1968 Dodge Coronet 500: Heavy workhorse

1968 Dodge Coronet 500: Heavy workhorse

Engine V8 Horsepower 230 BHP (169.28 KW) @ 4400 RPMDisplacement 5211 ccs | 5.2 LEngine Location FrontDrive Type RWDTransmission 3-speed manual, 4-speed manual, 3-speed automatic Torque-Flite

The “muscular” Coronet of the late 60s won more than one young heart striving for speed. Its brutal profile in the famous “Coca-Cola” shape, angular fenders, and curved waistline that emphasized the protrusions on the rear wheel arches with two decorative air ducts became the image of a real muscle car. 

Source: Kimballstock

The heyday of inexpensive muscle cars came in the second half of the 60s, giving rise to а number of legendary automobiles that forever remained in the history of the automotive industry. Car & Driver magazine called such automobiles “Econo-racer,” aka – “economic racer”:  the muscle cars like Road Runner, Charger, or the same Coronet perfectly fitted this title and were prominent representatives of this phenomenon. With a minimum budget, it was possible to get a vehicle with a minimum of comfort but with maximum power and torque, a reinforced suspension, and improved steering. In a word – the king of crazy racing!

The origins

Source: Flickr

This model appeared in the active post-war years, in 1949th. Then, Dodge, Plymouth, DeSoto, and Chrysler underwent a complete restyling for the first time since 1941. Dodge’s first lineup consisted of three series: the budget Wayfarer, the intermediate Meadowbrook, and the prestigious Coronet. The prestigious series was sold in the form of a 6-seat coupe, 6-seat convertible, 4-door 6-seat sedan, 4-door 8-seat sedan, and 5-door station wagon with a wooden body. In the early 50s, another body appeared – the Diplomat 2-door hardtop, which had no side roof pillars, and a panoramic rear window was divided into three sections. The main news in 1953 was the first V8 engine in the brand’s history – an overhead valve Red Ram V8 241 with hemispherical combustion chambers. This unit was only available on the Coronet, which was indicated by a decorative “V” opening in the hood. The 60s were marked by the cancellation of the full-size Coronet model, but already in 1965, it introduced a new, now mid-size automobile under the same name. The vehicle received a load-bearing body with a front subframe, an independent front suspension on longitudinal torsion bars, and a leading rear axle on semi-elliptical springs. The model line consisted of three series with different finishes – base, 440th, and 500th (hardtop coupe, convertible). The 500th had bucket-shaped front seats with a center console, padded instrument panel, power windows, and a heater. It was equipped with a 4.5-liter V8 273 engine with a capacity of 180 hp. In 1968, the car underwent another restyling.

The 1968 model year

Source: RacingJunk

In 1968, Chrysler Corporation made a massive update to the B-body for mid-size Dodge and Plymouth models. The supporting structure and wheelbase (117-inch/2972 mm) were retained. The 1968 Coronet was developed on the same platform as the Charger. Its design was brutal, in the form of a Coca-Cola bottle, famous in those years, although compared to the Charger, it had less pronounced lines. The curve of the car’s waistline was emphasized by the protrusions above the rear wheel arches with two decorative air ducts, while the Charger had them on the doors. The automobile was produced in five series, of which the base was built in the coupe, sedan, and station wagon, 440 – hardtop coupe, sedan, station wagon, 500th – hardtop coupe, sedan, convertible, a station wagon with wood side panels, R/T – hardtop coupe, convertible and Super Bee – coupe, hardtop coupe. The model had large chrome bumpers, a narrow grille, a ribbed tail panel with delta-shaped three-section lights, a flat trunk lid, and open twin headlights. It was equipped with a standard 5.2-liter V8 318 engine with 230 hp, a 3-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission, and a 4-speed manual transmission with a floor lever. For an additional payment, another 6.3-liter V8 383 or a 7.2-liter Magnum V8 440 with 375 hp engines were offered. Moreover, a 7.2-liter Magnum V8 was included in the R/T package. A 7-liter Hemi V8 426 powertrain was offered as an option for $605. Оnly the Coronet 500 and R/T had center console bucket front seats.

Did you know?

Source: North Shore Classics

The 1968 Dodge Coronet 500 was featured in several Hollywood movies, including “Bullitt” (1968), “Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry” (1974), “Vanishing Point” (1971), “Two-Lane Blacktop” (1971), “The French Connection” (1971). These films helped popularize the Coronet 500 and contributed to its status as a classic American muscle car.

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1968 Dodge Coronet 500: Heavy workhorse

Engine V8 Horsepower 230 BHP (169.28 KW) @ 4400 RPMDisplacement 5211 ccs | 5.2 LEngine Location FrontDrive Type RWDTransmission 3-speed manual, 4-speed manual, 3-speed automatic Torque-Flite

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