I'd like to tell you about how I got my '65 Coronet 440.
I had been interested in owning a Dodge Charger for many years and in the Easter of 1999 I went to visit a good friend of mine in Arlington, Texas with the intention of returning to the U.K. with a restoreable Charger.
Things didn't turn out quite as I expected, I travelled as far afield as St. Louis to look at a '69 Charger, but I was not prepared to pay over the odds for a rotten car. After scouring the Internet and the local papers I decided on veiwing what the local car dealers had to offer.
I was directed and re-directed to various dealers until I got to Vintage Motors. I had very little knowledge of anything earlier than '68 Mopars at this stage but had read an article earlier that day about a restoration someone had undertaken on a '65 Belvedere. I spotted the Coronet and enquired about it.
It is a 1965 Dodge Coronet 2 door hardtop. The original 318 has been swapped for a 440 from a '66 Chrysler New Yorker and the 727 B trans. The engine runs very well but I feel that there may be more power with a few tweaks.
The interior has been altered - all the chrome has been sprayed black and the steering wheel has been swapped. I want to return the interior to as near to stock as possible but I am having terrible trouble finding any parts.( At the moment I really need a set of window winders and door lock knobs.)
Although it may sound bad all the alterations have been done fairly well. I intend to run the car until winter 2001 then take it off the road for a complete restoration.
In its past life it has been drag raced - there is a battery mount in the trunk and a propshaft catcher has been fitted and cut off and all the sound deadening has been removed - and that is why it is probably in fairly good condition. When I restore the car I would like to return the interior to as stock as possible, keep the exterior as stock as possible apart from the wheels and paint colour, and up-rate the engine, brakes and suspension to as modern as possible.
I am taking the car to a Mopar show in June where I will get a chance to race it (my first time) and I will let you know how I get on.
I think that the web-site you have put together is fantastic and it has given me a great deal of encouragment to get the little problems sorted out on my car and get it registered over here. The site has been very useful to learn some of the history of these older cars and I hope you can keep expanding the site as you have done to incorporate more cars and more history.
I shall write again when I have more time
I'm glad you passed on that rusty Charger and snapped up a clean '65! Chargers are okay, but rust is very expensive to repair.
Having this car where you live must present extra problems of parts and repair.
But it certainly is something that you won't see every day!
Congratulations on your find. Keep us posted as to your progress, please!
Page created May 13, 2000