1965 Dodge Coronet 500
March 2012 Mopar of the Month
Bob writes: This Mopar is a pretty special Dodge, a 1965 Coronet 500 with 33,000 actual miles. This car was bought new at Valley Motors in Auburn Washington on November 25th, 1964 by George Orlando of Tacoma Washinton. George bought two Coronet 500s that day, a white one for his daily use, and this red one that would be his special car, reserved for sunny days (rare in Tacoma) and vacation road trips. Although used sparingly, George was meticulous about maintenance and exercising the car regularly. Along with other documents, he kept a log of his travels in this car, with entries about work performed, mileage, nature of the trip taken, how the car was running, etc. It seems unfathomable in todays busy world that anyone would take the time to chronicle their relationship with an automobile, but this was no ordinary car to George. Covered under blankets when not in use, this car has been garaged since day one.
George passed in 1998 and his widow couldnt bear to sell the Dodge, so there it sat, still under blankets in the garage. In 2010 it came time to sell the home, so after 45 years the Coronet 500 was put up for sale. Thankfully it was sold to the right person, a dedicated Mopar enthusiast who wasnt really in the market but couldnt pass up this incredible low mile car. With an eye towards detail and a careful hand, this Dodge was put back on the road. A new water pump, new master and wheel cylinders, shocks, exhaust, hose and belts -- all of the age-related items were replaced and the originals kept. What remains is a time capsule on four wheels, a car that is very close to showroom new, and still carries the mark of the owner who took so much pride in it.
A set of Magnum 500s and Radial T/As were added by the second owner, but the original wheels and hubcaps are still with the car. Other than that, the Dodge is exactly as it was. Whats most impressive about this Dodge is the paint, its 100% original. At first glance youd swear it was a repaint, it has the requisite orange peel, the small application flaws here and there, etc. However when you really start looking closely, theres no evidence of paint work anywhere. No tape lines, no overspray, no areas of blending, nothing. This really perplexed me - how could a 47 year old car with single stage enamel paint (in red!) last this long? I took the car to my painter to get an opinion based on his 40 years of experience. It had the same effect on him, a growing amazement when you come to realize it's all original.
All of the cars brightwork is in excellent condtion with no trace of pitting. The fragile anodized grill is in terrific shape. All signal lenses are clean and clear. All of the stainless trim on the car is arrow straight with zero dings. The cars body does has a few small dings scattered about but no areas with any real damage. The Dodge has no problems with rust anywhere, zero, zip, nada. Both bumpers are straight and true, still with good lustre and no pitting. All of the glass is crystal clear and in super condition. All of the weatherstripping on the car looks like new, just very impressive.
- The trunk carries the same level of originality with no rust issues or evidence of water damage.
- Included with the car is an impressive array of documentation. In addition to Georges notes are the original window sticker, bill of sale, instruction tags, 2 sets of keys, the original title returned from the DMV to the 2nd owner, as well as two build sheets and an owners manual in mint condition.
- The interior reflects 33K miles, everything is original and in terrific condition.
- Perfect steering wheel with no flaws. Beautiful dash pad with no cracks.
- Unused ash tray. Heater and fan function correctly, but clock no longer works. Radio functions great. Glovebox door carries a magnetic St. Christophers medallion, inscribed on the back is from Mother, 7-15-72. The warranty cards last entry is from 11-9-1968 with a mileage notation of 4266.7
- Excellent center console. The drivers seat squab could use cleaning, I believe it would brighten up immediately with some Simple Green but I was reluctant to alter it in any way.
- The headliner is totally unmarked with no staining or tears.
- Exceptional door panels and jambs.
- Door hardware, sill plates, weatherstripping, all excellent.
- The 318 fires to life right away and sounds great.
- The second owner had the transmission resealed, it shifts perfectly and does not leak, nor does the motor, this car will not mark up a garage floor.
- The car brakes well, tracks straight and runs cool.
- Lots of nice original details throughout the engine bay.
- Tucked behind the wiring loom on the radiator support is a notation from George showing that coolant was added on 6-27-88 at 27,083 miles. Hidden behind that is another notation, this one from 11-1-79 at 19,796 miles.
- The original wheels and hubcaps are still with the Dodge.
- The undercarriage shows no rust issues or damage.
- New shocks and a new exhaust from the manifolds back.
The Dodge runs and drives just as you would expect from the miles, it is a pleasure to drive.
Contact Bob at Cascadia Classic. SOLD! Note: Bob has recently
sold this Dodge to a long-time Mopar collector in Missouri.
View Bobs Cascadia Classic Blog
Great find and this car deserves a dedicated-Mopar owner!