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Dad’s Chariot: 1971 Dodge Coronet N Code


Wagons have a long history in this country of being the quintisential family vehicle, a non-sporting conveyance designed to peform duties of the most unglamorous kind. Which is why it always makes me smile when you see such a vehicle with a range of high-performance options checked off the spec sheet, indicating that at some point in history, a buyer felt his or her investment in a station wagon didn’t have to be a boring one. This 1971 Dodge Coronet here on eBay sports the rarely seen N-Code package, with bidding open and the reserve unmet. 

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The idea of a high-performance family wagon is often associated with modern marvels like the Cadillac CTS-V wagon, or Audi’s powerful RS6 lineup. But in 1971, you could trundle down to the Dodge dealership and ask them to change the fifth digit in the VIN code to an “N” and unlock the power of the company’s high-performance offering, the 383 “B” engine, producing just north of 330 b.h.p.

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Of course, this wagon is about more than its engine – but it is fun to look at! The N package also included dual exhausts and a 150 m.p.h. speedometer. This car is said to run and drive well, and it sounds like the sellers have enjoyed bringing it to local shows. Some maintenance work has been performed already, including new gaskets, seals, fuel lines, engine hoses and more. The wood trim was removed years ago by a previous owner.

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The seller also added steel wheels and dog dish hubcaps from an old patrol car, and I think it looks perfect on that setup. The low mileage claim is hard (if not impossible) to verify, but the seller thinks it could be true given the level of preservation this Coronet enjoys. Regardless of its true mileage, I dig the options this family wagon came with, and could see it being a great choice for enthusiasts who bring the whole gang along to car shows.


  1. rmward194 Member

    Looks like the same car featured in 2015 with different wheels. The 2015 car shows up at the bottom of the page.

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    • DAN

      different hub caps/tires and different states
      colors look different too
      but who knows…..?

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      • Kincer Dave Member

        Looks the same to me, it’s missing the same trim piece on left front fender.

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  2. MeepMeep

    Now that’s how you tow the family pop up camper ! !

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  3. DrinkinGasoline

    “The wood trim was removed years ago by a previous owner.”
    The faux trim, meaning plastic simulated wood and contact paper.

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  4. Jim Mc

    From the eBay listing:
    “If you enjoy Station Wagons this is defiantly one to take a look at!”
    Alright, then. I’ll look at it defiantly!

    It makes me wonder why they replaced the left motor mount only. I’ve had a lot of experience with 60s/70s MoPars and I’ve found that you need to replace them all at the same time. If one breaks, replace them all. When one is new and strong, the other[s] become the weak link and end up breaking soon after. Same thing when doing brakes or any parts that replicate each other on either sides [front, back, left, right] of the car.

    And a replacement mount makes me question the 19K on the odo. Rubber rot? On just one side?

    That said, this thing is a beauty. Wish it was mine!

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  5. JoeR

    We used to call that class of vehicles “Draggin’ Wagons”.

    Growing up, our family had the Pontiac version, but unfortunately we got rid of it in the early 90s.

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  6. Fred W.

    Often the writeups suggest the original purchasers optioned the car this way because they wanted a hot rod wagon. Most of the time this was not the case, they simply wanted to tow a trailer. But they are still worthy hot rods because they usually have other desirable options like limited slip, heavy duty suspension, etc.

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    • JoeR

      My father was not thinking about towing anything when he brought home a 1972 Pontiac Grand Safari with a 400/4bbl, brown, wood grain, rally rims, motorized tailgate, etc, similar to RandyS in the post below (same HP, less torque). I’m sure that he was not much different than other fathers who grew up having fast cars in the 60s, then got married and had a small family. When it was time to buy a family hauler station wagon, you can be sure that he was thinking about which wagons had the best performance. When we got rid if it in the early 90s, i had noticed that it had been upgraded with electronic ignition, Edelbrock manifold, and headers….not sure what else he added since i was still in high school at the time.

      40 years later, I am not much different. I needed an SUV to haul my young family and ended up with a 365+hp EcoBoost Ford Explorer Sport with a tune and 3 bar MAP sensor. That being said, there are now many more performance oriented family haulers being marketed. The early 70s was different in that it was the start of the emissions era and gas crisis where you needed to carry a set of odd and even plates.

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  7. RandyS

    Not unique to Dodge. Dad had a 1971 Pontiac Grand Safari with a 455/4bbl he bought new off the showroom floor. I was 6 when we left the dealership that day and had a blast sitting in the rear facing seats as dad lit up the tires with ease.

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  8. Charles H.

    Wagons were the SUV of the day and they often had large engines for towing campers and boats.

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  9. Rspcharger Rspcharger

    The desire is large with this one. Too far away, just like most of the pictures taken.

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  10. Bruce Best

    A teacher of mine in high school purchased one of these used and it belonged to the wife of the Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain. This car was fully cop from bumper to bumper but was purchased as a family car in a lot with the state cars. If there was anything faster in the small town I lived in at the time I do not know what it was. The car was a total rocket with brakes and suspension to match.

    Why the Highway Patrol did not use some of these as unmarked cars is a mystery to me for nobody would have ever guessed the things were that fast of the line and had that fast a top speed.

    She has just replaced a 54 Chevrolet of some type with a slush box automatic two speed and you could tell when she was in a hurry for she used to have to hit the gas on the Chevrolet to get it to move and when she did that to the station wagon she left a six to eight foot long streak of black rubber on the parking lot. Great fun. Strange though same color with wood paneling on the side.

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  11. 77vette

    Seems like my Dad’s 69 Caprice wagon had a 427 with 335 hp and it wasn’t the strongest they offered.

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  12. prowler

    Long live the Longroofs

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  13. prowler

    This not your fathers wagon
    468 cubic inches-Dynoed 415HP at the rear wheels
    410 12 bolt posirear-4 speed OD transmission
    Air blows cold-9 passenger -Loaded
    And in 1969 there were no Caprice wagons
    It was the Kingswood or Kingswood Estate

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    • 77vette

      Yea it was a Kingswood Estate. Had the wood grain and even had the automatic a/c system. Didn’t have the hidden headlights that’s a nice look.

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  14. M B

    The Code “N” 383 is just engine equipment and the related TorqueFlite calibration, with a standard 3.23 rear axle. The 150mph speedometer was a part of an upgrade instrument cluster (aka Super Bee). The engine looks completely ‘unmolested”, which can be good.

    That body series looked great in a station wagon. The wedge shape of the front end carried to the rear of the body.

    Everybody had “muscle wagons” back then. You just had to know how to order them! Most wagons were equipped with 2bbl carburetors and normal V-8 engines, maybe a 4bbl option. Woodgrain-type adornments were the most luxurious versions. NEAT cars! Finding a good “survivor” can be hard, considering that most wagons were used for what they were intended . . . hauling or towing.

    I would prefer different wheels, but understand the allure of the Mopar “dog dish” hub caps.

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  15. prowler

    Ah…That would be the comfortron A/C-pretty slick for the 60’s
    Another rare option were the fiber optics for turn signals

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  16. Ck

    Its got a cop motor a383 cubic inch plant its got cop tires cop suspension cop shocks and its a model made before catalytic converters so it’ll run on regular gas. Thats what Elwood would say . LOL

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  17. Utes

    @ Ck…….

    ‘They’re not gonna’ catch us, we’re on a mission from God.’
    ‘Our Lady of Blessed acceleration-don’t fail me now.’
    ‘We’re 106 miles to Chicago, we gotta’ full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, & we’re wearin’ sun glasses…..HIT IT !!!’

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  18. Madman

    Back in 1976 I went to my local Dodge dealer to order a lease for an Aspen wagon. I asked for the 360-4 motor with a 4-speed, told 4-speeds no longer available. OK, asked for the 3-speed w/OD — told could not put the OD behind the 360. Groaned, and asked for the 318 with the OD manual trans. Sorry, they said. Since I had asked for the big motor with 4-speed, they feared (gasp) that I was a hot-rodder, and could not entrust me with a vehicle.

    Damn straight I was a hot-rodder! I had a 1968 Satellite 9-pass that I made into a GTX — with platinum paint, black stripes, fiberglass lift-off hood, 440-6 PAC, a stall convertor, and Ansen Sprint mags. I wanted a tamer daily driver that did not need fresh plugs every week. So yes, sometimes guys order wagons for a different style of Hauling!

    Like 1

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