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Barn Find: 1951 Dodge Coronet Coupe

1951 Dodge Coronet Coupe

This 1951 Dodge Coronet coupe was purchased new by the grandmother of the seller. It was last on the road in 1970, and being from North Dakota, the car still has plates from there, but it is currently located in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The asking purchase price is $4,500. No VIN or miles are listed, but the title is listed as clean. Thank you, Roger, for the tip. You can find it here on craigslist.

1951 Dodge Coronet Coupe

The seller states that they have a 1952 Chrysler Hemi for the car, but the listing says that the car still has its original 230 cubic inch inline 6 cylinder engine connected to a 2-speed automatic transmission. From the factory, that only produced 103 horsepower. If you can get it running, it surely won’t get this 3320 pound car moving quickly. There unfortunately are no photos of any engine in the listing.

1951 Dodge Coronet Coupe

A single photo of the interior is present in the listing. That shows a very aged, dirty, and rough condition seats and dash. The listing says the car is in true barn find condition, which does seem evident by the rust and dust. This was a year though for the speedometer to be the only circle gauge, flanked by two rectangle gauges on either side. This model year was one model year away from the last, first generation Coronet.

1951 Dodge Coronet Coupe

A quick search on Hagerty prices a #4 fair condition 1951 Dodge Coronet at $4,000. With that in mind, it seems like the seller is not too far off base on their asking price. The issue is what condition is the underside in, and what shape is the engine in? Without a lot of photos to go on, and very little information in the listing, if you are interested in this car, a visit should be in order to see it in person before a purchase is made.


  1. Avatar photo Bakyrdhero

    I didn’t realize the Coronet nameplate went back this far. It’s a charming little car, I can’t say I’d want to repaint it the original beige color though. This one is begging for a deep blue.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Gary S.

      It goes back a little further too. Not sure of the first year for it but i have 2 1949 coronet’s.One is primer grey and funny you mention it, the other is a dark blue..

      Like 1
    • Avatar photo Angel Cadillac Diva Member

      My father had one of these in the late 60s. He wrecked it on a sharp corner coming home from the VFW one night. Hit a guardrail. Took the bumper off, banged out the fenders and continued to use it for work for about a year. Then i got it. Being around 15 or 16 years old and a flower child, with a love for convertibles, he helped me cut the top off of it. I painted lots of flowers on it . We lived on 5 acres of farmland on a dirt road and I drove it all over the road and fields. Yes, it was a gyromatic. The closest thing my father would get to an automatic for years.

      Like 4
  2. Avatar photo King Al

    Keep the hemi. Offer 800 and make sure you use a respirator when disassembling the rat poop infested interior.

    Like 0
  3. Avatar photo dave brennan

    Automatic with 3 pedals?

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo ajshoe

      Fluid Drive trans worked like an automatic-ish.
      You could shift if you wanted to, or put it in high gear and let off the clutch and just accelerate in 3rd gear from a dead stop. Albeit with a lot less torque and acceleration than shifting, but it does say it was his grandmother’s car, so she most likely used it as her grocery getter / cruiser, and didn’t care if it took the extra minutes to get up to speed.

      Like 2
    • Avatar photo LEMAN

      Dave Brennan, from 1947 to 1952 they were known as fluid drive they had a clutch pedal for first gear starts after which you did not need to use the clutch for gear changes, only for takeoff in first gear.

      Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Rube Goldberg Member

    I’d drop the cop car motor in this,,,HELLO!!!

    Like 2
  5. Avatar photo Ben T. Spanner

    My Father had two 1951 Dodges. The first was a Wayfarer convertible in gray purchased off the showroom floor.It was totaled by a red light runner in 1955, and was replaced by a 1951 Dodge Coronet 2 door hardtop.
    The Wayfarer had fluid drive. The Diplomat had Gyromatic, an automatic with a clutch pedal. The clutch pedal was depressed to select drive or reverse. It was not used at traffic lights. There were two 2 speed ranges. Normally the higher range was selected and the transmission would shift once. Low range had 2 very low gears and made noise but not much motion. There is no shift quadrant or indicator of what gear you are in except for the position of the shift lever.
    The Wayfarer was slow, but the Diplomat was slower. His next car was a 1955 Desoto Firedome 2 dr hardtop with a Hemi. It was not slow.

    Like 4
  6. Avatar photo Bob C.

    I knew this had to be fluid drive. The real 2 speed Powerflite didn’t come out until 1954.

    Like 1
  7. Avatar photo Del

    Seller way off base !

    Non running parts car .

    600 bucks tops

    Like 1
  8. Avatar photo Bob McK

    I have a 52 that has 8000 miles on it. Looks and runs like new. It may be worth $15K on a good day. Based on that, this car has little value.

    Like 0

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