By on March 7, 2011

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!

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23 Comments on “Put Up Or Shut Up Challenge: Snatch This ’66 Coronet From The Crusher’s Jaws!...”

  • avatar

    Old Coot Approved

  • avatar

    This one really hurts.. You just had to post this on a dreary Monday morning.. :(

  • avatar

    There’s no better way to save a car than to buy a fixer-upper and park it in your front yard for 20 or 30 years.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Well if it weren’t for the fact that I have lots of desire for this project but no money…

  • avatar

    As a current and long-time owner of a 1967 Coronet 500, I can tell you several things. First, the ’66 and ’67 are the worst years to collect as the body parts and trim are non-existent. Either get a ’65 or a ’68 and later. This being a 440 model it is a little more common, but still not the most desirable. You’d want the 500 model or the R/T for a real collector. As a fixer upper you are mostly wasting time on this. If you want to convert to a big block, there’s a lot more involved than just an engine swap, enough so that I’d keep looking.  

    However, the factory A/C is easily worth more than the car. Pull the dash, all vents, all under dash components, compressor, pulleys, condenser, expansion valve, dryer, hoses, etc. and you’ll have easily $1000 plus worth of parts to sell to someone with a big block ’66 looking to upgrade. Maybe more. Maybe a LOT more depending on overall condition.

    The factory glass is also valuable, as I’m looking for a new windshield (several rock chips, no crack yet) and prices are high – when you can find one. The front glass should fit all 2 door models, not sure about the rear.

    Then the engine, as mention. Then pull all window cranks, door handles, dash knobs, chrome dodads, etc. and sell on ebay. Bottom line, this car is worth maybe $3000 or more parted out, almost nothing as a project.

  • avatar

    Mmmm, four wheel drum brakes, single-circuit master cylinder, NON-power assisted . . .

    I agree that the engine/trans should be pulled, oh, and that white wheel on the right front is a heavy-duty police rim (you can tell by the size of the oval openings) and those are getting pretty scarce as well.

  • avatar

    One day I’ll pull one of these old car from the crusher in Brazil. Just don’t have, the space, time or money quite yet. But one day…I’ll just keep complaining of people killing beautiful cars…

  • avatar

    I have 30 cars in my yard right now.  What would one more be?  Oh wait…its 2000 miles away.

    Most of what I’ve got have been rescues such as this one, picked up for a couple hundred dollars to save them from the crusher.  No, I don’t have time to work on them all, and yes, I’d sell most of them in a heartbeat to anyone who swore on their mother’s eternal grave that they would restore them.  Unfortunately, most people are ALL talk. 

    I have a ’79 W123 that I’ve been slowly parting out, one guy asked me how long I’d be holding onto it before I crushed it.  I told him I’d keep it as long as there was something that could be used on it.  Translation, it may rot here forever, but it ain’t going to the scrapper. 

    This coronet would be an awesome LeMons car.  The trim can be all sold off, what good trim there is, the body’s already bashed around a bit, and its got a decent drivetrain for an endurance race. 

    • 0 avatar

      About that W123… A/C compressor? Driver’s side interior door handle? (I assume window switches went first).

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, I still have all those parts, although I have the switches scheduled to go on an eBay auction in a couple of weeks.  Email me off list if interested- its my handle at the yahoo thing.

  • avatar

    A four-door sedan is worth absolutely nothing. If it were a two-door sedan, the back windows roll down, then you could rebuild it and have it as an example how thing should be done. If it were a hardtop – it would then be priceless! Maybe it’ll come back as a Geely!

  • avatar

    If you own your own garage then you have no excuses. I however have the dubious displeasure of living in an apartment complex where the rules state that you can’t even lift your bonnet on your daily driver, let alone stick something on axle stands and get down and oily.
    However the winds of change are coming and I have already warned my wife – when we get a house, she can do whatever she wants with it, but the garage is MINE.

  • avatar

    I may be mistaken, but I believe it’s titled “Put Up or Shut Up.” Looks like most everyone who has commented so far (including me) shouldn’t be commenting in the first place…

  • avatar

    What’s the deal with the “Remote Control Transmitter”?  Is that a remote starter?  That’s got to be worth something to a collector.

  • avatar
    Jerry Sutherland

    Where was this car a few years ago when this project was taking place?
    Actually I hope somebody saves this 4 door-far too many are sacrificed to the restoration gods…

  • avatar

    This is a philosophy I’ve taken to heart. Last summer I rescued both a ’72 Pontiac Ventura and a ’71 GMC Sprint from the local boneyard. Both are complete, running vehicles. I scored the Ventura for $900 and the Sprint for $1100.

    The Poncho is destined for the 1/4 mile, so the 250 six / Powerglide is coming out at a 496 Rat / Turbo 400 is going in. Far as the Sprint goes, the stock 350 is staying with just a valve job and a cam swap. 

    If you’re ever in So. Cal., look for a Verdoro Green Ventura or a Hugger Orange Sprint burning rubber out the burger joint parking lot :) . 

  • avatar
    M 1

    Actually, “Put Up or Shut Up” would make a great regular feature…
    MM seems to spend 97% of his waking hours in junkyards already. Win/win!

  • avatar

    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.

    • 0 avatar

      Cars that have been parked for 3 decades don’t run. 

      No wait… they do!  Beautifully!  Just turn the key and it’s the BEST CAR YOU COULD EVER OWN.

      I have a bridge for sale too, it leads to some Colorado ocean-front property.  For you… I’ll make a package deal on all three.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually I’vve read about a few cars that sat for a few decades but would start right after some oil, but geez, I’m just offering to save this classic and I get sarcasm?

    • 0 avatar

      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.

  • avatar

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

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