Metallic Gold Survivor: 1966 Dodge Coronet 440

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To quote a recent film, a thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts. There may be no better illustration of this pearl of wisdom than the Dodge products of the late 60s and early 70s, upon which reddish-brown flowers bloom at the least provocation. Yet here we may have the exception that proves the rule: a 1966 Dodge Coronet 440. Located in Salt Lake City, it’s listed here on eBay with five days left in the auction at the time of writing. The starting bid is $9,999, with no bids as yet, but it wouldn’t be too surprising to see a lot of last-minute action on this two-door time capsule.

The fifth generation of the Coronet was available in three trim levels, with the 440 immediately below the top-of-the-line 500. This example is equipped with a 318 cubic-inch V8, which, if original, would be the oft-maligned 318 Poly. This power plant would have been good for around 230 bhp and over 300 lb.ft. of torque from the factory; not too shabby for a small-block. Unfortunately, there are only a few options available to improve that performance– changing to a four-barrel, for example, can be an expensive proposition. The transmission is a Torque-Flight three-speed, though the seller has revealed that it’s currently missing reverse.

Transmission woes aside, this car bears all the hallmarks of an extremely nice survivor. I invite any Mopar guy to gaze with envy on those solid rear quarters. Back seats are split, showing evidence of some use, and there’s no telling what the front bench looks like under that seat cover. The strategically-placed blanket under the rear glass might conceal something untoward. But the dash seems to be unbroken, the door cards look good, and even the carpet looks like it needs little more than a good vacuum. The seller states that the odometer hasn’t yet rolled over twice; I begin to wonder if it’s rolled over once.

A enthusiast looking for a reliable entry-level classic that can handle a road trip as easily as a cruise night might do far worse than this, and while it’s not going to chew pavement like its 440-equipped brethren, it’s not going to burn gasoline like them, either. Is this the mid-sixties muscle car everyone wants? Nope. Probably not even close. But is it an incredible survivor, original in ways that those cars– after years of hard driving– could never claim to be? Seems to be the case.

Auctions Ending Soon

Comments

  1. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972Member

    The biggest draw as regards this ’66 Dodge Coronet 440 is that it’s rust free; it’s amazing how nice the body is. It needs some work for sure and the 318 won’t appeal to anyone looking for significant hp but if you can buy it right, it’s a sound car overall. The paint looks tired but if you go the survivor route just buff it out and leave it as is. Probably needs seat covers front and back and maybe you’ll have to pull the trans for a refresh. Other than that it needs a few things here and there but it’s a nice car to start with.

    Like 6
  2. HoA Howard AMember

    It’s a great find, this person went to Cal. and got this cheap at some kind of estate sale. One of just a jillion cars like this that your Auntie drove, sparingly. The mileage is without question an original 35K, I see it all the time out here( remember the ’63 Caddy with 2200 miles?) I think they’re a bit optimistic, and few will spend this on a car they can’t drive home. As is in this day and age, it’s almost worthless, as the the no bids indicate. Now, repaired, this would have been gone already, because it is such a nice car.
    Here’s a case, and becoming more prevalent, I bet this guy paid maybe a grand for this, and isn’t willing to stick another grand into the trans, they are pretty simple, and with a good trans, be well worth the $10g’s. IDK, that’s how I’d do it, it’s a sharp car.

    Like 7
    • Steve R

      The 66-68 2dr hardtop Coronets and Satellites haven’t been a grand in the Bay Area for a couple of decades. There are 4+ days left on this auction, there is no reason for serious buyers to start the bidding. I’d be surprised if it doesn’t reach low teens or better, assuming someone doesn’t make an offer high enough to prompt the owner from selling it outright and end the auction early.

      Steve R

      Like 5
      • Gary

        I agree with Howard. A grand at an estate sale from a 90 year old brother or sister running it. Some people have no knowledge of present car values and get taken all the time. I see this both ways. If someone who can love and appreciate the car, get it for a grand, then I am all for it. A flipper? Nothing wrong with that except when they take an unsuspecting seller for a ride. Some people have lost souls.

        Like 6
      • Gary

        No , Howard is right, a grand.

        Like 4
      • Steve R

        That’s a nice game you are playing. You know this how? You repeatedly make up your own facts and then using them to support your narrative.

        Steve R

        Like 2
      • Gary

        Speculation, what else? Where does your info come from? Besides, I was agreeing with Howard who always seems to have spot on opinions.

        Like 3
  3. CJinSD

    My father’s first new car was a 1966 Coronet 440 2-door hardtop. It stayed in the family motor pool until 1979, at which time it was given to a cousin of mine who put over a quarter of million miles on it. Then it was restored as a convertible, because the buyer had a convertible that was rear ended.

    All the years we had that car, we thought it had a 318. Only during its time as my cousin’s car, did we learn it actually had a 273. The 273 was an LA, much like the 318s put in US market production cars starting in 1967. I guess all the parts we bought were meant for 318LAs, so they worked just fine. Speaking of engine confusion, IIRC there weren’t any 440 powered Coronets until 1969. Wikipedia says differently, but I think the big blocks available in B-bodies for 1966 were the 361, 383, and 426 Hemi.

    Like 2
    • dc

      I own a ’66 440, it has the dual 4 barrel option, it came from the factory with a 2 barrel though. It always gets a lot of attention at the local shows. Every other car is a Camaro, Chevelle, Mustang or Vette!

      Like 2
      • Chris M.

        What??? Lol

        Like 1
    • Yooper Mike

      I owned a 67 GTX with the 440 . I smoked all five tires off of it in 3 weeks. Power brake for blocks.

      Like 0
  4. Glenn C. SchwassMember

    That’s in really nice shape. It is clean underneath. You never saw that here in the Northeast unless it was never in rain or snow.

    Like 2
  5. Gary Rhodes

    10k? Not on the best day. 4-6k is about what it’s worth. $1500.00 for trans because you know the linkage has been checked out, $1000.00 for good quality seat covers installed, $50.00 -$100.00 for package tray, $2000.00 for paint work on the rockers and lower fenders and quarters by a good shop with, $500.00 for belts, hoses, fluids, brake parts, etc. Then you have a 10k car. Or put a Dana in it along with 4 wheel discs, widened steel wheels, 6.4 Hemi or Hellcat engine and quiet exhaust. Wash and wax it and don’t touch anything else, great sleeper.

    Like 1
  6. Paolo

    The only people who “malign” the 318A poly are those who haven’t bothered to learn just how good these engines are. They are very stout and have builders have been continuing to find more power potential in them all the time.
    https://www.motortrend.com/how-to/mopp-0110-how-to-give-a-318-poly-engine-more-power/

    426ci displacement and 550 hp:
    https://www.motortrend.com/how-to/426-cube-318-poly-can-outgun-hemis/

    Modern dual plane intake:
    https://cpwebstore.com/Poly

    Like 5
  7. Paolo

    For sure the seller is soft soaping the transmission issue and he is claiming ignorance about how they function. He definitely does not want to get into it and get his own hands dirty. He is happy to slap a fairly substantial price on this clean car but no reverse gear is a deal breaker for lots of people.

    The problem is not likely to be a linkage problem. He may be confused by what he was told by someone diagnosing the transmission. The problem could be a number of things many of which can be fixed without removing the transmission.
    Checking hydraulic pressure would be the first step. It could be the Low and Reverse band needs adjusting. Or the valve body is dirty and malfunctioning An air pressure check can test to see if the Low and Reverse servo is malfunctioning. Or if the Reverse blocker is not functioning. Check it for damage like burrs or nicks. Also examine the pan for evidence of sludge, metal and clutch material.
    To examine clutches and bands you will have to drop the trans.

    Realistically for a car this age no longer in the hands of the original owner and lacking service records, you should consider a complete transmission overhaul. If it doesn’t look too bad inside you might get by with a repair. Torqueflites aren’t that complicated or hard to rebuild.
    Furthermore you shouldn’t trust the sellers reassurances about anything. On one hand he says how he drives it a few times a year but the reverse went out a few years ago? While you try to reconcile that I can tell you from experience.that driving a car with no reverse gets old fast.
    The seller also says how he has always maintained the car and then tells you that the tires are old and cracked. Tires are basic maintenance in my book. Lots of conflicting information here but so not much real disclosure. This kind of thing always makes me cautious. Buyer beware.
    Other than that it’s nice looking car with a possible bright and happy future ahead. Everyone should be able to come away from this transaction relatively happy.

    Like 4
  8. Steve R

    Sold with a high bid of $10,199.

    The naysayers got it wrong, again. Rust free turn key examples, even with some minor mechanical issues haven’t been selling for $4,000 on the open market for a couple of decades.

    Steve R

    Like 1

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