One of my hopes in starting CC was to be able to find the cars of my childhood and youth (yes, I have a strong nostalgic streak), to use the pictures in my Auto-Biography series and really bring it to life. That mostly hasn’t happened. The closest I’ve gotten was the 1962 Fairlane; I found a black 500 model; we had the stripper, natch. And I’ve long given up hope on finding a green Kadett A.
But the first car I ever drove (illicitly), our ’65 Coronet 440 wagon, seemed like a more realistic goal, but no luck yet. So when I came across these images (at chromjuwelen.com) from an expired Craigslist ad, of one the exact same beige color as ours, I had to snatch them. Even better yet, it has something a bit more ambitious under the hood than the lowly 318 ours had; those rear tires are the giveaway. I used to imagine that the “440” stood for a 440 wedge under the hood. In this case, it almost does; Coronet 470, anyone?
Yes, there’s a stroker big wedge under the hood, packing 470 cubic inches and some 600 hp, which replaced the original 318. This car allegedly ran the quarter in 10.98 and 121 mph. Now that would have been just the thing for my fifteen-year old lead foot. Color me gone…
Inside, you’d never know what was under the hood. They even kept the column shift for the Cope Pro Street Torqueflite. Nice. Now I know this isn’t really our old wagon, because this one came with air conditioning (not working), and a radio. Ours didn’t. The only reason my dad bought the 440-trim Coronet is because they didn’t build a nine-passenger version of the stripper Coronet. I eventually persuaded my mom to let me install a used 8-track player in the dash I’d picked up cheap somewhere, which was a bit of a hack job, and the trim panel had to be discarded. In retrospect, I’m amazed she let me do that, but by then the wagon was getting a bit elderly. I only had a handful of 8 tracks, the one I remember most was Led Zeppelin.
It’s probably a good thing there wasn’t a 440 or 470 under the hood of our wagon,as I seriously doubt I’d be here today to reminisce on that subject.