Put Up Or Shut Up Challenge: Snatch This '66 Coronet From The Crusher's Jaws!

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

We had plenty of wailing and gnashing of teeth over the fate of the cool cars I saw being eaten by The Crusher over the weekend. It’s too late for those cars, but here’s one that you can save! If you want the right to curse those who crush classic cars for a few bucks, your enraged thunderations will be more impressive if you rescue one yourself.

A guy I know just bought a bunch of cars that had been stored in a forgotten Denver warehouse since 1982, mostly to obtain a handful of seriously cool/valuable ones (such as a numbers-matching, low-mile, factory 383/4-speed ’69 Satellite coupe). Most of the others aren’t particularly collectible, so their most likely fate will be a trip to The Crusher; at $250/ton, most 1960s sedans are worth more as scrap than as project cars.

This Coronet is a tough call; it appears to have a freshly rebuilt engine and it’s damn near completely rust-free, but it’s a 4-door and the body and trim saw their share of wear and tear during the car’s 16 years of driving (yes, it has nearly twice as many years in storage as it has on the road). Its new owner could keep the engine and crush the rest, pocketing a few hundred bucks for the steel and whatever a Mopar small-block of mysterious provenance goes for these days, but he’d prefer to sell it to someone who could get it back on the street. I’d take it, but I’ve already got one ’66 Dodge project and don’t have room for another.

Since it’s a Chrysler B Body, restoration parts should be easy to obtain and it shares suspension/drivetrain components with vast quantities of Chrysler iron; as project cars go, it’s not particularly difficult. So, if you’re within towing range of Denver and you’d like to rescue a classic example of America’s automotive heritage for an easy three-figure price, shoot me an email and I’ll put you in touch with the seller.

Thanks to Rocket Surgeon Rich for the photos!

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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5 of 23 comments
  • William Penney William Penney on Mar 08, 2011

    Give me a price, location, and more info on the car. I have the money to save this but I don't want a car that dosen't run.

    • See 2 previous
    • 67dodgeman 67dodgeman on Mar 19, 2011

      William, no sarcasm here. If you're not familiar about the issues with cars that sit for long periods of time, you definitely don't want to pick one up like this. Here's a few tidbits to get you started. The Chrysler torq-flite transmission was horrible for drying out and then crapping out. If you let it sit for anytime at all, get ready for a rebuild. The brakes are shot. Trust me. You'll need to replace everything but the drums. I mean everything. Dry-rot is a bitch. Everything in the interior will need to be replaced. All the vinyl and plastic is shot. I know this without even looking. Plus, most if not all the wiring harness will need to be replaced. I'm facing that task with my own car and I really dread it. Anytime you need to move or adjust the wiring, the plastic insulation will crack and then short out. The tires will let you roll it on a trailer, but no more than that. Relatively minor, but I wrecked my first car not knowing that. Most engine stuff (carb rebuild, dried gaskets) is more simple to fix, but still there. Assuming there isn't a big mud-dabber in one of the cylinder heads. You'd almost want to pull and rebuild before firing it up, just in case. That's just the immediate stuff that comes to mind. IT really sounds like you need to find a runner that needs some TLC rather than an old time bomb needing a complete ground-up restoration. Good luck.

  • Rcousine Rcousine on Mar 11, 2011

    Say it with me: LeMons. LeMons! LeMons!!

  • Ras815 Their naming scheme is almost as idiotic as having a totally separate Polestar brand for EVs that look exactly like...de-badged Volvos. But you can tell it came from the same idiocy.
  • Dukeisduke "The EX naming convention is used for the automaker’s new and upcoming EVs, the EX30 and EX90."Only upcoming when they can figure out the software.
  • SCE to AUX I've always said that consumer/business pressures will reign in government decrees, as they have in the past in places like California. That state has moved the goalposts many times for "ZEV" mandates.But the problem is the depth of politicization of the EPA. Mfrs need continuity and long-term commitment to requirements, not living on a 4-year political cycle of who's in the White House and Congress. Your President - whomever that is - isn't going to be around forever.Ironically, backing off the gas means handing a greater lead to Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid, (and possibly H/K/G). The whiners have begun heavy investments whose ROI will be extended by years, and their EV sales will reduce even further.It's like the coach granting his players less practice time because they're tired, while the other team stays fit - that's how you lose the game.
  • Dukeisduke The administration is slowly dribbling out details of the change - it's like they don't want to piss off environmentalists, the auto manufacturers, or the UAW. John McElroy covered this very well in today's installment of Autoline Daily: AD #3751 - 2024 U.S. EV Sales Could Grow 43%; China Price War Spreads To ICE; U.S Vehicles Biggest Ever, Also Lowest CO2 - AutolineAlso, even though vehicles in the US have gotten larger, heavier, and more powerful (thanks to the shift away from sedans to trucks and SUVs), according to a year-end report by the EPA, in 2023, average fuel economy was at its highest ever, and CO2 emissions of new vehicles were at their lowest ever ( The 2023 EPA Automotive Trends Report: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Fuel Economy, and Technology since 1975, Executive Summary (EPA-420-S-23-002, December 2023 ).
  • Golden2husky How about real names instead of alphabet/numeric soup?