Jim Cavanaugh’s superb paean to the mid-sixties Chrysler B-Bodies via today’s ’66 Coronet convertible CC makes this quite similar ’67 Coronet R/T rather redundant, as the changes were subtle but still noteworthy. So we’ll go light on the text, and heavy on the lipstick-red pictures and cubic inches.
Needless to say, the ’67 Coronet recieved mainly a cleaned-up grille with the lights at the outer ends, as well as a similarly-cleaned up rear “grille”. The front end now had a much greater similarity to that of the Charger, minus the hidden headlights–a small but definite improvement over the somewhat fussy ’66 front end.
The big news in the model lineup was the new R/T, a rather belated jump into the “muscle car” category pioneered by the GTO. Of course, Chrysler had been there all along; one could say they pioneered the category by offering their biggest engines in the downsized full-size ’62 cars, which were the terrors of the drag strips with their 413 cross-rams, 426 Mighty Wedges, and 426 Hemis.
It’s just that they were engine options, and not part of a complete package as were the GTO and such. Nevertheless, the R/T packed the wallop of a standard 375-hp 440 wedge–and also offered an optional 426 Hemi. Given the Hemi’s need to rev, the torque-licious 440 was considered the better street choice.
By this time, GM was flush with superb engines and transmissions throughout all their brands. Still, it was hard to top the 440’s massive torque, especially since the 1967 GM intermediates’ engines remained limited to 400 cu. in. maximum displacement. What’s more, the superb heavy-duty 727A Torqueflite was unbeatable, even on the strip. Mopar performance cars always had a much higher ratio of automatics to sticks than GM or Ford muscle cars, and with good reason.
When I had my first gas station job on Saturdays, the mechanic who worked there during the week would drop by to do a bit of work on his very similar ’67 Plymouth GTX coupe. His bored GF would sit for hours in the passenger seat, doing her nails while he attended to his first love. Times change. Once he gave me a highly memorable ride, featuring what was undoubtedly the fastest automotive acceleration my 15-year-old body had so far experienced.
By an odd coincidence, the owner of this tiny, two-pump Sunoco station also owned a small taxi company, and all of the cabs were Coronets: a number of tired-ish ’65s, several 66s, and one ’67. The 65s were all slant sixes, but curiously, a couple of ’66s and the ’67 were 318 V8s. I used to get up extra early on Saturday mornings to take the cabs out for a few early-morning exercise spins before I had to open the station. The ’67 LA 318 was noticeably peppier than the ’66 Polyspheric 318, although both were rated at 230 hp. The LA pulled harder for a longer time, and had better-breathing heads on it for sure. It confirmed why I always thought my Mom’s ’65 Coronet was a bit of a dog.
Of course, none of this taxi-cab business applies to this fine ’67 Convertible, which is enjoying a warm and sunny day and packing that big Magnum 440.
I like it even more than the silver one!
Me too: what a knockout!
The tail-panel owns me.
+1 here too!
I agree with your assessment of the trim details on the 1966 and 67 versions of the car. The 67 made small changes that remedied some of the clunkier details on the 66.
I spent a lot of wheel time in a pair of Plymouth Furys with the wide block (or A block) 318 – a 59 and a 66. They were decent enough engines, but you are right – nothing special in their performance (they were, however, legendary for their durability). When the LA block came in 1967 (lightweight A block) it was a stormer.
As much time as I spent in the big C bodies and in the small A bodies, my B body time was quite limited. Most of it was maybe a half dozen drives in a 1970 Coronet wagon (with a 383) that was used by the pizza shop I delivered for in college. The owner kept the Coronet as a spare “shop car” for when a driver’s regular ride was indisposed. I remember the Coronet as extremely rigid in structure (unusual for a wagon) and really quite fast with that 383. 30 minutes or less (a lot less) was no problem in that Dodge. 🙂
Usually I think Cragars are a bit flash, but they look just right on this car, a hint that it’ll eat your lunch. Nice, clean late-’60s Chrysler styling. Mom had a ’69 318 Satellite, but I was too young to appreciate it.
I agree. I thought Cragars were the end all and be all in high school. But they really look good on this car. I wish I had this in high school!
Those are not Cragar S/S wheels, they appear to be American Racing brand, the current version of the 200S.
That’s beautiful. 1967 and 1970, with it’s love-it-or-hate-it front end redesign, are my favorite years for the Coronet.
I just wish I had time to hammer-out an article right now to keep the Mopar convertible theme going.
At last another 70 fan!A panther pink Superbee for me,Barbie’s muscle car!
I’m OK with the bright yellow and Sublime green or even Plum Crazy purple, but no pink cars for me thank you.
Love this car! Would love to see this in a British Racing Green and matching steelies and baby moons. [i’m swooning].
I’m inherently partial to the ’67s – I love my 318 wagon. Fun fact: the first-year-run 1967 LA 318s were the only 318s until the mid 80s to run closed-chamber heads. Regardless of how overstated Mopar compression ratios are, the 67 318s have higher compression than any others up until the 80s. Adding a small cam and a 4 barrel really makes them go!
As a guy who has a thing for wagons anyway, I say you have one cool car. I love the basic shape of those wagons. Another commenter noted earlier today that this is one of those cars where every single body style is styled and proportioned just right. Also, I did not know this fact about the 1967-only design of the 318’s heads. Very interesting. Somehow, out of all the old Mopars that have passed through my hands, there was not a single LA engine in the bunch. The closest I ever came was when I strongly considered buying a 71 Polara sedan with a 360 a few years ago.
The “302” heads from the 80s can be ported to make 318s put out some serious power. Hot Rod got 375 hp out of a totally stock 318 from a 120k mi Diplomat with just a no-bore rering, head work and a Comp 268 cam.
Then of course there’s the kits for 360s to make them 408 strokers – lawd have mercy
Wow, that’s nice. Kudos to you for keeping it original.
Well, it’s not ALL original… as I noted to Paul, the wheels are not original (but I really like how they look) and it is definitely not staying mechanically original. It has a pretty neat history though. The car came with the Certi-Card still in its holder by the radiator – I was able to track down the daughter of the original owner on Facebook. The car was bought for her mom, who was too short for a full-size wagon (this thing is already just a foot shy of a mid-2000s Suburban so I can’t imagine how huge a Polara wagon would have been). Western Washington car its whole life, kids learned to drive in it and everything.
I bought it off an Audi sales manager two years ago who replaced the front left fender and original carpet (original dash, seats, and plastic on the inside though – red! http://i.imgur.com/X68of.jpg)
I just rolled it over 110,000 miles a few months ago, original TorqueFlite still shifts right and the original engine still doesn’t smoke, oil pressure is still strong, valves don’t appear to have sunk based on stem height. Oil leaks but not much more than a few quarter’s worth on the floor in between weekends.
Hence I had no qualms about putting a cam and a 4 barrel in it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJMXl09IAEs plus others on my channel) 🙂
I’m also starting to add on better suspension – not Hotchkis Challenger-level stuff but enough to surprise people/be at least modern-pickup-level safe. Not changing the outside though save for wider tires.
What size and width are your wheels? They look a bit larger and wider than original. 15×6″? Or? And love those tiny hubcaps.
Very nice wagon. I’m partial to the ’67s too. And that may well explain why the ’67 318 I drove a few times felt so strong. More like a 250+ hp engine.
They’re 15×6 off of a later Ram/D-series pickup. I’m not sure exactly what the hubcaps are off of (came with the car) but they have the Dodge triangle on them so they can’t be too much newer. The car came with 14 inch wheels and some rather unattractive full-face hubcaps that I sold off to a guy who came by in a Rampage. I’m eventually getting wider tires for it – I’m keeping the outward appearance the same but slowly building it out to be a bit of a handling sleeper (for what it is, at least). Hellwig rear anti-roll bar comes tomorrow!
I”m doubting that those are 6″ wide wheels. They are not stock wheels they have been “reversed” so that the drop, for mounting the tire, is to the front instead of the back of the center.
I know that the conventional wisdom was that these were too straight and plain to compete with the GM mid-sizes of ’67, but I don’t care. I really like the look. I’d have this in a heartbeat.
All hale the mighty Mopar!!!
I’ve never seen a convertible ’66-’67 Coronet convertible in the flesh that I can recall, let alone an R/T. Very nice. And I’m glad to see appropriate wheels and tires instead of some absurdly large rims with rubber bands around them. Nice ride for sure.
Back in the mid 70’s my brother had a 67 Coronet 440 sedan that was turquoise in color 318/ automatic, while I had a 2 door 68 Coronet 500 same 318/automatic drive train.
My Coronet also had the same red /black color combo as the Coronet featured in this Curbside Classics
I thought my 68 was way neater looking than my brothers 67, but truth be told his Coronet was twice the car quality wise.
She has a gorgeous shape. Why do ladies always look so lovely in cherry red?
What a fantastic car. Its symmetrical coke bottle lines, with identical groovy grilles at each end, is literally tubular. Fast, like the air flies right through it. Totally tubular, dude.
I really like the lines on this car. Every car now days seems to be trying to emulate an egg, I don’t care for it
My favorite Mopars, both the 66 and 67 Coronets. I even love the Coronet wagon. A 67 R/T would look wonderful as the Dodge in my garage!
How interesting to go online and see MY car in this article….