Original 440 Magnum: 1970 Dodge Coronet R/T

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Sometimes a single photo can tell much of the story about a classic car. That appears to be the case with this 1970 Dodge Coronet R/T. This shot reveals a vehicle that would have offered exciting performance potential when new, but has fallen upon hard times. It features its original V8 under the hood, but the owner admits that it requires a complete restoration if it is not to disappear forever. If you feel up to the challenge of returning this muscle classic to its best, you will find it located in Maricopa, Arizona, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has sailed beyond the reserve and currently sits at $8,300.

It appears that this Coronet has led quite a colorful life. The Fender Tag reveals that it rolled off the production line wearing Dark Green Metallic paint, but a previous owner has performed a color change. Returning the paint to its original shade will probably be the easiest part of this restoration. The car appears to be essentially complete, but it seems that the buyer may need to dismantle this R/T entirely to perform a high-quality restoration. As is often the case, this classic appears to have plenty of rust. There is more than I would have expected in a car that has spent its life in Arizona, although we don’t know its ownership history. The vehicle may have found its way to its current location via a less favorable climate, but the seller is candid that it has rust issues. It is no surprise that it has impacted the lower rear quarter panels, although the rockers and door corners look relatively sound. There is no information on the state of the floors, trunk pan, or frame rails, so these will require a careful inspection. The worst news is that there is significant rust in the roof. It looks like this may have deteriorated beyond the point of no return, so the buyer will probably need to brace to spend around $860 on a replacement roof skin. However, if that proves to be the worst of this classic’s rust problems, returning the body to a sound state may not be difficult or expensive.

While many enthusiasts focus on a Coronet R/T with a Hemi under the hood, there was nothing wrong with the performance offered by the 440ci Magnum V8. This monster motor produced 375hp, and when bolted to a TorqueFlite transmission, as is the case with this car, it allowed the R/T to roar through the ¼ mile in 14.2 seconds. The owner indicates that this V8 is numbers-matching and that it is stock. However, he then talks about such components such as an Edelbrock carburetor and other items, suggesting that there may be a few performance upgrades. He doesn’t state whether the engine turns freely, but if it does, coaxing it back to life may not be difficult. The buyer will likely pull the engine as part of the restoration process, enabling them to detail the V8 and the engine bay to a high standard. That would also allow an opportunity to inspect everything thoroughly to ensure no problems down the track.

The seller assures us that this Dodge is complete, which means that the gauge cluster and other interior pieces must be located somewhere else within the vehicle. The original owner chose some excellent options when he ordered this classic, including bucket seats, a console, and air conditioning. Everything appears intact, although this is another aspect of the car requiring total restoration. It will not be a cheap undertaking and will probably consume somewhere around $2,500 to return it to a showroom fresh state. However, once complete, life inside this R/T should be pretty pleasant.

During the 1970 model year, Dodge produced 2,319 examples of the Coronet R/T in Hardtop form. Of those cars, 1,543 featured the combination of the 440 Magnum V8 and TorqueFlite transmission. While there were rarer forms of the Coronet R/T, it still makes this a relatively rare car that may be worthy of restoration. The process will be a time-consuming and costly affair, but the results could be worth the effort. The buyer could easily minimize the costs by undertaking many more mundane tasks like disassembly and cleaning themselves. This is a path worth considering to ensure that the process remains financially viable. Restored to a high standard, its value could nudge towards $45,000. When you look at the current bidding and the work required, is this a project you may be willing to tackle?

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  1. Sam Shive

    Rough Hood When you gotta chain the JACK STAND to the car. Should’ve just used one from Harbor Fright.one. Going to need a new roof to start and I’m guessing it was once a Drivers Ed car because the steering wheel in in the passenger side. No pictures of the bottom. My guess is it looks like the roof.

    Like 3
    • rick payne

      Your opinion and $2 will buy a candy bar junior!

      Like 1
  2. PRA4SNW

    Too bad they couldn’t get the million dollar shot of this car – that nose!

    Like 1
  3. Steve Clinton

    After scanning the photos, I can see why they highlighted the hood.

    Like 2
  4. Martinsane

    “Owner says the car is complete”, a complete mess.

    Seriously how is that statement even anything other than laughable when the car only has 3 wheels?

    Like 3
    • rick payne

      It has all 4 factory wheels with beauty rings.

      Like 0
      • rick payne

        Funny, for a total mess the current bid is at $15300. My guess is is will top 20k. Maybe they know something you obviously don’t junior.

        Like 0
  5. Gary

    It’s a 75k car if it’s done right. It will hit 20k+

    Like 0
  6. CenturyTurboCoupe

    Only worth $45,000?? and not $175,000 when restored!!…PASS!

    Like 0

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