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Rust-Free Project: 1968 Dodge Coronet R/T 440

If most enthusiasts were given a choice, they would grab a rust-free project car over one requiring major metal-work every time. This 1968 Dodge Coronet R/T offers its buyer the former option, with its single rust issue now addressed. It is a complete car with loads of potential and could be a potent classic once it has been restored. It is currently looking for a new home and for someone willing and able to return it to its powerful best. Located in Richmond, Texas, you will find the R/T listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding on the Coronet has been pretty spirited, with 32 bids pushing the price to $8,600. However, the reserve hasn’t been met.

The Coronet rolled off the production line in 1968 wearing Code P Red paint. We can still see evidence of this color, although someone has commenced the restoration process. The front fenders have been replaced, but almost all of the remaining steel is original. The exception is a small spot in the rear window channel where there was some rust. This has been repaired, the channel has been cleaned, and it is ready for the window to be refitted. As far as rust issues are concerned, that appears to be it. There are no photos of the vehicle’s underside, but the owner says it is clean and sound. It is a pleasant surprise to find that not only are the floors okay but that the frame rails are perfect. The floors inside the car and the trunk pan have been stripped, and they now wear a coating of epoxy primer. The Coronet was originally fitted with a Black vinyl top, and while the vinyl is gone, all of the trim is present. It is in good condition, as is the rest of the exterior chrome.

Apart from a lack of carpet, the Coronet’s interior appears to be complete. It will require a full restoration, but the bones for this are all present. There will be quite a shopping list if it is to be returned to its best, but it should be worth the effort. The console looks like it could be restored, and while the dash pad is badly cracked, the dash itself looks good. It is a refreshing change to find one of these with an interior that hasn’t been loaded with aftermarket parts. No-one has installed any additional gauges, and the factory AM radio is still in its rightful place. A trim kit is probably going to be the best solution when it comes to returning the interior to its former glory. It won’t be cheap, but the result should justify the cost.

I wish that I could tell you that the R/T is a numbers-matching classic, but I can’t. The TorqueFlite transmission and the 8¾” rear end are both original, but the 440ci V8 under the hood isn’t. It is a 1971-vintage engine block, although the radiator and carburetor are original. There wasn’t a bad V8 available in a 1968 Coronet R/T, and if this one is of standard specifications, it would have been producing 375hp. If the driver buried the right boot, the trip through the ¼ mile would have been over in 14.3 seconds. The owner tells us that this 440 doesn’t currently run, although he doesn’t indicate whether it turns freely. The engine bay shows its age, so the buyer will probably choose to remove the engine to give everything a bit of a birthday. That would be a perfect opportunity to inspect the engine thoroughly and ensure that it is spot-on before getting it dropped back into place.

The late 1960s were the glory days for American muscle cars, and vehicles like this 1968 Coronet R/T graphically demonstrate this. The owner claims that Dodge only produced 9,734 R/Ts with the 440/TorqueFlite combination. That figure gels with a couple of sources that I have found, which means that the claim could be accurate. Restoring it seems like it should be a straightforward process, and if done correctly, it is a classic that should easily fetch a market price of $40,000. That probably partially explains the spirited bidding, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. It is a car that has the potential to provide both stunning looks and performance, and that is always going to be a winning combination.

Comments

  1. Johnny

    Hundreds of times I have traveled this road and THOUGHTI seen everything along it. Till last week. Thier beside and behind the house sat a bunch of cars and trucks. As I was going buy. I did notice a 1968 Chrysler. If a person would start slowing down and pay more attention–we,ll see more. I figured out why around 68 Chrysler sold more the Ford or Gm. They were cheaper. Now they WANT more. I like this car and is a good candidate to restore,but the price is a little to hot for me. When I can have a Ford or GM THAT YOU CAN DRIVE. $8,600 AND STILL CLIMBING. I ll pass.

    Like 1
  2. Snotty

    Beautiful lines on these 68 69 Coronets. Prefer em over the Runners of the same yr. The rear quarters accentuate the back of the car perfectly. Surprisingly one inch longer 117″ 116″ for the Belvedere,Satellite n Runners.

    Like 2
  3. Chester

    Beautiful design on this car. I wish it had a simple 318 so it was afford able for some of us old timers. Many do not need the high HP, we just want to drive on a sunny day and remember the good old days.

    Like 5
  4. Woody

    Nice project! A new vinyl top and fresh factory color would be the right move for this ‘68

    Like 3

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