Big Block 4-Speed! 1966 Dodge Coronet Convertible

Update 9/25/20 – After getting bid up to $15k the last time around, this big block convertible has been relisted here on eBay.

From 7/15/20 – I gravitate towards convertibles. I have owned several, and older ones, like this beautiful 1966 Dodge Coronet 500, are an imperfect world. Generally, they are subject to wind and road noise not to mention minor leaks, and they are less than ideal in real cold climes. Parked outside indefinitely, the top fabric will degrade and replacements, these days, are expensive. But still, it’s a convertible, they bring summer smiles to faces, and of course, when the top goes down, the price goes up!  Taking all of this into consideration, let’s take a gander at this 1966 Dodge Coronet 500 convertible, located in Massapequa Park, New York and available, here on eBay for a current bid of $8,700, reserve not yet met.

Besides the excitement of finding a very nice convertible, the fact that this is a Dodge, and a top of the totem pole version at that, makes this example an especially nice find. Mopar convertibles of this era lacked the volume of their GM and Ford contemporaries so logically, they’re not as commonly found today. The Dodge Coronet intermediate line-up in ’66 came in four flavors, Coronet, Coronet Deluxe, Coronet 440, and Coronet 500, such as this subject. Convertibles were offered as both 440 and 500 models.

This Coronet shows very well, the squared-off and angular body lines make his version of the Coronet a big hit in my book – it’s a looker! The seller states that the car belonged to his uncle who owned it for 30 years and it has only experienced 65K miles. The body panels are all original as is most of the paint though it has had some “touchups” over the years. The body is pretty solid though the seller advises that there is some bubbling starting on the “lower side” but exactly where is not identified and the images aren’t revealing. The floors are listed as being in “decent shape” though decent is open to interpretation. The seller adds that the convertible top is new and was just added a couple of weeks ago and works “great”. A nice exterior addition is the Magnum style “road wheels”, unfortunately, the rear left doesn’t match the other three.

The interior is in need of help. The black vinyl seat upholstery is kaput and the carpet is not far behind. The dash pad, however, is split-free and the instrument panel gauges all work as intended with the exception of the fuel gauge. The center console appears to be in great shape; it is a wide expanse of stainless or aluminum trim and they are subject to dents and scratches but that doesn’t appear to be the case here. Of note are the power windows, helpful in a convertible, but not seen that often in 1966 – the master switch, however, is on the fritz. And as is frequently the case with a convertible from the ’60s, there is no A/C. Finally, the original radio has been replaced with an aftermarket unit.

The real surprise, and noted in the interior image, is the four-speed manual transmission, a definite rarity and a great feature. It is connected to a 361 CI, “B” block V8 engine good for 265 gross HP. Regarding operations, the seller states, “Car runs and drives great. Has a newly rebuilt power steering pump and the radiator was recored and restored. Tune-up was done recently. Runs like a champ. No noises or issues.” I review many Mopars from the ’60s but I don’t come across many that have a 361 engine ensconced under the hood so that makes this find a bit more unique.

The seller emphasizes the rarity of this Dodge, I cannot attest to it in numbers but then I cannot remember the last time I saw one, especially one equipped with a four-speed manual transmission. The seller has one nice piece of documentation in the form of the original window sticker, which always helps to support the authenticity of an unusually equipped model. This Coronet 500 is trending in reasonable territory, for now; we’ll have to see where the next four days takes the price of this very neat Dodge. This one is just perfect for some top-down summer fun but I have one too many old convertibles right now, so I’m out of the running. But how about you?

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    This car looks good and the 4 speed is a definite plus, but my personal preference is for the refreshed ’67 model. GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 5
  2. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Nice….

    Like 4
  3. Matt Murray

    I’ve owned 2 1966 chargers and one 1966 coronet.
    I always wanted to put a charger nose on a coronet convertible
    I did this with a 63 valiant convertible and 1966 formula s front clip. People would look and unless they were true mopar fans they’d scratch there heads

    Like 10
    • Bill Price

      I knew a guy back in the 70’s that put a ’65 Plymouth front end on a ’64 Dodge. When I saw it it took a minute to figure out what it was. At the time I had a ’65 Satellite convertible. So your ideas sound pretty good to me.

      Like 3
    • David Zornig

      I always wanted to put a `68 Chrysler 300 front end on a `67 300.
      I feel the `68 hideaway headlights were a better fit with the `67 waterfall tail lights.
      I saw it once on a red 4 door hardtop `67.
      Must have been an older insurance replacement job, or someone else had my vision…

      Like 1
  4. TimM

    This car looks great!! The interior got a couple rips in the seats but overall a great looking car!! I love standard transmission convertibles!!!

    Like 7
  5. 19sixty5 Member

    I like it! There is just something about convertibles, I’ve had a bunch. Love the body style, fix the windows, re-upholster the front seats with new foam, touch up the paint on the one Magnum, and remove what appears to be a choke, likely for an old radio/stereo under the hood and cruise. It will be interesting to see what this ultimately sells for. I’ve had over 100 cars I can remember and write down, but I believe I have only had 1 Mopar, a 66 Plymouth 4 door with a slant 6 that was given to me by a guy when I was in the Army many, many years ago. It had a trailer hitch, I used and repeatedly abused that poor car and it never, ever failed.

    Like 6
    • kiteflier

      Every slant 6 I owned was usually the only thing left after the car dissolved into rust dust.

      Like 2
  6. Dave

    This one is a contender. What a car to have fun with. Including adding a charger clip now and then.

    Like 4
  7. Paul N

    when I look at this; first thing that comes to mind is David Spade and Chris Farley.

    Like 10
    • Mitchell Gildea Member

      You hold onto a car this cherry, kinda like your suitcase

      Like 1
      • Burger

        Still holding after 40 years !

  8. Joe Haska

    This is a great car and dependig on th hammer price, I think it would be worth the trouble. I have a friend with a 65 Fury II convertible , in similar condition, but he decided he wanted it nicer. So its getting a frame off restoration. I told him before he started he would most likely, have more in than he could sell it for. I thought he had the perfect answer, he said, I am in my 70’s, I love the car and I have the money, and I am going to leave it to my daughter. Now thats the way to own a car.

    Like 16
  9. Jimbosidecar

    I got a chuckle over the window sticker. Optional, padded visors, emergency flashers, retractable seat belts…

  10. Stevieg

    Nice car in nice colors (although I prefer a whit interior with a convertible), and a handshaker to boot! Very cool!

    Like 4
  11. Woody

    Not over priced but could bring good bids yet. This is a straight and solid looking piece of Mopar History and a convertible,and a 4-speed ‘66 Coronet!

    Like 6
  12. Alex

    My first car was a ’66 Coronet convertible with a 383, 4 speed. Dark green with white top and interior. Paid about $700 for it in 1971 or so. Cold in Iowa winters, but so much fun in the summer months. Have always wondered how many of them came with 4 speeds. I’m guessing, not many.

    Like 4
  13. Burger

    I have a very similar car. Mine is a 440. Black paint, but with black top and white bench interior. Got a 4-speed too. Goes like a striped ape. Super fun car to drive.

    Like 3
  14. Thomas Lyons

    In 1966 the term big block was just coming in and pertained to Chevrolet only ,

    Like 1
  15. Burger

    Somehow I missed the power windows on the first go-round. My favorite option, I really wish mine had them. For 66, the Magnum 500’s were chromed. These are the later versions with the Argent paint and stainless trim rings.

    I cannot dispute Chevy holding the golden key to the crapper on the names Big/Small Block in 1966, but when Mopar dumped the divisional engine designs and went with corporate-wide designs, the B/RB block was known as the Big Block and the LA series was known as the Small Block. The last of the A-series engines were installed in 1965, making it an all B/RB – LA series game for 66.

    Like 2
  16. mainlymuscle

    Really nice cruiser ,and it COULD be a deal.
    It all depends on how one defines “decent floors ” .

    Like 1
  17. Burger

    Any of these muscle era cars are just a phone call and a credit card number away from having high quality sheetmetal parts en route to your door. Bad floors ? No problem. Bad trunk pan ? No problem. Deeper stuff like lower cowl metal and wheel tubs, you’ll be on your own. But that’s how most of us operate with non-cookie cutter cars.

    Like 1
  18. Jon B

    The last of the As was in model year 66 in the US and they went one more year in Canada.

    Like 1
  19. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Already bid up to $17,688 this time around and looks like it will sell.

    Like 2
  20. Dwight

    Nostalgia! I had the same color combination in a 1966 Coronet 2 door hardtop. Mine had the 383 with an automatic. It was still fast enough (as the highway patrolman said at 125, I was still pulling away from him). Loved beating GTOs and Chevelle 396s of the line at the drags. I would only loose by a little over a car length, but still not bad for a “family car.”

  21. martinsane

    Its intriguing that what looks like a complete, running, well optioned, not basket case Dodge is NOT 50k.
    What did i miss.
    Do the dodge brother’s and sisters only care about Chargers? And swamp fond Chargers to boot?
    I personally like the car and if wishes were horses id own 68-70 coronet and be tickled, even more so if it were a wagon

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