Tow or Show? 1968 Dodge Coronet Wagon

After hauling home a used transmission to have as a spare for my Subaru XT6 project, I was deeply envious of anyone with a low-loading floor in their daily driver. While I’m not a wuss, I am a fan of making work easier to keep my lower back from aching. Too bad I didn’t have this 1968 Dodge Coronet wagon here on eBay at my disposal, as it would have made quick work of swallowing that transmission and likely, a whole lot of other stuff from the salvage yard.

I mean, look at that access! Rear door swings open wide, making for easy insertion of any number of large car parts, from whole interiors to engines. This Coronet is wearing a very period paint job of green on green, but its lack of rust makes up for a color scheme not often seen today. The seller claims it is quite solid, with rust that is present limited to just the rear quarters and dog-legs. Supposedly, it was stored as part of a collection that the seller is helping to liquidate.

The trim code always throws me off on these old wagons. a “440” in this instance was in regards to equipment levels rather than the type of engine found up front. This Coronet makes due with the standard issue 318 V8, which, while not exciting, will run reliably without lots of expensive upkeep. Parts availability in general is pretty good and the seller just completed a 100+ mile journey without any major issues. It has nearly new tires and brakes supposedly with plenty of bite left.

A sea of green awaits you inside, but you’ll also find a nicely preserved interior with the driver’s bench just needing a straight-forward recovering. The dash top is said to be in excellent condition, along with the factory steering wheel. Thanks to bench seating, six passengers can ride comfortably (and legally), but that rear cargo area could likely swallow more than a few of your buddies if getting caught by the local constable doesn’t scare you. Bidding is over $2,500 but the reserve is unmet; what do you think the magic number is?

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Comments

  1. Anthony

    I was not aware Dodge had two way tailgate

    • Adam Clarke Adam T45 Staff

      In Australia we only ever had one car (Ford Falcon XC station wagon) that was available with an optional two-way tailgate. Were they common in the USA?

      • Mike H. Mike H Member

        Quite common. GM (Oldsmobile & Buick had them, can’t recall which other brands), Ford (LTD), Chrysler (as seen here), and AMC (Matador & Ambassador) all used them. I’m sure that there were more brands and models than I’ve mentioned here, but those are the ones I could immediately think of.

        Made access to that third-row in-floor seat much easier, and GM had the brilliance to even add a step into the rear bumper.

      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        My first gig out of high school was a yard dog at a boneyard. I was told to remove one of the two way tailgates. I don’t remember all the details but I do remember using the heat wrench to cut a bracket. MAN, that thing sprung off like a rocket. Would have killed me for sure.

      • Adam Clarke Adam T45 Staff

        Thanks for the info. I’m amazed that only Ford offered it here. It would be a great idea….provided it was reliable!

  2. irocrob

    My father had one like this to move stock around with our retail store. You could put a lot in the back and the tailgate working both ways was great .It was a tough old car and he put major miles on it.

    • Bingo

      It must’ve been ONE BIG RETAIL STORE. Up here in Minnesota are stores are smaller, we use shopping carts.

      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Sorry Bingo, but the Mall of America comes to mind.

      • Mike H. Mike H Member

        Sure does, as do what’s left of the ‘Dales. A friend of mine used to refer to The Mall of America as “Huge-Dale”.

  3. Mark Hoffman

    A friends dad had one of these back in the day. It was amusing watching him exit the car and stand 6’6.

  4. Gunner

    I like it. It would look nice next to my 69 G-code Coronet 440. Always had a thing for wagons. You get the cool factor plus practicality. Nice find.

  5. nessy

    The guy states “minor rust” but you can see all the bondo almost falling off this thing if you zoom in the photos. A green on green base Dodge wagon is not for me but maybe some of you guys like it. That is cool. The best thing about this car is the old style New Jersey plates which were issued in 1973. I know that because of the YRO letters in the plate. The letters, “YRO” on the straw color Jersey plates with the “N.J.” on top were issued in 73. I’m sort of a plate number buff since I was a kid so I can tell by the plate numbers what year plates were issued in New Jersey. Some in other states but not like the Jersey ones.

    • Todd

      I have a 70 satellite wagon similar to this one that has been in the lower part of Arizona it’s whole life. My wagon has the same rust damage as this one. Mopars are bad about collecting water in areas and rusting out. This car isn’t that bad. I have seen way worse rusted mopars. This is just an issue with most mopars.

      • moosie Craig

        My good friend and partner (trucking, Drag racing, motorcycling) gave me a hand me down from his brother and originally his Dad (bought it new) who both lived in New Hampshire, his 1970 Satellite wagon, 318, Torqueflite, awesome heater, body completely riddled with rust (even the top of the hood?) he gave it to me cause he couldn’t bear to see me driving my freshly restored ’70 Stingray Conv. in the New York winters, I loved that old wagon, burnt valve, exhaust leak & all, my buddies nicknamed it the “Helicopter” cause of the valve & exhaust issues, it turned out to be our Yankee stadium car where we’d (all 6, 7, or 8 of us) drive down to the stadium to root the Bronx Bombers on. Lots of very fond memories of that old blue mopar wagon. Great times, glad it couldn’t talk.

  6. Bruce Best

    My family had one of these and it was the first family car I got to drive when I turned 16. They were big comfortable and the 318 was more than enough engine for what the use was in this car. The only problem we had with it over the years was rust on the body. That got most of them.

    It might be better to think of these station wagons of this era as more aerodynamic vans that had better seating and looks. I can remember all the Boy Scout canoe trips with the back end fill to the top and the roof rack carrying more.

    I do not care about the bondo on the body if there is enough to truly salvage I would suggest someone do so. I would but I do not have the funds right now do to other restorations in progress. These big wagons are far more rare than most other versions of this basic car because they have been used up. I had a friend who had one that a movie company wanted to use many years ago and they could not find in St. Louis or Chicago in good shape.

    Some of the cars we see here are truly almost one of a kind even if they were common in our youth.

  7. David Hunt

    How do I put three cars for sale
    1971 charger
    1968 ply. Satellite
    1964 dodge polare convertible

    David Hunt

    • Jeffro

      I thought you were going to donate the 64 to the “Jeffro Needs A Car” project.

    • stillrunners

      well can someone help him instead of banging on his head ?

    • Mike H. Mike H Member

      Big red button on the banner at the top of your screen

      https://barnfinds.com/submissions/

  8. Rob

    I love this car. My mother had a 68 2 door 440 with a 318. I used to “borrow” it freshman year of high school when she took long week-end trips skiing. and it was triple green. hated it then but the green vinyl has slowly grown attractive in my memory.

  9. Woodie Man

    For reasons even I dont understand I liked these Dodges better than the Fords in ’68, and it seems like all of my friend’s folks had those Ford Country Squires with the simulated wood panel sides.

    And I like wagons.

  10. motoring mo

    Constable? Didn’t realize the vehicle was located in Britain.

  11. G 1

    I liked every wagon I ever had.

  12. Scot Douglas

    LS engine in my Sonic. :D

  13. Angrymike

    This is perfect but a R/T clone, drop in a new Hemi, or A 440 HP, a RT hood, rallies and a bumblebee stipe. The perfect cruiser !!!!!

  14. RicK

    GM never had a two-way tailgate like FoMoCo and Chrysler Corp, at least not on GM full size early 70s wagons anyway. Rather it was a disappearing tailgate that retracted down into the floor, with the window retracting up into the roof.

    • Mike H. Mike H Member

      Never?

      1970 Olds Vista Cruiser. Note the step built into the rear bumper to aid child entrance to the third seat area and the little nubbin on the tailgate to cover it.

    • Mike H. Mike H Member

      Different car, same vintage, tailgate “down”. See where the step is hidden? Please also note the dual release handles on the inside.

    • Mike H. Mike H Member

      Buick Sport Wagon. Also has the two-way tailgate (note the step).

    • Mike H. Mike H Member

      Finally, from the folks at Wikipedia:

      Dual and tri-operating gates:

      Ford’s full-size wagons for 1966 introduced a system marketed as “Magic Doorgate” — a conventional tailgate with retracting rear glass, where the tailgate could either fold down or pivot open on a side hinge — with the rear window retracted in either case. Competitors marketed their versions as a Drop and Swing or Dual Action Tailgate. For 1969, Ford incorporated a design that allowed the rear glass to remain up or down when the door pivoted open on its side hinge, marketing the system, which had been engineered by Donald N. Frey as the “Three-Way Magic Doorgate”. Similar configurations became the standard on full-size and intermediate wagons from GM, Ford, and Chrysler. GM added a notch in the rear bumper that acted as a step plate; to fill the gap, a small portion of bumper was attached to the doorgate. When opened as a swinging door, this part of the bumper moved away, allowing the depression in the bumper to provide a “step” to ease entry; when the gate was opened by being lowered or raised to a closed position, the chrome section remained in place making the bumper “whole”.

      • Adam Clarke Adam T45 Staff

        This was the only Australian car on which the two-way tailgate was available (extra cost option). It is the Ford Falcon XC wagon built in Australia between 1976 and 1979.

    • 68 custom

      My 70 Kingswood (think Impala) sure did, in 71 all Gm full size wagons went to the quirky clam shell set up where the glass vanished up and the door slid down in to the body work.

      • Mike H. Mike H Member

        I couldn’t remember if the Chevrolets of the vintage had this available otherwise I’d have mentioned it too. Thank you for commenting!

      • B

        This looks like a military car…all dark green.

  15. Bruce Fischer

    My 1970 old wagon had a 2 way tail gate too! Bruce.

  16. Melvin Burwell

    Good buy.

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