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Tail Finned Mopar Project

1957 Dodge Coronet Project

Here’s an old-school project car find, just the way it oughta be. A desirable 1957 Coronet two door hardtop, with a decent-looking solid Oklahoma body and a good four-door parts car. Although tail fins were clearly recognizable on Mopar vehicles a couple of years before, 1957 was the year they became a dominant styling element. In some of their sales literature at the time, Chrysler referred to these as “directional stabilizers”. Although they provided no actual directional stabilization, they sure are fun to look at! Find this big project here on craigslist for $2,000.

Tail Fins

The seller states the coupe is a V8 automatic, but the drivetrain in the parts car is not mentioned. He also doesn’t state how long it’s been since either of them were in running condition. Most, if not all, of the exterior trim appears to be present with the hardtop, but as with so many outdoor-kept 1950s vintage vehicles, floor rust is a definite concern. But the outsides of these look good enough that the required floor work might be worthwhile, as the prices of these vintage Mopars continue to climb.

Parts Car

Original colors? Black over yellow, charcoal over coral, or original patina? How would you do it?


  1. Avatar photo Rex Kahrs Member

    Actually I have read somewhere (maybe Petterson who designed the Volvo 1800?) that in fact the tail fins DO provide stabilization. Maybe like those flipped-up wing extender thingys you see on jet airliners. I’m going with it.

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  2. Avatar photo randy

    Yes they do provide stabilization, over 200mph!!
    He’s going to need plenty of luck to sell these over scrap value.

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    • Avatar photo Jason Houston

      I take it you can’t stand 1957/58 Ply-Dod-DeS-Chry products? They’re one of the very few postwar genres that’s still bringing big bucks, with no end in sight. Even the 4-door is a desirable unit and looks too nice to part out!

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  3. Avatar photo DREW V.

    That’s a hellova deal on these cars… Gotta 2×4 392 with an A-833 4 speed sitting in the shop that would be perfect for this… This seller also has a 62′ Impala body for sale…

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  4. Avatar photo Mark S

    It would be cool to see both restored and painted to the same colours and same interiors, these are much more rare than there blue bow tie counter parts and should both be rescued, it would be a shame to part out that 4 door.

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  5. Avatar photo piper62j

    Not for me.. Rot collectors… LOL

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  6. Avatar photo Geoff

    As is often the case, the “parts car” (read: sedan) is in better condition than the 2 door. My preference would be to sell the impractical “coupe” for whatever it’s worth, and sink the money into the much more rare (in my opinion) sedan.

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    • Avatar photo Jason Houston

      The hardtop is straight, original paint and an easy restoration. I would never toss that out the window! I restored a 1958 De Soto Firesweep 4-door and that (and my 1959 Dodge Coronet 2-DHT) got ten times the attention my 1971 Ford, 1954 Mercury and 1960 Edsel convertibles ever got.

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  7. Avatar photo GOPAR

    As usual, the 4-door looks to be the more solid of the two, but the 2-door body style is by far the most desirable. As bad as I hate to see any decent classic car used for parts, the 4-door would have to make the sacrifice. It would be time consuming and expensive, but well worth the effort. They’re beautiful when done right!

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  8. Avatar photo stillrunners

    been watching him post these for awhile….bothers me no engine pics although he states – coupe V/8……???

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  9. Avatar photo Woodie Man

    I like the 59 El Camino.

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    • Avatar photo Jason Houston

      Actually, it’s a 1960 El Camino.

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  10. Avatar photo Mike

    I wonder what he wants for the 5 window pickup sitting next to them?

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