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White Elephant: 1965 Dodge Coronet 500 Hemi

The 1960’s were a happening time with show room ready racers prepared to hold their own at the strip. This Coronet 500 wears its original paint, but its original drivetrain is long gone. Originally equipped with a 278 V8, this Coronet has gained an “Elephant engine” along the way. Packing a punch from a rebuilt 426 Hemi, this classic will get you where ever you want to go quickly. The seller is asking $30,000 or for other potential muscle or truck trades. Find it here on craigslist out of National City, Michigan.

Appearing to have been recently rebuilt, the seller has photos from the reassembly process of the engine. There are no build specs on the engine, but it is more than apparent this one has some goodies. The 2 four barrel carbs lend a hint as to the fun this Coronet can unleash at the simple blip of the throttle. Looking past the massive engine, the engine bay looks nice with no signs of dirt or rust.

Although brightly illuminated, this interior shines! Described as “new”, it seems that much of the interior has been refurbished with restoration parts, but it was certainly worth it as the interior appears without fault. Although, there is no headliner currently installed, but the seller has a new unit that is included with the car.

Even though this Dodge has its original paint, it comes with some flaws. Rust looks to be of a minimal concern, with only surface rust being visible. There appears to be not rot, and the seller backs this up saying this Dodge wears its “original body panels and floors with no holes.” Although, the lower portion of the front fenders have been rebuilt with new sheet metal to remove some rust concerns. Although possibly not 100% rust free, this Coronet looks to be a very solid car. With plenty of firepower at your beck and call, would you let this white elephant follow you home?


  1. Walter Joy

    Don’t you mean 273 V8?

    Like 1
    • dan


  2. Howard A Member

    Pretty crazy, a friend across the alley, had this same car, no hemi, though. I believe, the street hemi was not offered to the public until 1966.( biggest was the 426 wedge in ’65) John’s car was the same white 2 door, with buckets and console automatic, and a 318, 2 barrel. It was a very slow car, ( couldn’t even burn rubber) and we ribbed him about it. Another neighbor friend’s mom had a ’59 Rambler, that ate the poor Dodge for lunch. This, of course, would be an entirely different ride, and even if the motor is stock, it was originally falsely advertised as 425 hp, when most folks knew darn well, it was over 500 hp. Not my favorite style Dodge, but make no mistake, this one will set you back in the seat. ( Walter is right, 273)

    • Glen

      My understanding was that the 425hp was produced from 7 cylinders. I’m not sure why Chrysler would fudge the specs, though.

      • wuzjeepnowsaab

        Insurance reasons, Glen. All of them did it.

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Glen, same with Ford and the R code.( 427, 2 4’s) It too was rated at 425 hp ( what a coincidence) but that motor put out 500hp as well. I know insurance was partly to blame, but I think it had something to do with NASCAR’s limit at the time, and had to be offered to the public. Anyone?

      • Jerry HW Brentnell

        the reason for not fessing up the real horsepower was to keep insurance companys from charging crazy rates on these cars ,same thing at g.m with the 396 rat anything over 400 ci got surcharged!

    • Gary Wilson

      I’ve read also that the 425 hp 426 hemi was underrated . You had to know how to Tune them to get them to run right.
      Hi 13s is about the best theyd do in the quarter-mile . I did a lot of dragracing in 1967 68 and 69. I had a 1965 396 425 hp in a full-size impala in 1967 and 68. I happen to race two different 426 425hp hemi’s. I won buy several car lengths both times. The 427 L88 was also under rated at 430 hp.
      It was rated that at 4000 RPMs . At 7000 RPMs it had 560 hp. They also didn’t run like they should unless they were tuned just right .

      • Glen

        It could be that you were the better driver, I wonder how you would have done if you were in the Hemi and the other guys were in your car? You might have seen them in the mirror!

  3. flmikey

    I love that the interior looks original, and that the seller kept the original shifter in it, instead of going with some aftermarket racing piece of junk…very nice find…would love to own it…

  4. JW

    Lose the hood scoop and add some steelies and you have a monster sleeper. Nice car !!!

    • hoberg

      LIKE 👍 But the rubber to hook it up may be noticeable. Miss the up and downs in the comments.

  5. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Cool car. I would only use it on short trips though, like a quarter mile short trip. Looking forward to some comments on the price though, seems high to me.

  6. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Thumb up Howard! Great shot of Mr. Norms car also. Funny, growing up in Janesville we never went down to GSD. I do remember a couple of trips to Windy to go to, I believe it was called Warshauskis auto parts . A huge place. Kind of like J.C. Whitney. Thanks, Mike.

    • Sign Guy

      Warshawsky and J.C.Whitney= same.

  7. Don

    425 gross 360 net.

  8. Tom S.

    Nice car. I’d like to see it riding on vintage Keystone mags, though.

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