based on early '60's Mopar Logo

1965 Dodge Coronet 500

Eric writes:

I’m 21 and a proud owner of a Dodge Coronet 500. I found this car while looking for early 70's Mopar, but found that I enjoyed Dodge’s mid 60's interior and dash motif much more than the bland look of wood grain in the late muscle models. There’s just something special about that era when the interior wanted to resemble something short of a rocket ship. This baby has a tired out poly-318 with 216K miles put on in paired to a reliable 727 tranny, but the car came with a '69 New Yorker 383 the previous owner never had the motivation to rebuild. While the car’s power plant needs attention sometime soon, the 318 still powers me to and fro everyday, so my focus began with the car’s insides.

1965 Dodge Coronet 500 front view 1965 Dodge Coronet 500 engine view

I’m a computer science student at the University of Washington and a car junkie so a mix of the two was going to be inevitable. I started out with a sound system. The original AM/FM came with the car, but was stuffed under the seat to make room for a JVC Head Unit the previous owner self-installed. I decided to start fresh and purchased a Pioneer DEH-P7400 Head Unit capable of 50W to 4 channels and mp3 playback. A pair of Infinity 6.5" speakers compliment the front and Infinity 6x9's handle the mid-range in the back. For some extra bass juice, I installed a 10" Kicker Solobaric L7 powered by a JL Audio 500 mono amp in the trunk. With the sound system installed, I got hungrier and installed a MA Audio 6.4" LCD screen just below the Pioneer Head Unit and with the help of a DC converter unit, a Playstation 2 unit mounted in the glove box.

I don’t exactly use it while on the road, but my passengers get the option of playing video games or watching DVD movies while I muscle down the road. I’d love to find an independent computer that can monitor RPM’s, fuel mixture, temperatures and the like and display them on my screen. If anyone knows where I can find something like that, email please! I tried adding a home computer to the car at one point, mainly for movies, music, and GPS, but I didn’t like the results. My interior finally seems comfortable enough and my focus is now on the 383 rebuild. 1965 Dodge Coronet 500 interior

1965 Dodge Coronet 500 sode view

I’ve started on the 383 rebuild but found I had rust building in one of the piston chambers. I’m out to have the block and heads checked and from there I should know wether or not I’ll be able to use the 383 or not. Mopar Magazine had a great future article in their August and September 2002 magazines where they squeezed 450HP out of a 383 with simple bolt-ons. Anyone looking to preformance-ize their 383 should check it out, I’m using it as a guideline.

The car’s exterior needs attention as well. The previous owner survived a wreak, but the car still tells the story. Paint was applied cheaply and trim pieces will need to be replaced. I’m currently seeking parts on ebay day by day, but if anyone knows a place that’s got trim pieces galore, give me a holler. Body work and paint will be done as soon as a viable engine replacement is installed. The body and paint job on my Corvair exceeded $3000 and I wouldn’t want anything less for this car, but with the way a college student obtains money, paint could be far off.

I’m not a purist when it comes to restoring my Dodge Coronet (I was with the Corvair), I bought it as a daily and it’ll remain that way. I love the car deeply though and its not about to get treated as second class.

1965 Dodge Coronet 500 rear pass side view

Thanks, Eric!

You've got it right! Have fun with the Dodge and have some long range plans for the car.  smile!

Gary H.

August 16, 2002

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