This is why Gearheads should consider getting the Dodge Coronet R/T

We’ve all heard of it Clevernesscoveted muscle cars through the Challenger and Charger. After all, these beasts are unmistakable on the street. But what about the Dodge Coronet?

While the introduction of the Dodge Challenger and Charger took place during the muscle car mania of the 1960s, the Coronet’s beginnings were a bit more humble than that. What began as a full-size vehicle offering from Dodge in 1949 quickly evolved into a muscle car contender that could hang with its fellow C-named cousins.

Real car enthusiasts see the charm in the design of the mid-century Coronet – a stylish take on the power of a muscle car. This vintage darling saw seven generations of American prowess, and in 1967 the Coronet saw something even more special. In particular, 1967 was the year Dodge introduced the Coronet R/T.

The R/T version of the Coronet is where the spirit of Dodge’s muscle car really shines. And while the Challenger and Charger may be more recognizable to gearboxes craving muscle cars, the 7.2-liter V8 engine under the hood of the Dodge Coronet R/T would like a word.

If you call yourself a gearhead, consider arming yourself with a Dodge Coronet R/T: here’s why.

Related: Auto Production Icon: The Real Story Behind Dodge

The Dodge Coronet takes classic Muscle Cars to a whole new level

A blue 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T version
through Hemmings

The Dodge Coronet may have survived its golden years as enviable muscle cars, but it didn’t start out that way. The Dodge Coronet was originally introduced in the late 1940s as a full-size, fully loaded sedan and coupe.

The Dodge Coronet also has a rich history spanning seven generations. The production years of the Coronet ran from 1949 to 1959 and were later picked up again in 1965 to 1976, including a number of desirable muscle car versions. One of the Dodge Coronet’s muscle car-style models was the R/T, which ran from 1967 to 1970.

The engines of the Muscle Car generation Coronets, also known as the fifth generation, varied greatly from one Coronet to the next. You might expect Chrysler’s 3.7-liter Slant 6 engine in Coronets of this era, or the mighty 7.2-liter “Magnum” V8. Since the Coronet R/T gets the Magnum V8 as standard, it’s no wonder we think of the Dodge Coronet R/T as much of a muscle car as the Charger or Challenger.

What is a Dodge Coronet R/T?

1967 Dodge Coronet R/T 426 Hemi Convertible parked
Via: Mecum

In 1967 Dodge introduced the Coronet R/T (Road/Track). The Coronet R/T is a 2-door muscle car available in a hardtop or convertible option, and featured a 440 cu in 7.2 liter V8 engine producing 375 horsepower. The only upgrade option at the time cost $908 (almost $8,000 in today’s purchasing power when you factor in inflation) for a powerful 425 horsepower 426 cu in Hemi.

The 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T was available with a three-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission or a four-speed manual transmission. Starting in 1967, Chrysler made the decision that the 426 Hemi would only be available for the Dodge Charger, Plymouth Belvedere GTX, and Coronet R/T.

This trend of exclusive engines continued into 1968, where that model year’s Coronet R/T was the only one with a 440 cu in RB V8. The last year for the Dodge Coronet R/T hardtop and convertible was 1970, but the limited numbers and great engine heritage make this a great choice for a muscle car gearbox.

RELATED: Original owner Coronet blasts past Challenger Scat Pack in Drag Race

What makes the Dodge Coronet R/T special?

Dodge Coronet R/T Convertible from 1967

Besides beastly engines, what else set the Dodge Coronet R/T apart from the rest?

For 1967, just over 10,000 hardtops were produced with the base 440 engine, and of the 426 Hemi, only 283 of these legendary convertibles were produced. In 1968, car enthusiasts produced nearly 11,000 Coronet R/Ts with the same base engine, and only 230 Hemi versions. 7,200 Coronet R/Ts were sold in 1969, 107 of which were the Hemi option. If you sense a pattern here, you’re not alone. 1970 was the last production year of the Coronet R/T, and in that year Dodge built 2,319 hardtops with only 17 Hemi versions.

The price ranges of the Dodge Coronet R/T are, frankly, all over the place! For the more common earlier models, you can probably get a Coronet R/T for around $35,000 to $45,000. Dodge Coronets that came in more limited numbers, like the lone 17 Hemis from 1970, could fetch the $150,000 range. The Coronet R/T is a great, no-frills muscle car for any gearhead considering a somewhat limited production car!

What is the difference between the Dodge Coronet R/T and the Dodge Super Bee?

1967 Dodge Coronet R/T Hemi 426 parked outside

Several Dodge Coronets have been available over the years. Some iterations of this massive power are more infamous than others. Two top contenders are the R/T and the Super Bee.

The Dodge Coronet R/T was the go-to model if you wanted a big engine and a true muscle car experience for the horsepower enthusiast. Those who still wanted the looks and feel of the Dodge Coronet R/T could opt for the Super Bee. Available for the Dodge Coronet in 1968 through 1971, the Super Bee was a stripped-down, no-frills version.

Due to the success with the Plymouth Road Runner and the high sales numbers, Dodge wanted to get in on the action. The Super Bee follows the Coronet with almost indistinguishable looks between both the Dodge and Plymouth Road Runner. The introduction of the Super Bee in 1968 came with a base 383 cu in V8 engine producing 335 horsepower. Hemi versions were available for the Super Bee and in 1971 there were 6 engines to choose from.

The Super Bee is a classic in its own right, but with the Dodge Coronet R/T gearheads have a not-so-typical flagship muscle car. If you’re looking for something different from a Ford Mustang, but just as stylish and even a little rare, the Coronet R/T is the place to be.

Sources: Bonhams, Old Cars Weekly, Supercars

Leave a Comment