Original 383 V8: 1966 Dodge Coronet 500

Sometimes I’ll look at a classic car, and I can instantly identify why I like it. However, some possess an indefinable something that makes me long to park them in my garage. The latter scenario is the case with this 1966 Dodge Coronet 500. This is an original survivor, and while it isn’t perfect, it still presents well enough to command attention and respect wherever it goes. Barn Finder Larry D spotted this awesome classic for us, so thank you so much for that, Larry. The owner has decided that the time is right for it to find a new home, so he has listed it for sale here on eBay. The Coronet is located in Laguna Hills, California, and while the owner has set the BIN at $18,500, the option is available to make an offer.

The owner believes that the Coronet has received a repaint in its original shade of Code X Beige in the past, but he feels that a previous owner performed this work many years ago. While it continues to hold an impressive shine, the paint is far from perfect. It has accumulated its share of scratches and chips, and there’s no doubt that another repaint would lift the car’s presentation to the next level. The panels also sport a few dings and dents, but once again, none of these are severe. The worst damage is on the passenger side, but as you can see from this photo, there’s nothing present that would justify replacing any of the original steel. This classic is a black plate survivor, and a life spent in California has helped it to remain essentially rust-free. I’ve spotted some corrosion that is beginning to creep out from under the chrome trim on the back window, but I don’t believe this has progressed to the point where it has penetrated through the steel. If it is nothing more than surface corrosion, getting on top of it early would be a wise move. Otherwise, the vehicle is structurally sound, and it doesn’t appear to have any immediate needs. The trim and chrome are in good condition for a survivor of this age, as is the glass. The Coronet rolls on a set of 15″ Magnum 500 wheels, and while these look pretty nice, the owner says that the tires will need to be replaced before the car hits the open road.

When we turn our attention to this Dodge’s interior, the news seems to remain extremely positive. The upholstered surfaces appear to be in excellent condition, with no evidence of wear or physical damage. The same seems to be true of the dash and pad, along with the carpet and console. The only flaw that the seller identifies is a small hole in the headliner near the driver’s sunvisor. This hole is about the size of the average thumb, and its location may make it difficult to patch. However, with replacement headliners readily available for less than $200, addressing that problem should not break the bank. The owner has installed an aftermarket stereo in the glove compartment, and he has fitted speakers for this into the rear parcel tray. He has also fitted an aftermarket wheel, but he includes the original in the sale. Reversing these changes should be possible, but this setup does offer a workable compromise for the car’s next owner. The original owner ordered the Coronet with air conditioning, and while it is in situ, it doesn’t blow cold. The owner suggests that a recharge should address this, so that could be money well spent if the car is to remain in warmer climes.

Some classic buys can be a nightmare as new owners are faced with a myriad of mechanical issues to tackle before they can hit the road for a bit of fun. With this Coronet, it appears that its problems are limited to the older tires that I referred to earlier. The owner currently uses the vehicle as a daily driver, suggesting that it is in sound mechanical health. It’s also a car where its drivetrain combination holds the promise of an entertaining motoring experience. The engine bay houses its numbers-matching 383ci V8 that pumped out 325hp in its prime. The original owner also chose to equip the car with a 3-speed TorqueFlite transmission, power steering, and power front disc brakes. Pointed at a ¼ mile, this Coronet should consign the journey to the pages of history in 15.1 seconds. That’s some pretty rapid motoring, and given the car’s mechanical state, I can’t see why it couldn’t match that figure today. The owner has installed a new carburetor, air cleaner, and distributor. However, he does include the original components if the buyer wants to return this classic to its factory state. I have included a video clip at the bottom of this article. It provides a walkaround and also allows us to hear that sweet V8 running. It sounds super sweet breathing through its dual exhaust.

We can’t always get what we wish for, and some people will tell us that we should be careful what we wish for. When I look at this 1966 Coronet 500, I wish that I could identify precisely why I find it such an attractive car. However, I can’t do that, but that also brings me to my second wish. It is that I wish I could park it in my workshop. It has a presence that would help it turn heads, and the drivetrain combination should make it an entertaining thing to own and drive. Okay, so I can’t get my wishes, but maybe you can get yours. Are you tempted to try?

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Comments

  1. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Nice car overall with some desirable options. PS and PDB are big pluses as is the A/C, though sellers always say the system “just needs a recharge” which is not always the case. Vintage A/C systems can be expensive to repair. The car does need a paint job if you want to bring it to the next level. I’m not a fan of the granny beige exterior color and I’d be tempted to go with a color change, something a little more exciting that would compliment the interior color. The interior looks pretty good though the headliner looks like it’s stained so installing a new one would be a good move. You could drive it and enjoy it as-is but if you want it to look better, you’ll have to spend a good bit of change to get there.

    Like 6
  2. 86_Vette_Convertible

    That’s a body style I like a lot. Other than the things that were noted, the only issue/complaint I have with it is the steering wheel. Sorry but it just does not look right to me in that original interior. Find a suitable replacement, fix the few things noted and go out and drive it.

    Like 18
  3. flmikey

    I had the twin of this car in high school…bought it for $300.00 because it ran like crap…my friend and I rebuilt the carb, changed the plugs, and it was the fastest car I had ever drove at the time…my dad borrowed it to go to the store, and made me sell it because it was too fast…I never let him drive my next car…69 Buick GS….very nice find!!!

    Like 12
  4. Burger

    B.C. Hawk was selling these down on 106th Avenue, next to Bartell’s Drugs, when I made my first self-initiated trips down to the car dealers around town to see the “neat new cars”. I was smitten by their crisp body lines and “Coke bottle” curves. Mopar’s B-bodies were about as good as it got for the next few years, and when I came of driving age, I hunted up a nice example and have it to this day. Terrific cars, from styling, to go-fast to cornering and braking. They really were an all-around well designed car. I only wish mine had a 383, instead of a 440. Too much power and impossible to squeeze over 15mpg out of. The old B-block DeSoto 383 is about the ultimate for being about to balance power and economy.

    Like 9
    • Terrry

      I had a ’66 Dodge Polara 9-passenger wagon with a 383 -2 bbl that got an honest 19 mpg during a road trip I took to Texas.

      Like 4
      • Burger

        I have tweaked my VERY HEAVY 58 DeSoto to get north of 25mpg with a 383. The square bore and stroke can create terrific power without the enormous lungs of a 440. A much better choice, unless you are a commited racer. I want to put the top down and drive the coastal highway and things similar. I like reasonable power, and the 383 is more than enough for a fairly light B-body like this. The 440 is just stupid excess, that can get squirrelly WAY too easy, for a car that requires one hand on the shifter and not both on the wheel.

        Like 2
  5. Terrry

    Keep your Chargers, Superbees, Roadrunners and Barracudas. I’ll take this handsome car any day.

    Like 12
  6. angliagt angliagt Member

    My favorite year of Coronet.My Uncle had a ’66 in that
    bluish-green color – best color on these.

    Like 4
  7. jnard90 jnard90 Member

    Slap in the original steering wheel, fix the A/C and enjoy! Love these stock, hardtop mopars. The ultimate in stock 1960s street fighters. Love it!

    Like 8
    • Burger

      The stock wheel is really sharp. Can’t imagine why anyone would want to swap in out that anything else.

      Like 5
  8. Gary

    Had a similar car with the 318. More power than I ever needed. A really great car (except for the overly loose power steering-what were they thinking?), I sometimes still miss it.

    Like 2

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