Friday, April 4, 2014

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1968 Dodge Coronet 440

Oh boy, if cars could talk. The 1968 Dodge Coronet sedan was not a particularly exciting vehicle, but I find this one fascinating.

The Coronet was Dodge's midsize offering for 1968 and received a full redesign which gave it more of a Coke-bottle shape. All Dodges that year got small round side marker lights to meet the new federal standards. The Coronet 440 was a mid-range trim level slotting below the Coronet 500; contrary to logical assumption, the 440 was not available with the 440 cubic inch Magnum V8. The 440 was only offered in the Coronet R/T.

I have no way of knowing which engine sits under the hood of this weathered brown sedan. It has a single exhaust pipe hidden under the rear end, but only about 8,200 of 103,500 Coronet 440s were six-cylinder cars, so a small-block V8 is likely in this example. It appears to be a lifelong San Francisco car, purchased at Fred R. Nichols Dodge (1506 Valencia St.) in the city. It's spent time at the Treasure Island Naval Station, likely as a Navy man's daily driver. It's all original down to the hubcaps, chrome rub strips and black California license plates. And amazingly, it appears not to have been washed in a very long time. From other photos I've seen of this car on Flickr, it has a friend, a slightly older white Coronet 440 wagon in similar condition. It really should be cleaned to take off all that mess of moss, though with this level of hard-earned patina that most cars will never see, I'd be scared to do it.

1 comment:

  1. I WANT THIS DODGE!!! This is absolutely amazing Jay. Can't believe that the owner hasn't made any attempt to wash it. AT ALL! I see it has the typical rust rot around the rear window, peeling chrome bumper and rusted out trunk lid, but nothing that couldn't be fixed. I can almost see the Mad Max fans drooling for this one. Can't believe how well it sits.