Parked for 25 Years: 1969 Dodge Coronet 500

Hiding under that healthy layer of dust is a classic car that is just crying out to be restored and returned to the road. While it has apparently been sitting for more than 25-years, this 1969 Coronet appears to be a solid car. Located in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, it is listed for sale here on eBay. The BIN price for the Dodge has been set at $8,995, but the owner is open to offers.

If the text of the listing is accurate, what you can see on the driver’s side quarter panel is the worst of the rust, with only a few other spots in areas such as the lower fenders to contend with. The floors and underside of the car are all said to be solid, with nothing to really worry about. There are plenty of minor dents and dings around the car, and there are also a few trim pieces that are missing, but overall, it seems to be quite encouraging. You can’t really help but imagine just how attractive the Coronet would look with the rust and dings repaired, and a fresh coat of Light Blue Metallic paint gracing those panels.

I really like it when a car springs a bit of a surprise on me, and that is something that this Coronet has been able to do. The negatives with the car’s interior include the fact that the bucket seats will need new covers, the carpet is looking tired, the original radio is no longer fitted into the dash, and there are holes in the rear parcel tray from where aftermarket speakers have been fitted. The good? Everything else, I think. The dash looks good, the rear seat looks virtually new, and the rest of the interior trim is in great condition. The Coronet even sports air conditioning, although this may need some work before it blows cold air again. There really isn’t a lot to do in there, and if you aren’t particularly fussy, you could still use it as it is.

It appears that this is a numbers-matching car. Sitting under the hood is the original 318ci V8 and Torqueflite transmission. The owner says that everything is original, right from the air cleaner to the exhaust manifolds, and the distributor is tagged and date coded. While the Coronet features unassisted brakes, it does come with power steering. The bad news at present is that the car doesn’t run. The owner states that while the engine does turn freely, the car hasn’t run since it was parked more than 25-years-ago. It will definitely need at least the fuel system and brakes serviced before the car is likely to get mobile again.

On the face of it, this Dodge Coronet looks like it will need a bit of work. The key phrase here is “on the face of it,” because if what the owner claims is correct, then the only rust that the new owner will need to tackle will be that which is visible to the naked eye. If this is the case, then this is a really solid project car that has a ton of potential to become a pretty stunning piece of machinery down the track a bit.


  1. Curt k.

    Just wanted to know if its me or not that al late 60s n early 70s mopar have different smell inside than other makes…or maybe im just crazy..but thats a kool ride..

    Like 2
    • Rspcharger Rspcharger

      I concur, so at least your not alone with being crazy.

  2. Steve R

    Since when is a non-running 1969 Coronet with an indeterminate, but significant amount of rust, worth anywhere close to $9,000? The sellers favorite word is solid, which mean different things to different people. A more realistic price would be $3,000-3,500. The car is rough and there is no way of knowing how much money and effort it will take to make it driveable to risk spending more than that.

    Steve R

    Like 16
    • Will Fox

      Thank you. I don’t see anything worth anywhere near $9K either. It’s only a base model 318, and not even a 383. Buckets but no console; a column shift automatic. And that LR quarter panel is eaten away something bad with the tin worm. This seller needs to be more realistic with his price. I see maybe $3K. And that’s a stretch.

      Like 16
    • Superdessucke

      The word “risk” isn’t really in the vocabulary of those buying 1960s Mopars these days. The economy is as good as it’s ever been and the blue collar types attracted to these are willing to spend.

      It’ll be sad (somewhat) when the market collapses and the value reverts back into the region you mention, but this should easily fetch the ask. I think this is underpriced in today’s market.

      • 36 Packard

        Please don’t take this personally, but what are you, like 16? Economy never been better? Maybe in your lifetime, but some of us out here remember much better times. I recall a time in my youth when a young man could move from high school without any real skills and land a union job that provided a comfortable one income family life that provided for a happy household with financial security and money left over for the old car hobby. Wasn’t hard to do at all. Most of us had it. Today the economy may be good for some people, but all people are going to feel the pain when the debts come due. 22 Trillion doesn’t stay quiet forever, and when it does get cranky, lets talk about the economy then. Many of us speak here of when so many of these cars were cheap and easy to acquire. It just isn’t the prices we long for, it was a world of common sense and prosperity spread out more evenly where all had a chance to have a small piece of a really big pie. What so many get now is barely crumbs despite working harder then we did in my day. Crumbs do not fill you up and a growling empty stomach soon pushes people in bad directions.

        Like 16
      • Steve R

        Packard, they just chose wrong. My neighbor works for the city of San Francisco changing bulbs on street lights, his base pay is $80,000+ and reaches $120,000 with overtime, that’s before benifits. A friend in the CHP brings in six figures as a base salary, their pension if they retire after 30 years of service is 95% of their final years salary and is annually adjusted for inflation after that. Neither of them have more than a high school education.

        There are many ways to succeed, saying there are only crumbs is a cop out.

        As for prices, working at finding a car is what’s important. Do you think the seller paid anything close to his asking price?

        Steve R

        Like 3
      • Superdessucke

        Haha! LOL! Barn Finds frequently features cars much newer than my 16th birthday lol! I have never seen anything like this economically in my lifetime, I’ll say it again.

        People feeling free to blow the kind of money they are on some of these cars is one example of it. And it’s the type of cars. One-percenters are not dropping big money relative to assets on rusty 318 Mopars like this. That is a Hemi Cuda convertible crowd. These are blue-collar Americans feeling flush.

        The stock market, unemployment, and GDP growth are more technical measures. Unemployment is the lowest it’s been since 1969. Consumer spending just blew past what it was during the housing boom when everyone with a home had a free ATM machine. GDP passed 4% at one point recently. A very recent President told us that his opponents would need a “magic wand” to get to that level. Well…

        Of course, this isn’t going to last. At least I don’t think it will based on my advancing age and the wisdom which comes with that. But I stand by my statement that this is the best economy in my lifetime.

        Like 6
      • John

        Government workers make a helluva lot more than they did in the past – and they do so at the expense of the private sector, which is taking a beating from every direction.

        Like 2
      • Superdessucke

        Interesting point Steve. I’m starting to wonder if we are seeing some sort of knee-jerk reaction by the blue collar working class. Things are looking up and they’re celebrating.

        And who can blame them really? They’ve been taking it in the shorts for the last 35 years. Now they seem to have some hope.

        But unless they vote wisely, and en masse, this is going to end real quick not too long from now. Time will tell. I’m older and have seen a lot of cycles and political change, but I’m not a psychic.

    • steve

      There was a piece in one of the Syracuse NY papers a LONG time ago which defined the automotive ad terms. I recall the term “Solid” translated to “Doors rusted shut”. I respond to “Ran when parked!” with “So did the Titanic”…Even the most well meaning of sellers is still “selling”. Best to lay eyes on things before handing over cash..

      Like 2
      • PatrickM

        I agree. A bumper-to-bumper inspection is well in order. Change the spark plug, do a compression check, run some carburetor cleaner through…then, see if it will start. May still need engine work. that’s just for starters. My high bid would be $3,000.00. Don’t get me wrong. This car appeals to me. I like it and would like to have it. But, I just think the asking price is quite high for a base model 2 door hardtop, small block automatic. It is a cool car, but, nothing outstanding.

        Like 3
  3. Skorzeny

    Wow. Seriously want this. A lot of potential.

    Like 1
  4. Tom Member

    My usual saying, good news is the car pretty much has everything…bad news car pretty much needs everything! This is a dilemma. Car is not born with ANY pedigree which means restoring it will take what $60K (or more) if you do most all the work yourself. Everything needs to be either rebuilt, replaced, restored, refinished, re-plated, reupholstered, on and on….and it is a small block auto on column nothing car. Once done the car will sell for LESS than you have in it.

    The only hope for bigger money means, in my opinion that it would have to be built into a high quality resto mod of some sort and done with wide appeal (not narrow) to sell it. Probably take 100K to do that and the car may or may not be profitable. If it were a basically “rust free” car, different story but this car is $8995 of Free Rust!

    You can buy a driver quality car of this year make and model that looks pretty good in the market right now for $30K. There is a yellow one in Texas. Not perfect but pretty nice.

    I keep saying it, the market is changing. I think this seller is good with his rather “lower asking price” …..I am glad he is not thinking this is a $50K car as it sits with “potential”.

    There is a LOT of rust on this car which means there is A LOT more where you CAN’T SEE IT and that is where you REALLY don’t want it.

    Put it away, accumulate parts and maybe one day when there are few of these left, this will actually be “sought after”. Restore it later or sell it as a project where you have accumulated most of the parts thus making it easy. Called “Long Term Investment” with some risk.

    Like 3
    • Steve R

      Base, driver quality Coronets don’t sell for anywhere near $30,000. Someone may ask that much, but if they do they will own it until the end of time. If you search completed listing for all Coronets on eBay, you will see that many driver quality Super Bees and R/T’s often sell for less than $30,000. Most driver/projects Coronets remain unsold at much above $10,000, often less, and they are nicer than this car.

      Guys building high end resto-mods won’t ever consider this car. They are willing to spend more money on a nice rust free example since it’s cheaper in the long run.

      The best strategy for potential buyers is to save their money until a nicer car comes along, this car is a losing proposition at anything close to its asking price.

      Steve R

      Like 5
    • Superdessucke

      Good points. Having owned these cars I am completely baffled that people are just assuming the rust is no big deal here.

      These are unibodies and they rust in all kinds of places. What you can see is just the surface. Trunk floor is probably rusted at least in part, wheel wells, suspension mounting points perhaps, those sorts of things.

      This is going to easily take 30 grand to set the body and paint right, if not more. When you add in the other stuff this is going to be a $70,000 car at the end of the day.

      So I guess the gamble you’re taking is that future generations who have had no direct exposure to these cars will be willing to spend 70 plus thousand on a Coronet 500. I just don’t see how you can assume that, or even logically picture a scenario where that would be the case! I’m truthfully wondering how easy is going to even be to get fossil fuel 15 years from now.

      Like 3
  5. 36 Packard

    I think a 318 Cornet of this year is one of the finest cars around. Great drivers and sharp looks, maybe even better then the Charger, but 9K? Not if I found an outhouse full of 100 dollar bills. If this was still a @200 car like they used to be, then a person could fix it up themselves and have something nice, but they are trying to sell this as an investment, and that is a pretty bad one. I wish the hobby would go back to what it used to be before the money boys got into it.

    Like 5
  6. Maverick

    I am forty miles from this car .not worth the money or time to ..

    Like 8
  7. johnnytwentybucks

    Make it clean ,rust free and electric!

    Like 1
  8. George mattar

    $1,500 car all day long. People have a rotted out Mopar and think it’s a 67 Corvette 427. Get real dude. These cars were rotted out in the 80s.

    Like 5
  9. Brian Ach

    $4k car.
    318, which doesn’t even run, and needs a lot of sheet metal. I don’t trust the “only visible rust” either, with that much on the quarters, there is always more, it’s just like an iceberg. Interiors are cheap on these it’s the least of your worries.

    Like 2
  10. TimM

    The economy and politics!! I live in a house I built!! No not a general contractor!! I did it!! I nailed ever board, did all the electric and mechanicals!! I’m in the woods and I have 11 acres!! I plow my road in the winter, have to go 1/4 of a mile to get my mail!! No town water no town sewer!! My taxes are $1000 a month with nothing but electricity which I brought in!! The town and state supply nothing!! I put an apartment over my garage to help pay the taxes!!! They take every penny of that rent!!!

    Like 1
    • 36 Packard

      Apartment? Without building permits and inspections? Don’t let people really know who you are Tim or Big Brother will come and fine you and then make you tear it all down!

      Your Friend Fred

      Like 1
    • Sandy Claws

      Ahhh now Tim, State and town provide nothing? How about the roads you use your cars and trucks on? If you crash one of those cars into a tree, how about the emergency people who scrape you off the pavement? How about the hospital where you lay in a vegetative state on a vent until proven brain dead? How about the coroner who declares you dead and the pathologist who does the autopsy? Have you considered the municipal planning agency that regulates the cemetery where you get planted? How about the shyster your family hires to sue those nasty tree farm people for having the gall to plant a tree on their own property never caring you might drive into it one night while on a drunken spree? Thats right, your state licences those too. See Tim, our government plays more of a role in your life then you have thought of. Taxes are the price we pay for civilization, get used to it. You have already gotten used to all the good they do, but don’t seem to want to pay your fair share. Now, tell me about your Harley.

      Like 2

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