Leaf Catcher! 1969 Dodge Coronet 500 Convertible

Chrysler’s B-Body platform underpinned such iconic muscle cars as the Plymouth Road Runner and GTX and the Dodge Super Bee and Charger. Models like this 1969 Dodge Coronet 500 convertible utilized the B-Body as well, and offered potent performance upgrades such as the Coronet R/T (Road / Track). This Coronet in Chalfont, Pennsylvania wears top-level “500” trim and seeks a new owner here on eBay where $7000 and a click on Buy It Now is all it takes.

The seller reports this formerly classy convertible came from Oklahoma in 2007, and earned its last inspection sticker in 1986. Despite enjoying dry storage in Pennsylvania, the Flintstone floorboards and trunk full of leaves suggest lengthy outdoor storage prior to that.

All evidence suggests you’re seeing the original color combination of red paint with a white top and white-and-black interior, in the top 500 trim level. This would have been one sharp ride! Convertibles make a horrible choice if you intentionally or unintentionally repurpose your muscle car as a chicken coop or garden shed. Once the top disintegrates, water invades and alters or destroys everything. The seller smartly includes additional pictures as evidence. Even the dashboard shows signs of excessive moisture exposure. However, the structure of this unibody car appears solid with mostly surface rust.

The stock-appearing 318 cid LA V8 is good news for folks who, like the original buyer, enjoy pleasant cruising more than roasting the tires. There’s nothing wrong with the 318; my Grandparents toured the American West in their brand new 318-powered 1969 Coronet pulling a small travel trailer, and did just fine. Anyone looking for the next Barrett-Jackson feature car will pass on a 318 car, leaving them for honest enthusiasts possessing more time than money. Plus no one will complain if this Coronet is not “perfectly” restored to original specifications. Pro-Touring car, anyone? That said, a patient buyer could probably pick up a convertible R/T in this condition for the same price. What would you give for this convertible project car?

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Comments

  1. Jimmy

    Too much work … Pass.

    8
  2. Chebby Member

    The guy who’s been sitting on it for 11 years bought a restored one instead…what does that tell you?

    20
  3. cyclemikey

    It’s a lot of work, sure. But not beyond the pale for a project car, and it’s a worthwhile candidate, a desirable model that would have some value when it’s done. Not a likely a good investment, but is that really the point of this hobby?

    Sometimes it seems like most of the commentariat at BF deems nearly everything that isn’t in primo condition to be too much time, too much trouble, too much money, and too much work. Seems odd for a site named “Barn Finds”.

    20
    • Chebby Member

      Good points, Mikey. Regarding my comment, the cardinal rule I’ve regretted ignoring is to start with the best example you can find. If it was a factory Hemi, that would be one thing, but if you really wanted this model I’m sure you could find a better one. Also, I believe you buy the previous owner as much as the car, and someone who couldn’t take 30 minutes with some Simple Green and a wet rag to wipe to seats and dash for photos isn’t my kind of seller.

      15
      • cyclemikey

        I agree with both your rules, Chebby, but with a couple of corollaries.

        In general I, too, buy the best example I can. However – if the object of desire is a project car, there’s no point in paying more for paint, chrome, upholstery, etc., that’s just a little bit nicer when it’s going to have to be redone anyway. For projects, a solid frame, workable sheetmetal, and overall completeness are the basic must-haves for me.

        And like you, I buy the seller. I get annoyed at (and wary of) sellers who can’t be bothered to, say, roll the car/bike out of the garage so we can see what it looks like, or unstack the boxes sitting on top of it, or take a reasonable set of decent photos, or write a basic description of all the relevant information, in English. But I don’t fault a seller for offering a car in “as found” condition; that is part of the history and description of the project you’re buying. And in particular, I prefer that no attempt is made to start the engine other than turning it a wee bit manually to verify that it’s not locked up. I’ve seen too many engines damaged by people eager to see if they’ll fire up, without regard for the proper steps for restarting after long storage.

        And in the case of this particular car, check out the Ebay pic of the front seat cushion – there’s nothing much to wipe down! :) And if you started with the Simple Green, where would you stop?

        4
  4. Steve A

    Roach coach!
    Toast!
    Wasted!
    Junk!
    Scrap!!

    2
  5. JamestownMike

    Todd, You said, “All evidence suggests you’re seeing the original color combination of red paint…….” Did you look at all the ebay pics? It clearly shows the original light green/gold paint in the engine bay (firewall, aprons, shock towers, etc) AND the door jamb. The poor quality red repaint was done later.

    7
    • Boatman Member

      Mike, for some reason some of the guys at BF often don’t even look at the ads.

      1
  6. Adrian Tomlin

    It’s a project. Anyone who restores a convertible knows it goin to be just as expensive as the rest of the car. No “barn find” is gonna b a museum piece!

  7. KevinR

    The copy in the ebay ad says the original color was yellow. Not sure how you could miss that, Todd…

    2
  8. canadainmarkseh Member

    Another sad rust bucket Mopar that is rusted to death. You’d have to be crazy to pay $3k for the this. Pass.

    3
  9. John in NW Pa

    I don’t know. I had to sell my B Body convertible 6 years ago after I had owned it for 36 years. That car defined my persona. I knew as soon as I took the money and turned over the keys, I wanted another one. Mine was waiting for its second go at a serviceable restoration. When I consider what to buy I don’t want a 318, I would like to have another 440 HP. The current prices have slowed their climb since 2012, but a nice car or a restored car like what I had is retailing in the $50,000 to $60,000 range. That makes a project look like a viable alternative. But at my age and health, I won’t be muscling an engine or a four speed into place. So the right car has to present a good answer to buy nice or buy cheap?

    1
  10. Vince

    My 69 Coronet vert started out in very similar condition about 10 years ago. Mine even came with a free family of chipmunks. I couldn’t afford a done car, still can’t. It was a labor of love. I think she turned out well, and yes made her into an RT clone because it’s my car and that’s what I wanted. She must be pretty nice since I turned down a offer in the mid $50k range last year. Not everything in life is for a profit and not everything is for sale. I’m hopefully going to have this and my 70 Charger til the end.

    9
  11. Vinny Z

    I bought my 69 Coronet ragtop in similar condition a dozen years ago. Mine even came with a family of chipmunks. I could not afford a done car, which was fine by me. Gave me the chance to build the car I would have bought back in 69. It’s now a 440 powered RT clone. I think she came out pretty sweet, was a pure labor of love though. I feel good knowing I touched just about every piece if my car myself. I’ve been offered in the mid $50k’s for the car and won’t sell. Sometimes money just doesn’t matter, it’s not an investment it’s what I wanted. I hope to have her and my 70 blown Charger for a long long time. They each put a huge smile on my face when I drive them.

    2
    • Vinny Z

      Appolgies for double post took forever for first post to show up

      • James

        It’s ok, I got to like it twice! Do you have a pic of your 70?

        1
  12. Mike R in DE

    This car’s gonna need a lotta hours of love & work & $$$. It can be fixed, but there are done ones for less than half of what this will cost in parts costs out lay. Could be an aysome car when done! Too much for me, I’m out.

    1
  13. Rustytech

    For someone with the proper equipment ( ie: big garage, rotisserie, media blaster, welder, paint booth etc. ) and lots of skills this may be a good project at $3000, but $7k? Not me thanks.

    2

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