Hemi Transplant! Grandma’s 1966 Dodge Coronet Sleeper

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As a Barn Finds staff writer, I have to be careful not to get too sucked in and resist the temptation of wanting to buy every other car that shows up on our assignment lists.  But this 1966 Dodge Coronet has got me wanting to own it, and for my money seems like a pretty justifiable way to spend 30 grand.  I can tell you without even asking her that my wife would disagree, so it’s still up for grabs, and can be found here on Craigslist.  This Hemi-equipped ride is located in Grinnell, Iowa, and from what I can tell seems like it’s probably roadworthy for making the drive to your home, with a high fun-factor level along the way.  We’d like to thank reader T.J. for the great tip on this one!

The seller tells us this used to be his grandmother’s car, and it was originally a Texas vehicle that was always garaged, with not one bit of rust and a body that’s never been touched.  No body damage is present and even the paint is original, and for a sleeper, I’m kind of keen on the outside looking exactly like it does, with the hubcaps fitting right in with the patina.  With the hood closed, the only thing obvious that could indicate there’s a surprise is the vanity plate, and even it’s not a dead giveaway.

Open the hood and you’ll find a Hemi out of a 2016 Dodge Challenger, which had been rear-ended and totaled by an insurance company.  There were only 16,000 miles on the Challenger when the accident occurred, and the engine is still all stock except for the headers, air intake, and tune.  The automatic transmission is also from the same Challenger, and since the swap, the Coronet has traveled 4,000 trouble-free miles, so it seems like this one’s been done right.  A Quick Performance 9-inch limited-slip rear end has also been added, and there’s an aluminum radiator with electric fans upfront to keep things running cool.

Inside, the interior is said to be all stock, with the addition of a column-mounted tach plus new carpeting and floor mats.  The seller does mention that with the Challenger’s transmission the factory gauges aren’t functioning correctly, but overall this is a very solid car that runs like a new one.  A video has also been provided showing the car starting and running, with the electric exhaust cut-outs both opened and closed, and the car idles smoothly and sounds like a modern Hemi.

Proper attention has also been given to the lower components, including all-new factory replacement suspension parts with sub-frame connectors also fitted in to stiffen up things for the additional horses and torque.  Both the front and back have been converted to 4 wheel disc brakes for added stopping power, just in case things get a little out of control with that Hemi and the car needs to be brought to an abrupt halt.  I’m not finding much with this car not to like, how about you?  Is $30k reasonable for what you’re getting here?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. CadmanlsMember

    A toned down resto-mod, nice. Not a Mopar guy but this looks like a good build. It will go quickly, take that any way you want.

    Like 16
  2. Moparman MoparmanMember

    If this had been a 67, I’d have REALLY been tempted to go for it!! GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 5
  3. sYc

    This looks like a QUALITY build. Tempting to say the least!

    Like 12
  4. KC

    That’s how you build a true sleeper……!

    Like 17
  5. Calipag

    love it!

    Like 6
  6. Grant

    I would have kept the slant six, that would have honored his Grandma instead of tarnishing her memory.

    Like 10
    • David Vineyard

      My grandma would have preferred the hemi!

      Like 18
      • Grant

        But his Grandma did not, that is why she owned a base car. If this is such a wonderful labor of love, why is he selling it? Instead of butchering a nice survivor example of a 66 Dodge, why not at least sell it to someone else who would love and appreciate it? Obviously, less about love for Grandma or the car, and more about love for money. Also, I bet he is selling it as he realizes it handles poor. That chassis is not going to handle that much power properly.

        Like 6
  7. Steve Weiman

    Very easy to see why you are tempted to purchase this one! Without a doubt, this is the best Mopar muscle era bang for the buck I have ever seen on BF. Clean car with a clean swap and should be an absolute blast to drive! Love everything about it :)

    Like 10
  8. chris

    Wow what a ride . I need this car , but my budget says no. The only thing that car needs is me behind the wheel

    Like 5
  9. Stan

    Fantastic ! No mention of rear gearset but w the new Hemi, 5sp auto, it shouldn’t even matter. It’ll lite those tires up and lay a wicked strip down main st.

    Like 5
    • Bob C.

      It should be the 8 speed ZF automatic. I have one in my 2012 Charger.

      Like 1
  10. Papa Bear

    Is that fuel system a little close to the exhaust, maybe should have run on the outside of frame? Other than that a very nice machine.

    Like 1
  11. bobhess bobhessMember

    I had a grandmother that would have probably driven something like this. I like it.

    Like 7
    • Matt Saunders

      Same here. As a teen I had a ’68 Mustang with a tired 289 that let go on me. Didn’t have the cash to fix it so she offered up the funds for a rebuilt engine. When I told her I’d pay her back she told me all I needed to do was take her for a ride when finished then enjoy it. BTW she had a similar Plymouth Fury II with a 318 that I inherited. Kick myself for letting both cars go several yrs later.

      Like 3
  12. Harvey HarveyMember

    Thumbs up,well done.

    Like 5
  13. Jay McCarthy

    I think 30K is a very good buy

    Like 4
  14. david r

    THAT is a great car.

    Like 2
  15. MorleyMember

    I was so excited to see this car, and so disapointed to see they used the WRONG Hemi. Good grief , is nothing sacred?

    Like 1
    • 19sixty5Member

      But…I’m sure it makes a much better driver!

      Like 2
  16. FrankDMember

    Now this is cool! What a great job this person did on the car.

    Like 3
  17. Camaro guy

    All you guys that are liking this car are pissing off Grant now 😂😂

    Like 0
  18. Camaro guy

    This car shouldn’t handle any worse than a poly 318 this Hemi is mostly aluminum plus has frame connectors what’s not to like

    Like 1
  19. Denny Nevada

    My Grandma (and Grandpa, and Aunt) would have Loved It!!
    When you Give something to someone, you let it go, It is Not yours
    Anymore, you just Hope they appreciate it, respect it, and take care of it,
    and this loving Grandson, has done all of that, right down to the Vanity plate 👍
    As for Why he is selling it, in our world today, their could be anywhere from 318 to 426 Valid Reasons…Divorce, Health issues, Kid to College,
    Etc, Etc, Etc…
    By the way, I’ll bet Grandpa loves It, a lot…I’m a Grandpa, a Great Grandpa, and a GM Guy too, and I’d love to Own It 👍

    Like 0

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