Jose Luis Herrera sent me these shots of an Argentine Dodge Coronado, which was built there from 1968 or 1969 all the way to 1981. It’s a restyled Dodge Dart, and it was essentially Chrysler’s top tier car in Argentina. It was also built as the Dodge 3700 GT in Spain, by Chrysler affiliate Barrieros. Goodies such as disc brakes and a four speed stick were part of the equation, along with the 225 (3.7 L) slant six.
Here’s a look at its rear end. It was a tasteful restyle, presumably done in Argentina.
The front end varied a bit over the years, this one sporting Euro-style composite headlights (I assume).
Here’s an ad or brochure page, with its specs. I might have expected a higher-output version of the slant six, but it appears to be the same 145 hp version we got, minus any emission controls.
Jose suggested that the Coronado was something of a restyled B-Body Coronet; not so; it’s based on the A-Body Dart, with its 111″ wheelbase.
Interesting how car names get moved around. This car is a far cry from 1955 tri tone DeSoto Coronado . In 56, DeSoto used Seville for a hardtop. Cadillac had rights to the name, so DeSoto quietly dropped it. New Yorker, Imperial, LeBaron,and Diplomat were all used for different types of vehicles by Chrysler. Think 🤔 Chrysler took the lead for recycling car names! Although Cadillac Eldorado, Fleetwood, and Seville were a close second! 😉
A fun thing about the Coronado/3700: it is a rebody of the narrower up-to-’66 U.S. A-body, not the wider ’67-up. Parts that look like duplicates of American equipment, such as what we know as the rallye instrument panel, are in fact unique. The headlamps on the Argentinian car are Renault 12 items (+ Ford GT40; Saab 99, and a stack of others). The 3700GT did have a hotter motor, with the likes of a 2-barrel carburetor and higher compression; similar setups were available on the Coronado and its derivatives in some years—apparently not this one in the brochure—in Argentina. If this is an ’81, it was made after VW bought Chrysler’s Argentine operations and discontinued the Chrysler designs after using up the parts on hand.
Looks like an Opel Record in the brochure.
¿Que? What do you see that looks like an Opel Rekord?
I’d concur – there’s a definite Opel Rekord C look to this, perhaps emphasised by the vinyl roof and the kink on the end of the front clip by the headlamps.
The styling was made by Chrysler in the US. It also came with a Coupé version that is very interesting equipped also with the 318 ci V8. The cars depicted here appear to be the latter versions. Earlier ones had an aluminium grille with an elaborate design and different taillights. Their selling point was the excellent Slant Six and the novelty of the AT (first of its kind in the market).
The stripped one was called Dodge Valiant, the middle ground Polara, the full-luxury Coronado and the sporty GT (discontinued after the introduction of the coupés).
Last ones were made in 1980 and VW Argentina continued the production of trucks with Perkins engines up to 82.
These were very expensive cars for the average Argie. Production averaged at 1000 units per year, that’s why it was more sensible to restyle over the A body than introduce a full new model. But they were (and still are) very much appreciated.
They are part of “the big four of the 70s” along the Rambler Ambassador, Ford Fairlane (Torino in the US) and the Chevrolet Chevy (Nova in the US).
And the coupe inherited the GTX monicker. Here’s one GTX featured in an Argentine movie titled “Commando Azules”.
At 3:53, it appears that a Simca GLS powered by a Ford flathead V-8 with hemispherical combustion chambers passes the Celica by
There is a 1969 Dodge 3700 GT up for auction Belgium. Plenty of good pictures. It has a nice interior, not sure about those head lamps!
That’s the car sold by Barreiros prior to the 3700GT talked about in this post. As you can see, it’s based on the U.S. ’66 Dart. The Coronado-based 3700GT came in for ’70.
And me, I vote in strong favour of those big oblong headlamps along with the rest of the upgrades made in Spain to the ’66 Dart.
More pictures and info here:
Are those the same headlights as fitted to the Chrysler 160/180/2 litre, also made in Spain?
I’m sure Daniel will know. But the timeframes are different. This is a ’69, and the Chrysler you mention appeared as a substitute to the 3700 that came later.
No, those “Chrysler” models used a headlamp smaller in both dimensions than either this pre-’70 Spanish Dart (which has a version of the headlamp designed for the Opel Rekord C) or the ’70-up Spanish 3700 (Renault 12/etc).
Also (the later headlights) on the Aussie Chrysler Valiant – I think.
No, those were smaller still—180 × 130mm Lucas sealed beams.
Shared with the Hillman Hunter?
The front reminds me of a Hillman Hunter (square headlight version).
The rest of it reminds me of the 1966-‘7 Oldsmobile intermediates. I’m surprised that GM didn’t sue. But then again, why bother collecting damages in Argentine Pesos?
There were several versions of these cars, including a Coupe and GTX with a 318. But yes, the sedans were all slant sixes. Some were delivered with a Perkins for taxi usage, and many of those found their way to Montevideo around 1971. Their roof was really low, but the car was comfortable. I don’t remember them as new cars, I probably rode in them as 10 year old beaten down cabs. The Perkins, which was a 4236 probably, would let you make a blend using the gearshift as a knob in a jar. By that time, many had floor shift. I think some came with their native 3 on the three behind the Perkins.
The brochure is probably for one of the latter models, around 75, which offered many niceties including automatic, ps, and air cond.
I have a lifelong friend who lives in Alicante, Spain. He’s showed me photos of a Barreiros Dodge 3700 GT that an elderly lady still drives around town. Apparently this was an expensive car in Spain, and very few were sold due to the high yearly taxes. He says the car has a slant 6 with a 4-barrel carb and 4-speed on the floor, with a very luxurious looking bench seat interior. He said the 4-speed trans is not the same as the 4 speed in the USA cars. It also has the older tail lights with the curved outer edge, and if I remember correctly, the large square headlights.
They came with a Carter BBD two-barrel, not a four-barrel carburetor. It sounds like you’re describing the pre-’70 car (gussied-up ’66 Dart, as shown in the pics posted by Dion, and now by yourself as well), not the ’70-up 3700GT based on the Coronado.
A few years ago he sent me photos of a Barreiros Dodge 3700 GT in a shed, the roof falling in. He said the car had very little road use, and has been in the shed for 30 years or more.
Here’s a close-up of the Barreiros logo
Interesting car, I like it although the pictured one looks a little rough .
the Spanish advert says the manual transmission is a three speed column shift .
That shed car in Spain might make a wonderful hobby car in the U.S.A. ~ you’d never see another one at the Cars & Coffee =8-) .
“Slant 6”, no emissions, bric a brac? Sounds awesome!
I wouldn’t mind one of those in my driveway!
That comparably plush interior featured in that brochure page appears to be Simcaesque, reminding me of a Spanish-built higher-end Talbot I once have seen in a southern French scrapyard. It’s saddening that Chrysler Corporation decided to use cheaper interior materials for their North American versions instead. If this decision was determined by production costs, importing seating and door panels from Argentina would certainly have been less expensive, given lower Argentine labor- and general production costs
I think these, (sedans and especially the GTX coupes) are the best looking of all Chrysler’s A body cars, right along with the 2nd gen Barracudas.
I wish we had built these in Australia instead of the local fuselage cars, which were not popular anyway.
All the awkward details I see in the US Dart sedans have been smoothed out and the car becomes attractive, I would love to know the full story of how these cars came about.
One of these became famous (or is that infamous?) in December 1973 when a 3700 GT carrying Carrero Blanco, the Spanish Prime minister was blown up by a bomb placed underneath a road and blown 20 meters (66 feet) in the air up over a 5 story building landing on the 2nd story courtyard on the other side, he survived the blast but died soon after.
The wreck still exists and has been displayed in a museum.
Yeah however the Aussie Charger got some popularity. I wonder if they would still create a Charger Down Under had Chrysler Australia used the Argentinian A-body?
You are correct Stephane, the Charger was the one bright spot for the Australian Valiant in the 70s.
And even though I personally like this cars styling, I don’t think it would have fared any better than the cars we did build here.
So the Charger would have been needed.