going to call the seller out when I have no proof one way or the other. Maybe it’s 20K miles and maybe not.

        JO

        Like 11
      • Steve R

        You don’t have to call them out, just point there is no corroboration. It’s a way of suggesting the reader needs to make up their own mind. That’s not always done when the sellers claim is referenced, without that, it can be seen as an endorsement.

        Steve R

      • Jim ODonnell Jim ODonnell Staff

        I thought that’s exactly what I did!? I suggested that readers let me know what they think about the claim and you have.

        Like 13
  5. Mark b

    I think the seats were recovered. The fabric and pattern do not look original. In addition if that clear coat pealing on the top of the fender as this was definitely a single stage paint car from day one. And at some point recently someone was driving it gives the “modern” wheels. I am of the school of thought that may have been 120000 as well

    Like 5
  6. Mitchell Member

    Something tells me that the seller is not a soft-spoken man

    Like 1
  7. Pat

    I see rust through at the base of the driver quarter. No picture of the passenger side but I would expect the same there. Color me dubious on the rust.

    Like 3
  8. David G

    Outstanding car, but that mileage works out to around 386 miles per year. Most likely has 120,000, unless seller has documentation to prove otherwise. Has been repainted, and clear coat is peeling in many places. Some rust showing on bottom of driver’s side quarter panel.

    Like 1
    • Dave

      Front fender tops would be gone if driven in rain or snow. No inner fender liners. Rear quarters and door sills go fast too. Bottom line is how much risk and money do you feel comfortable with?

      Like 1
  9. TimM

    The best way to see if the mileage claim is legitimate is to just look at the pedals!! Of coarse they could always be changed but if the guy didn’t wash the car I really doubt he would take the time and money to change the pedals out!!

    Like 4
    • Steve R

      I’d buy new pedals for every 60’s car I bought since the 1980’s. I only bought 4spds so they had a lot of wear. They were cheap and easy to replace and could be swapped out in a few minutes. While I was at it I also installed the stainless trim which went around the perimeter which helped reduce wear. I had a couple of friends that would do the same.

      Steve R

      Like 1
      • TimM

        Did you wash your car too???? That’s cheaper then pedals!!

  10. Dan

    Thanks for the memories. Growing up my dad had 66 or 68 Coronet 440 wagon. The seating inserts were cloth on his and comparable to moms 66 Chrysler Newport so I can’t offer any definiteoptionson the vinyl but I would bet the seats were redone. His wagon was a burgundy color and no third row.

    Like 1
  11. G Mike Adams

    Steering wheel wear and that is not the original upholstery. Not a 20,000 mile car.

  12. Mike

    Appears to be a 20,000 mile battery box.

  13. CJinSD

    Too bad it doesn’t have the 383-4barrel with 325 horsepower. Then it would be a virtual mechanical twin of the Fury III wagon that whipped an Aston Martin DB6 around Lime Rock. I tend to think that the seller needs better pictures to justify the price. I can’t see everything, and I can still see enough to be concerned about rust.

    Like 1
  14. Stevieg

    I am in agreement with most here…120,000 miles. The upholstery might have had similar to factory stitching, but it isn’t right. It is like calling a Yugo a Fiat. Close but not quite right lol.
    Nice car none the less, and between the fact that it is a Mopar & a long roof, someone will probably pay near the asking price.

  15. Terry Bowman

    I agree with Mark b, 68’s were painted with single stage enamel and this wagon appears to be a base coat coat, clear coat. Yes, it’s been sitting out in the sun and that is why the clear coat is peeling. I also believe the car was not restored at some time (around 20 years ago), but refurbished. It’s a 120,000 car. Still a nice car to have in your driveway.

  16. Jim

    Surprising big engine wagon AC PS auto and no power brakes

  17. George Mattar

    Dave is right. All Chrysler products from this era had no front fender liners. Rusted out in several years. The front fenders on my 70 Road Runner were blistering on top by 1973. At least isn’t asking $25,000 like some wagons on here.

    Like 1
  18. Maestro1 Member

    Jim, good post, thank you. The price is too high. Whatever lurks there needs to be fixed and I am always leery about people who say how wonderful their cars run. Especially a barn find. I’d like to see some invoices, something, to show work has been performed by someone.
    Anyway, thanks again, I’ll keep watching.

    Like 1
  19. Mr.BZ

    Thanks Jim! My brothers and I have been looking for this car’s cousin, Moms 68 Satellite 6 pass. wagon w/318. Could have been the same color, too, but with a black interior. First car Dad ever bought with A/C, and man was he steamed about it! So stubborn he refused to turn it on for fear of lost MPGs until one day, as the rest of us were sweating half to death, Mom dropped a verbal bomb of relative profanity on his *ss and turned on the air herself! The old man just clammed up, defeated. Good memories!

    Like 2
  20. George Louis Member

    I do not recognize the driver side out side rear view mirror, but I do know that it is not a factory OEM piece. I drove a 1968 Coronet 440 4 door sedan in B5 Blue from 1968 to 1974 318 V8 torque flight automatic with light package that illuminated the ignition key location. I do not recall if for Station Wagons they offered a different vinyl seat sewing pattern..No battery for car. Probably got 8-10 MPG at 35 cents per gallon in 1968.

  21. WH

    We had a 67 Coronet 440 wagon with the 273 V8 and automatic. No PS PB or AC. Nice copper color (which I’ve only seen on a few other Mopars) and a black vinyl interior. Those seats got hot in the summer. My parents sold it in 1977 and got a new Volare 😏

  22. WH

    BTW… Tacky wheels on that car. They definitely have to go. As far as the rear view mirror goes it does look aftermarket. Didn’t most Mopars back then have a round outside mirror?

    And if you wanted to add power brakes you would just have to find the necessary parts out of another Chrysler vehicle. Reman brake boosters are readily available or Cardone can rebuild one for you. I think it’s about $150 plus shipping.

    • Terry Bowman

      WH, you need more then the Brake Booster to give you power brakes. For instance the proportion valve and brake lines also from it need to be changed. You are correct the best way would be to find a donor car (does not have to be a wagon, but at least a B body from that era). The two items mention above will need to be changed no mater what and yes, the booster can be still bought through Cardone for a reasonable price. As for the mirrors, I also thought the same, but I had a 72′ Dodge Van that had square mirrors and it was classified as a Station wagon.(I still the title to prove it). So even through it is a partial “B” body format, it may also fall into a van class, which may give it the square mirrors. Note: It would be a “SPORT” mirror and not the standard one.

  23. Mike Smith

    Would make a great Home Depot vehicle for about 3500 bucks.

  24. Chip Bates

    I paid $84. For my 1967 dodge wagon 440 in 1974. Found it behind the barn. Four flats. NY salt has claimed the fenders and tailgate. It started with a jump and that was good enough. Did learn no brakes so had to learn how to change brake shoes. Brake knuckles along the way.
    My first car. Perfect for bouncing off snow banks in upstate NY. Ran 3 years like the tank she was! Miss her.

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