Find With A Secret: 1966 Dodge Coronet Convertible

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This barn find 1966 Dodge Coronet has a few rough edges and comes with a salvage title for some reason, but it looks pretty solid and has some good things going for it. It’s currently in Chagrin Falls, Ohio and is advertised here on craigslist for $4,500, but the seller says they’ll take the best offer or even trade. The seller tells us that the “440” V-8 fires right up! Well…it may start immediately, but there’s a secret under the hood.

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I can tell that this isn’t a Coronet 500 because it doesn’t have bucket seats, and I found out from this page that it’s a Coronet 440. Freshly restyled for 1966, with clean lines from Elwood Engel, the Coronet made up almost half of Dodge’s sales for the year. I found one reference that stated that the 440 was available in 1966, and two others that said it was introduced for 1967 in the Coronet, but either way, checking the VIN tells me that it left the factory with a 318 2-barrel V-8 and was manufactured in St. Louis, Missouri, one of 1,664 440 convertibles made in 1966 with that engine and automatic transmission.

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It’s pretty easy to see that a new convertible top will be in order–I found them for under $500 here. If the body is as solid as it looks (yes, I see the damage in the right rear) it shouldn’t take too much to be burbling down the road in style.  Ok, I’m glossing over the interior’s shortcomings, but that can be handled over time, right?

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But what about that secret? Here’s where this car and advertisement get really interesting. I’m guessing the seller has made the common mistake of assuming that a Coronet 440 has a 440 V-8–I don’t think they are intentionally misleading people. This is a small-block, and looks like a 318 to me. Perhaps the original 318? Either way, it’s not the 440 that the seller assumes it to be. I’d use this as a bargaining point, because personally I’d like the car just as much with the smaller engine, and it’s certainly not worth as much to a hot rodder that way. Drop the price down and this looks considerably more attractive to me! Would you like it better as a less-expensive small block original car, or would you have preferred that it really was a 440? Let us know in the comments!

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Comments

  1. OA5599

    That’s good deal as long as rust isn’t a huge issue.

    • Mick

      I think this used to be my car back in the mid eighties. They painted it blue, it was black.

  2. Mike D

    it looks to be solid I agree the seller doesn’t seem to know a lot about the car we know the Coronet came in both the 440 and 500, which is a trim level and back in the day it was confusing to me too .. if the 318 runs ok, would pretty much keep it as is refresh the paint possibly redo the interior ( keep the bench) although some may want to drop the 383 in it and what is with the salvage title?? a lot of hoops to jump through there . would be a looker for a cruise night

  3. DENIS

    I’m a big motor kinda guy, but there’s plenty of 440s out there…easy swap. Decent body, seems like a fair buy, but cheaper is always gooder…lol

  4. cory

    I would keep the set up the way it is. I would rather have the correct motor than a bigger one. I’m not a dodge guy, but I like the look of these, and the convertible makes it extra cool. Nice to see the owner has a realistic price on it.

  5. Marty Member

    I had a ’67 Coronet 500 that was like this one in so many ways, same color combo, medium dark blue metallic paint, with white bucket seat interior. Same wheels even. Mine was, and this one is, or will be again, an awesome looking car.

    Mine had the small block 318. The wide-block, or “old style” 318 shown here, is a fine engine too. If the body really is solid, this seems like a good price for it.

  6. Steve

    Wait, is there really a place called “Chagrin Falls”? Is that anywhere near Anxietyville or Irritationburg?

    • Duncan

      Yes there is! I grew up there, nice little town south of Cleveland. Old comedian Tim Conway’s hometown.

  7. dennus

    66 Coronet has a big block 318 small block 318 came out in 67 and was painted red !

  8. MountainMan

    Looks like a good deal. I have seen several 60’s drop top Mopars in the past year that seem to be a lot of car for the money they bring. Obviously not the most desired models but Mopar was cranking out some really good looking cars during this time and this one’s no exception. Nice color combo and like others the 318 suits me just fine. The car appears solid and like it would be an easy one to get back in driver status. The seller is even negotiable so if somebody moves quick it looks like a deal is to be had. Would make for a great winter project and a good looking top down cruiser come spring time

  9. Jim

    No mention of chassis rot?

  10. Luke Fitzgerald

    There’s so much to like about this car – the Kmart rad hose – the baby bath full of bits that fell off and no one knew where they went – like the magnums tho’

  11. Mark S Member

    Nice enough car, but all to often rag tops have no floor in them because there leakers and the floor pans hold water like a bath tub until they rust out. I would like this car more if it were a hard top. Other than that not a bad deal. I would not change out that engine even if it needed rebuilding. Enough power there for this old gear head like me. I do think that the hard tops are nicer looking cars then the rag tops.

  12. dbigb1 Member

    I would keep the poly 318. Does any one read Chrysler power?? They have been building these up to some impressive power level,s

  13. 3PedalRacer

    Could make a “Tommy Boy” tribute car. The top looks like a deer already tore it up.

  14. John H Bell

    Yep, it’s a wide block all right…I had one in a ’65 Fury wagon with 150,000 plus untouched miles and aside from a little smoke it ran like a clock! The Coronet featured is the 440 trim line. Oh well…hope the buyer can source decent body parts.

  15. Corvair Jim

    Just a note: The seller has changed the ad to show the correct 318 engine.

  16. Mike S

    Hey Jamie and Barnfinds members, this car is for sale again in Chagrin Falls, OH for the same price by the new owner. Hasn’t done anything to the car.

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