440 Max Wedge: 1965 Dodge Coronet 500 Convertible

While it might look meek and mild, this 1965 Coronet 500 Convertible hides a great little secret. It is a car that is guaranteed to have a “Jekyll & Hyde” personality, depending on how heavy you are with your right foot. Barn Finder Pat L located this barnstormer for us, so thank you so much for that Pat. The Coronet is located in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner is asking $17,000 for this convertible classic.

Finished in Bright Red, the Coronet features a fully operational, and brand new White power top. The car has undergone a repaint at some point in the past, but it isn’t clear how long ago this occurred. The floors are said to have four small patches, but this is claimed to be the only evidence of any rust issues in this car’s history. The floors and frame are clean, while the panels look like they have also been spared the rigors of the dreaded tin worm. The exterior trim and chrome appear to also be in good condition, making the Coronet look like an attractive but subdued family convertible.

However, bury the right boot and thing can become decidedly exciting. What lurks in the engine bay is a 440ci V8, complete with a Max Wedge top end and a 3″ exhaust. It isn’t clear just how much power this brute produces, but the term “a lot” seems to be the figure that pops into my head. That power is sent rearwards via a 727 automatic transmission. The Coronet also features power steering, along with new tires and new brakes. For all that power, the owner says that the car is extremely driveable. However, he does suggest that a 3500rpm stall torque converter would make it a bit more pleasant. That seems to be pretty sound advice to me.

The interior trim of the Coronet looks to be in exceptional condition for a good reason; The majority of it is brand new. This is a car that will need little work inside, save for two small issues. The factory radio currently doesn’t work, so this will need to be investigated and fixed. More crucially, while the heater is said to pump out plenty of heat, apparently, the controls don’t work as they should. I’m not sure what they are doing wrong, but rectifying this would probably be a priority with Winter just around the corner.

This 1965 Coronet 500 Convertible is an extremely nice looking car, but its “wow” factor is carefully hidden under the hood. It is not a car that would be best suited to a purist, but for someone who likes a Mopar convertible that is hot and spicy, this is a car that would seem to be perfect.


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  1. Miguel

    I don’t know what engine that car is supposed to have but a 440 is not it.

    I will admit the car looks fun for that money, but it is not original.

    By the way, the VIN says this is a Coronet 440 not 500. It did original have a V8, but which one?????

    Like 3
    • Angrymike

      I’m thinking a 426 would be in order, not the Hemi, but 426 wedge. Whether it’s original or not, it’s a sweet ride. The max wedge cars prices are in the stratosphere, so this would be perfect in my garage !

      Like 11
      • Chris M.

        A poly 318, 273 or a 383 were also options in ’65

        Like 3
    • Michael Kelley

      Originally could have been a 318, 383 or 426 wedge.

      Like 1
  2. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Once had a landlord that bought a 64 Fury convertible with the 426 Max Wedge in it purely for the engine. He swapped it for a 413 that was in a ski boat. It was hard to get it to idle down to ‘no wake’ speed taking it out from the dock but once out it had the oomph to do pretty much anything you wanted.

    Like 4
  3. Sam61

    I see it now when Beverly Hillbillies went to color…Jane Hathaway driving up to the Clampett mansion.

    Like 13
    • w9bag

      I believe that SGT. Carter drove one too.

      Like 2
      • PatrickM


    • Ronald

      lol I thought the same thing when I saw this beautiful car. Where is Miss Jane?

      Like 1
  4. Duffy

    The vehicle is a beauty what ever engine in it. I like the engine that is in it now.

    Like 6
  5. Mountainwoodie

    One of the few slushboxes I would want to own. Top down baby. If you want to drop a Max Wedge into something this would be it, though I pretty much hate white interiors but what the hey……..

    Like 3
  6. benjy58

    It can make any stoplight a fun time.

    Like 4
  7. Arthell64 Member

    I always thought it was odd that Chrysler did the 65 coronet body style for one year only. Couldn’t be cheap to change the stamping in one year.

    • Miguel

      Almost all of the ’60s cars were one year style.

      I can’t think of a car from that time period that shared much in the way of body panels from year to year.

      Like 2
      • stillrunners stillrunners Member

        Nova…Falcon….Valiant….a lot of the bigger cars shared the roof….


    It’s the little old lady from Pasadena

    Like 2
    • ACZ

      No. Hers was a 4 speed.

  9. 8banger Dave Mika Member

    Looks like a recipe for fun to me.

  10. TimM

    What a cool ride this one won’t last long!!! The price seems very reasonable to me!!

    Like 2
  11. Troy s

    “it isn’t clear how much power this brute makes,” we are absolutely certain it makes more than enough power to shred those rear tires! Interesting seeing a big 440 with that dual carb set up. Wonder if it’s running the incredibly high compression ratio like the old 426 max wedge.
    Like the older Mopars like this, especially the ’63-’64’s. Not a lot of frills, plenty of thrills.

    Like 2
  12. yes300ed

    440 wasn’t available till 1966 (if I remember correctly).

    • Troy s

      You are correct, standard passenger car 440 in ’66, the high performance 375 horse came out in ’67. This car here is all about good times behind the wheel, not originality.

      Like 2
  13. Dave

    I’ll see your Six-Pack and raise you two barrels…

    Like 3
  14. Marty Parker

    Why would anyone want a 3500 stall converter in a street driven car? If it doesn’t have enough low end torque to handle a stock converter, then it has the wrong combination of parts. Cam, carb, etc. High stall converters are for race cars.

    Like 4
  15. Del

    I agree with Marty.

    Must be someting else wrong

    Wish I lived closer.

    Like 3
  16. PatrickM

    As I write, Oct 21, this is still listed. I honestly believe the price is too high. Plus there aren’t very many pics. If ya wanna sell it, ya gotta show it.

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