CC Capsule: 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T Convertible – Subtle Changes, Big Engine

CC 53 083 1200

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.

CC 53 078 1200

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.

CC 53 075 900

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.

CC 53 077 1200

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.

CC 53 079 1200

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.

CC 53 080 1200