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The Dodge Coronet and Dodge Super Bee

Gyromatic

dodge super bee

The Dodge Coronet first appeared in 1949, when Dodge finally abandoned its long-standing practice of naming its cars Deluxe and Custom, and also adopted its first new post-war body styles; it was accompanied by the Wayfarer and Meadowbrook, nameplates that did not last quite as long.

1949 dodge coronet

The original Coronet was the top trim level, as one might expect from the name (which is defined as a small crown worn by those who are not kings or queens, e.g. princes and dukes); it was nearly identical to the Wayfarer and Meadowbrook, differing in trim, options, and minor styling changes. It was powered by the same flat-head six cylinder engine as its fellow Dodges, with 103 gross horsepower at 3,600 rpm, solid lifters, and a Stromberg single-barrel carburetor (it would continue to have this setup and the same horsepower rating through 1953. In 1954 it went up to 110 horsepower, and in 1955 a two-barrel Stromberg carb pushed it to 123 hp.)

1951 Dodge Coronet

1951 Dodge Coronet

Coronet interior

The engine continued unchanged through 1953, when the Coronet gained an optional 241 cubic inch V-8 engine, the first of the Hemis, producing 140 gross horsepower at 4,400 rpm with a two-barrel Stromberg carburetor. The Hemi-powered Coronet set over one hundred land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

The six cylinder had identical specifications in 1953 and 1949, and the Meadowbrook and Wayfarer were still the lower-end Dodges.

1953 Dodge Coronet

The following year (1954), the Royal was added as a trim level above the Coronet; it had a standard Hemi (double-rocker as it was then known) V8. The Coronet continued, but in 1955 the Wayfarer and Meadowbrook had both been dropped, making the Coronet the bottom of the Dodge lineup, with the Royal above it - and the Custom Royal at the top of the line. 1953 Coronet buyers could not have been happy about this, but new buyers must have appreciated the new, more powerful engines - the polyspherical Red Ram and Hemi-head Super Red Ram, (or single-rocker-shaft and double-rocker-shaft, if you prefer to leave Hemi out of it), pushing out 175 and 183 gross horsepower respectively. The Super Red Ram could be ordered with the power package (4 barrel, dual exhaust) which puts it way out ahead of the Red Ram in terms of power.

Again, all Dodges were on the same basic chassis. The Coronet station wagon was now called the Coronet Suburban, and the hardtop coupe was dubbed the Coronet Lancer.

1955 Dodge Coronets

The 1955 Dodge was totally new, with a 120 inch wheelbase, wraparound windshield, and clean lines; it was a full 212 inches long, 6.6 inches longer than the 1954s. The V8 engines were 270 cubic inches, with a poly and a Hemi for two different price and power classes. The 230 cubic inch six remained. Body styles were two-door and four-door sedan, two-door hardtop (V8 only), wagon, and convertible, and four door wagon. The Lancer and La Femme lines added mid-year; all hardtops and convertibles were called Lancers.

The Coronets had "Coronet" in script on the front or rear fenders; the wagon had "Suburban" on the rear fender instead. The two door hardtops were Coronet Lancers, but were not badged differently.

Mike Peterson wrote: (From the Walter P. Chrysler Club magazine - first printed 1980. Reprinted by permission.)

There were three transmissions available in 1955: three speed manual, three speed manual with overdrive, and two speed automatic PowerFlite. There were no special transmissions for 6 and V8, they were all the same except the clutches. The three speed is so simple that the shop manual covers it in fourteen pages. The 0.7:1 overdrive is more complicated, and requires 31 pages of explanation. The PowerFlite, my favorite, occupies 84 pages of the shop manual. All of these transmissions have a tailshaft parking brake which simplifies the rear brakes. 1955 was the only year for the automatic transmission lever mounted on the dash, although Corvair used that location for a while.

The PowerFlite transmission was air-cooled, as was the torque converter. The absence of a vacuum modulator enhances the simplicity of this unit. On the V8 car a full throttle upshift occurs at about 60 mph. Kick-down will occur all the way up to 50 mph. One of the idiosyncracies of the design is a very high (260 lb/sq.in.) fluid pressure when the transmission is in reverse. The life of the PowerFlite can be extended by first shifting to drive (foot on the brake) to cut the engine idle speed and then going into reverse. During a rebuild, transmission life will also be extended by installing the kick-down cushion spring in the trash can, not in the PowerFlite. This spring softens the shift by momentarily holding the transmission in low and drive during kick-down, and really puts a strain on the internal components.

One of the nice things about the PowerFlite is that it comes with the four pinion rear axle. The four pinion unit is the stronger of the two offered in 1955 and, when coupled to the PowerFlite, will last forever and a day. In 1956 the four pinion axles were high performance options. 3.54 is a standard rear gear with the PowerFlite, 3.73 is an optional ratio. Manual transmission sixes got 3.9, 4.3 with overdrive; the V8 counterparts received 3.73, 4.1 with overdrive. These are the two pinion units and do not appear to be as strong as the four pinion units.

Dodge suspensions, 1955

The 1955 Dodge suspension consists of leaf springs in the rear and coil springs/king pins in the front. King pins are like ball joints that can only rotate in one plane, that is to say the front wheels do not appreciably change their axis of inclination as they turn and travel over bumps. It is like having an elbow where your shoulder goes. The V8 cars have an idler arm that is parallel to the steering gear arm for complete steering linkage symmetry. There are 21 grease fittings, 23 if you count the plugs in the rear axle for wheel bearings. Steering ratios are 22:1 in the six and 27:1 in the V8 cars. Even with the eighteen inch diameter steering wheel there is noticeable effort involved in pointing the Dodge in the desired direction of travel at low speeds. Power steering uses a 16:1 ratio and is truly a small step away from being effortless.

The 1955 Dodge is representative of the fifties. It was the last year for a six volt electrical system and the next to the last year for king pins and fifteen inch wheels. It was the first year for three-tone colors and the last year for bolt-on chrome fins. Six adults can ride in the car in comfort with all of the luggage in the trunk. The 20 quart cooling system and six quart oil capacity (sixes as well as V8s) are some of the over-engineered aspects of the car which helps to ensure trouble-free driving. All of the engines love low octane gas.

See our new Inside Dodge Main page, which tells what had to be done to make the 1955 Dodges!

1957 and later Coronets

In 1957, Forward Look styling was added, with a longer wheelbase and fully modernized styling. A hot new D-500 version was added as a separate model/engine option. The base six pushed out 138 horsepower; the Red Ram V8, 245 hp; and the D-500, 285-310 hp. Significantly, this was the first year of Chrysler’s dual torsion bar front suspension used through the last of the classic rear wheel drive cars.

1958 Dodge Coronet

1959 was the Coronet’s last year as Dodge’s entry level vehicle; it was dropped, along with Royal and Custom Royal, as a new naming scheme appeared, with the new models called Dart Seneca, Dart Pioneer, Dart Phoenix, Matador, and Polara.

The Coronet showed up again in 1965, in a much different Dodge; gone was the tradition of “one basic car per brand.” The Coronet was now above the Valiant-based Darts, and below the Polara, Custom 880, and Monaco. Coronet was sold in a base model, 440, and 500 series; the base engine was the slant six, with the 273 V8 optional (it was standard on the 440 and 500, and in wagons). Though Chrysler would make a 440 engine, it did not make one in 1965, so the Coronet 440 name was perhaps misleading but not yet as confusing as it could be.

1966 dodge coronet

The Coronet was still new, but got a facelift in 1966, moving to the Elwood Engel trademark straight lines and edges. A two-door hardtop model would appear in 1966 under its own name, Dodge Charger - and would quickly take away the limelight from the Coronet, albeit without taking many sales away. (1966 Coronet sales were about 170,000. Charger sales were 37,300.) The 440 and 500 series names would remain for some years; the Deluxe was added in 1966, the R/T in 1967.

dodge corornet

Charger convertible

Using the new Coke-bottle styling and a larger, redesigned body, the 1968 Coronet R/T was as hot as the first Hemi Coronet back in 1954, with a 375 horsepower 440 cubic inch engine (in mid-1969, supplemented by a 390 horsepower Six-Pak model that had triple two-barrel carburetors, and by the infamous 426 Hemi). Despite the Charger, the Coronet itself was available as a two-door hardtop, as well as in convertible and four door sedan form. Coronet sales still easily trounced Charger sales, even in the Charger’s best years; the Charger would only have its revenge years later, as resale prices turned out to be insanely high.

Dodge Coronet Super Bee and more: 1968-74

1968 dodge super bee

Even with the Charger and Coronet R/T, Dodge added the Coronet Super Bee, part of Dodge’s Scat Pack and a frank theft of the Plymouth Road Runner idea, midyear in 1968; it had a standard 383 with 335 horsepower, and not much else other than a heavy-duty suspension. The name was a clever play on the B-body chassis (“Super B.”) The Coronet R/T had a bigger engine, but with numerous comfort-and-convenience features it also weighed more and cost considerably more. Sales data for the Super Bee was apparently not broken out.

super bee logo from scat pack

List price for the Coronet R/T two-door hardtop was $3,442. That included the Magnum 440 engine (with four barrel carburetor), automatic, Red Streak tires, heavy duty suspension with sway bar, drum breaks, various interior lights, “Rumblebee” stripes, pedal dress-up, dual horns, vinyl trim with front air-foam seat cushions in the bucket seats, and rear armrests. Some options included the Super Track Pak package ($256), Rallye cluster (shown in the photo below) for $90, center console (again, shown below, $54), four-speed manual (no-cost option), bigger alternator, tinted glass (for windshield only, for for all windows), right-side mirror ($7), rear defogger ($22), three-speed wipers ($5), ramcharger air scoop ($73), AM radio ($62), power steering ($100), and “sports” steering wheel (also shown below, $27). The cars came with a side stripe (taped) but that could be deleted.

coronet r/t 440

The Super Bee logo was created by Harvey Winn, a Dodge studio designer, in 1968; it was used unchanged after he hand-cut the design on his dining room table. It won a studio design review and went on to be the centerpiece of what industrial designer Mack King called "a more graphically stated muscle car than the Plymouth Road Runner."

bumblebee stripes

Harvey and Mack applied the original decals and bumble bee stripes to a yellow and white 1968 Coronet convertible, with a customized interior (by the Alexander Brothers), for the Detroit Auto Show. The iconic car may not have set sales records like the Road Runner, but it did make a lasting impression and enhanced Dodge’s reputation for years to come.

superbee

Dodge made a stupendous 196,242 Coronets, including taxis, Super Bees, base models, and all other forms and trim-lines, in 1968. For 1969, Super Bee information was tracked separately, with fewer than 28,000 made - compared with over 84,000 Road Runners! But Coronet sales remained high otherwise.

1971 dodge coronet dodge super bee

Annual styling changes continued with changes to the grille and rear in 1969 and 1970.

1970 Coronet Super Bee and Coronet R/T Hemi
Max track, width 59.7, 76.7   Hip room, f/r 60.6 / 60.6
Height 53   Gas tank 19 gallons
Wheelbase, length 117, 209.7   Front brakes 11 x 3 drums
Headroom, f/r 37.3 / 36.7   Rear brakes 11 x 2.5 drums
Legroom, f/r 41.8 / 31.1   Wheels/tires 14.0 x 6 F70
Shoulder room, f/r 58.1 / 58.1      

1970 engines included a hot 383 and an even hotter 426 Hemi. Compare those power ratings with the original Coronet:

Engine 383 426 Hemi 1970 super bee
Horsepower (gross) 335 @ 5200 425 @ 5,000
Torque 425 @ 3400 490 @ 4,000
Carb 4-barrel
Holley
Dual 4-barrel
Carter
Intake duration 268° 284°
Exhaust duration  284° 284°
Base transmission 3-spd floor-shift manual 3-spd TorqueFlite auto
Gears 2.55, 1.49, 1:1 2.45, 1.45, 1:1
Compression 9.5:1 10.28:1

In 1970, the base Coronet was dropped and the Coronet Deluxe took over as the bottom of the line, without the Deluxe name on the outside. The other series - 440, 500, R/T, and Super Bee - continued. Sales dived for this year despite the “Scat Pack” advertising campaign, featuring Dick Landy purportedly saying (in words that sound remarkably like the rest of the ad copy):

dick landyThe ’70 Dodge Super Bee was designed to provide a full-sized car with a lot of performance and a minimum of gingerbread. ... that’s why Super Bee’s standard engine is the husky 383-cubic-inch V8 with the heads right off the big 440 Magnum, which has got to be the hot setup! Super Bee is truly the budget supercar for the man who wants a big-car performance without spending a bundle for it.

The Super Bee I tested had the swingin’ optional Six Pack setup... three mind-blowing two-barrel Holley carbs on a new high-rise manifold, all bolted on the 440 Magnum engine. Biggest problem was getting off the line without smoking it. Feather foot definitely required. The hood has hinges this year, nice when you check the oil, and the scoops feed directly into the Holleys.”

In 1971, a new Coronet was introduced, with a much simpler grille, a new 118 inch wheelbase, more rounded styling, and a more subtle Coke bottle side styling. The Coronet, though, remained very popular with taxi fleets, and can be seen in the introduction to the original Odd Couple TV series. The mainstay was the Coronet 440, selling over 66,000 units, over double the next best Coronet; the R/T moved under 3,000 units.

dodge coronet 500

The other series - 440, 500, R/T, and Super Bee - continued. Sales dived for this year, and in 1971, a new Coronet was introduced, with a much simpler grille, a new 118 inch wheelbase, more rounded styling, and a more subtle Coke bottle side styling. The coupe was no longer available, leaving the four door sedan and wagon, in Custom and Brougham series for sedans and Custom and Crestwood series for wagons; the confusing 440 designation and the 500 and R/T were dropped, and the Super Bee moved over to the Charger line, keeping its standard 383 engine; it only lasted a single model year as a Charger, disappearing by the 1972 model year.

1971 dodge coronet

We have a large 1971 Coronet and Polara squad-car section.

For 1972, the Coronet had only a minor restyling; various option packages were changed, and the Brougham disappeared, though the Crestwood remained.

1972 dodge coronet

1973 dodge coronet1973 dodge coronet dashboard

Major changes were made to the sound insulation and suspension for 1973, giving the Coronet a much smoother ride and a quieter interior (Dodge called the overall change package “Torsion-Quiet.”) The interior was updated, and the exterior received more minor changes. Sales of the Coronet were now quite low, with fewer than 90,000 produced — a far lower number than in years past, the result not just of the fuel crisis but also of a decline that had begun years earlier.

Dodge claimed “Imagine, if you can, a car designed around your family. That’s just what Dodge did before it built Coronet — a car designed to be a four-door sedan and nothing else.” That was a bit of a stretch, since there had been two-door Coronets for some time, and the Coronet was available as a wagon.

1972 coronet wagon

Other design changes for the Coronet included headlamp adjustment screws accessible without removing the headlamp or grille trim, and a better wiper blade design. Standard equipment included all vinyl front bench seats (with cloth on Custom), two-speed concealed wipers, armrests, seat spacers for height and angle adjustment, heater/defroster, dual horns, and various moldings including a drip rail. Standard engines were the slant six and 318, but the 400 V8 was available with a two or four barrel carburetor. Air conditioning was available only on V8s. Transmissions were the TorqueFlite and a three speed manual only. For the Coronet wagon, which could actually hold a 4 x 8 foot sheet of plywood, the base and only engine was the 318; an all vinyl front bench seat was standard except on Crestwood, which got a split vinyl bench seat with center armrest. Other standard features were similar.

The next substantial restyling was in 1974, accompanied again by a drop in sales to fewer than 60,000. Only around 52,000 Coronets were sold in 1975, despite the resurrection of the Brougham trim level and yet another restyling, this one bringing a much more imposing appearance to the front end. The Plymouth and Dodge versions grew closer in appearance.

1975-1976 details

1975 Dodge Coronets

Often overlooked in favor of cosmetic similarities or differences is the underlying construction of a vehicle. In 1975, Chrysler Corporation made a number of changes to its unit-body construction in intermediate lines, to increase front barrier impact and help the styling of two-door models. This included a new separate front wheelhouse (rather than using welded-in fender side shields); windshield pillars and front-door hinge pillars reinforced at the roof, belt line, and base of the pillar; thick steel reinforcements added inside the body sills from the front pillars to the center pillars; steel box sections from the front door hinge pillar to absorb impact loads; lower side rails at the side of the engine compartment made of heavier gauge steel; and box-section members joining the forward lower side rails with the body side sills made of heavier gauge steel for better impact resistance.

All 1975 Dodges were also designed to pass a new Federal roof crush test; reinforcements were designed into all full-size Dodges in 1974, and into intermediate-sized Dodges in 1975.

The Coronet came in three basic body styles in 1975 - four door sedan, two-door hardtop, and wagon; trim levels were base, Custom, and Brougham or Crestwood (the latter only for wagons). All came with aluminum windshield and rear window moldings, bright accents on the grille, a color-keyed center bar between the divided grille, single outside mirror, bumper guards, and a slant six or 318 V8 engine. Bright roof drip-rail moldings were standard on all but the four-door sedan (the Custom sedan had them, though). Aside from options, the visible features of each grade above base were:

  • Custom hardtop: full-length bright body-side molding, bright belt moldings, deck lock cover, bright deck moldings
  • Brougham hardtop: hood ornament, crest on rear roof pillars, body-side molding with vinyl insert, wheel covers, standard 318
  • Custom sedan: bright roof drip-rail molding, wide body-side moldings, bright door upper frame moldings, wheel opening moldings, deck lock cover, and better sound insulation
  • Custom sedan with Brougham package: crest on rear roof pillars, stand up hood ornament, body-side molding with color-keyed vinyl insert, wheel co0vers, trunk carpet, and upgraded interior
  • Base, Custom, and Crestwood wagons were available (but we don't have details on these).

A canopy vinyl roof (going from the windshield to the edge of the rear window, leaving a strip of metal roof) with bright trim molding was an extra-cost option on Coronet Brougham, Coronet Cus­tom and Coronet 2-door hardtops; it came in black, white, parchment, gold, dark red, and green. A halo vinyl roof (covering the whole roof and rear pillar, but not the front pillar, and with a wide gap around the window) with a black-and-chrome vinyl trim molding was an extra-cost option on Coronet Brougham, Coronet Custom and Coronet 2-door hardtops. It came in white, black, gold, parchment, dark red, and green.  A full vinyl roof was an extra-cost option on Coronet Custom and Coronet 4-door sedans, in green, gold, parchment, white, dark red, and black.

dodge coronet dashboard

The 360 or 400 cubic inch V8s were optional; all V8s had hydraulic tappets with chrome-plated plungers, and all engines had electronic ignition. The 318 and 360 had a cast, ductile iron crankshaft; the slant six used drop-forged steel in 225 Six; the 400 could use either. A single exhaust was used on all engines but the 360 four-barrel and 400 V8, which got dual exhausts; all got aluminized steel mufflers and tailpipes. Fuel filters included a 400 micron filter in the tank, and a 15 micron filter before the carb. Tires and wheels were matched to engine, body style, and air conditioning: the base tire was a 14 inch bias-ply on 5.0J wheels. Buyers of the 400 V8 got a standard 14 inch bias-play tire on a 5.5JJ wheel, which was also standard with the combination of 360 engine and air conditioning. Optional tires included white and red sidewalls on wider 14 inch wheels (5.5JJ to 6.0JJ) and on 15 inch wheels (6.5JJ).

The base transmission was a column-shift, fully synchronized three-speed manual with a 3.08:1 low gear; it was not available with power steering, any engine above the 318, or wagons. The base automatic was the three-speed TorqueFlite, column or console mounted, optional on all vehicles (standard on wagons). The TorqueFlite automatic had an internal full-flow filter that caught all circulating oil.

Coronet's new air conditioner had a larger condenser to get rid of the heat, a higher capacity blower with four speeds to increase air flow, and larger air ducts with more outlets to speed the distribution of cool air. There was actually 22% more air flow with the new system than in 1974.

Upper-level fresh-air ventilation was avail­able only on cars without air conditioning. Center-mounted, air-conditioner-type outlets in the instrument panel brought fresh air into the car even when windows were closed. The outlets had adjustable vanes to control the direction of the air flow. Air was pulled in by a 3-speed blower and by forward motion of the car. This system provided fresh air without the wind noise caused by open windows.

1975 Dodge Coronet options

An optional metal sun roof was an extra-cost option on two-door models only. The sun roof was opened and closed by turning a crank above the windshield. By opening the roof a few inches, inside air can be removed-resulting in improved ventilation.

An electric rear-window defroster with a 100 ­ampere alternator was an option on all Coronet models. For 1975, the heating grid put out more heat, and the 5-minute time switch has been eliminated, so the driver had to shut off the defroster manually.

cruise controlCoronet's optional console was available only on the Coronet Brougham and Coronet Custom 2-door hardtops. This newly designed console had two storage compartments-one open, the other with a padded, hinged lid that serves as a center armrest when it is closed. Bucket seats and TorqueFlite automatic transmission were required with this option.

A heavy-duty suspension had heavy ­duty front torsion-bar springs and leaf springs; it was suspen­sion standard on wagons and available on all other Coronet models. Heavy-duty shock absorbers, front and rear, were standard on wagons, extra cost on all other Coronets.

Power steering had a fast-ratio steering gear with a 3.5 turn lock-to-lock, again requiring an automatic.

A six-way power seat adjuster was a new option on all models with a front bench seat and on the driver's seat in two-door hardtops with bucket seats. Also optional were power locks, windows, and brakes (required on 360 and 400 V8 engines).

A new AM/FM stereo radio was built by Chrysler's Huntsville Electronics Division. It had four stereo speakers: two in the instrument panel and two in the rear shelf.  A new 8-track stereo tape player was available on all Coronet models with the optional AM/FM stereo radio or the optional AM radio. With the AM radio, the same high-quality, 4-speaker stereo system was included. Coronet also offered an AM/FM radio and an AM radio without the tape player. Each of these radios was available with an optional rear speaker.

For 1975, buyers could order both  right and left remote-control mirrors for any Coronet. The control for the right mirror is located on the instrument panel just to the right of the cluster. The control for the left mirror is on the driver's door.

The fuel pacer turned on the fender-mounted, turn-signal indicator light on the driver's side when too much gas was given.

Interior

Coronet's new instrument panel was more driver-centered. It had high-quality trim; rich, wood-grained vinyl trim on Brougham, Crestwood and Coronet Custom models-black and chrome trim elsewhere. The large circular speedometer and circular housing for engine temperature and fuel gauges are centered just above the steering column where they can be read easily by the driver. The oil pressure warning light and alternator gauge are just to the right. Controls for the head­lights and windshield wipers and washer are located to the left of the speedometer. Both controls have international symbols to indicate their functions.  Control panels for optional radios are mounted in a lower panel to the right of the steering column; heater or air­conditioner controls to the left. The switch for the rear-window defogger or defroster is located at the far left.

The optional clock replaced the temperature and fuel gauges in the large circular housing. The fuel gauge was moved in with the oil pressure warning light, and the temperature gauge was moved in with the alternator gauge.

The ignition switch was on the steering column. With automatic trans­missions, when the mechanism is in the lock or "Park" position, the steering wheel or column-mounted transmission lever cannot be moved. This feature is designed to discourage car theft. A warning buzzer reminds the driver to remove the key if it is still in place when he opens the door. With the column­mounted manual transmission, the steer­ng column was locked with the transmission in reverse gear.

Coronet's standard fresh-air, hot-water heating and defrosting system responded quickly to changes in temperature settings to provide heat at the selected comfort level. A three-speed blower and forward motion of the car circulate air through the system. The controls were illuminated.  When the optional upper-level ventila­tion system was ordered, the heater was provided with a larger core and blower air flow was increased 20%. This increased heating system capacity 17% over the standard system.

Visibility

Windshield washer jets on wiper arms put four streams of washer fluid directly onto the windshield for fast cleaning. Windshield washers and 2-speed wipers are standard on all models.  The wiper blade and arm on the driver's side has an articulated action which permits sweeping a larger area in front of the driver.

Molded fiberglass headliner was standard on all Coronet sedans and hardtops. In addition to providing a smooth, attractive appearance, this headliner had insulation and sound­deadening benefits. It was color ­keyed to the interior.

A 12"-wide rearview mirror with mounting bonded directly to the windshield glass was standard on all Coronets. This mirror provided wider rear vision than in 1974.

A compression-molded, fiberglass­ reinforced polyester front panel supports the grille and forms the headlamp mounting, fender caps and grille upper panel.

Other bits

A 25.5 gallon gasoline tank was standard on sedans, hardtops and the coupe. A 21 gallon tank was standard on station wagons; a 20.5 gallon tank was used on models with dual exhausts.  Front-door window cranking designed for low effort with a new single-post door glass guidance system.

A compact door latch stronger than the door latch on the 1974 was standard on all Coronet models.  Two-piece door trim panel construction for Coronet hardtop models provides quick access to door glass adjusters.

Weight: wagons ranged from 4,285-4,390 pounds. Sedans ranged from 3,730 pounds (base model, slant six) to 3,885 pounds (Custom V8). Hardtops ranged from 3,700 (base six) to 3,935 pounds (Brougham).

Alternators had 41-50 amps except with the rear window defroster. The battery was 305 amps with standard engines, 440 amps with optional engines.  Circuit brakes were used on headlights and windshield wipers. A fusible safety link was between the battery and ammeter.

Steering: 3.5 turns. 15.7:1 gear ratio; 18.8:1 overall ratio. Turning radios 42’ for sedans and wagons, 41.2’ for hardtops.
The front suspension used the inevitable torsion bars, .94” diameter except for wago0ns (.98”), with a .94” diameter front sway bar (1.0” on wagons). In the rear, 57 1/4 inch leaf springs (58” on wagons) were used, 2.5” wide, with five leaves (six on wagons).

Axle ratios for the slant six were 3.2:1 with manual transmission or Sure-Grip, 2.94:1 with automatic and no Sure-Grip. For the V8s, the standard axle ratio was 2.71:1, with an optional 2.45:1 or 3.2:1 ratio – except with Sure-Grip, which used either a 2.71:1 or 3.2:1 ratio.

 

Sedans

Hardtops

Wagons

2008 Avenger

Length

217.9"

213.8"

225.6"

190.9

Wheelbase

117 .5"

115"

117 .5"

108.9

Height

53.9"

52.6"

56.5"

58.9

Width

77.7"

77.4"

79.2"

71.8

Track (max)

62

62

63.4

61.8

Headroom, F/R

38.6/37.4

37.7/36.6

39.7/39.9

40.0/38.3

Legroom, F/R

41.9/36.7

41.9/33.9

41.9/36.3

42.4/36.5

Hip room, F/R

56.6/59.2

59.2/59.2

59.2/59.2

53.2/53.2

Shoulder room, F/R

59.2/59.3

59.6/60.0

59.2/59.3

56.4/56.3

Weight (approx)

3,800

3,800

4,300

3,400

Brakes were front disc, rear drum. Closed-circuit crankcase ventilation was standard.

Alex Petersen wrote:

Many people cannot see the muscle car capabilities of the 1975 style Coronet. When I was 16 we purchased a 75 Coronet 2-door hardtop Brougham 400 4bbl. It did not have the dual exhaust that the article describes. The car had an origional 31,000 miles on it and it was from Texas so the body was immaculate. We added a paint job, Air Adjustable shocks in the rear, a Holley 650cfm carb, and Keystone Klassic rims with BF tires all around. The car has a white leather interior and is in 100% perfect condition. The only major modifications have been the addition of a CD player and Audiobahn carbon fiber series speakers to the dash and rear deck plate.

1976 Dodge Coronet

Changes for 1976 were minimal: a hood ornament was added, the two-door hardtop and 400 engine were gone, and a velour and vinyl front seat was added to Brougham along with a unique hood ornament. Speedometers were calibrated in both miles per hour and kilometers per hour, and tilt steering was added. The 3.2:1 ratio might have been dropped - sources are unclear. A meager 31,809 Coronets (excluding 3,850 squads) were sold - fewer than the Charger SE, albeit more than the Monaco. The most popular model was the Brougham, followed closely by the base sedan. The Coronet ranged from $3,700 to $5,156 - with Crestwood wagons selling for far more than the best-equipped sedans.

1976 dodge coronet

At the end of 1976 , the Coronet name was finally dropped again, with the Dodge Monaco taking over its body style; in short, the Coronet lived (briefly), but as the Monaco. Sales increased as a result of this feat, with the Monaco hitting 63,684 sales - plus 4,963 squad cars. The actual Monaco remained on sale, as the Royal Monaco, just over 29,000 units selling. The Royal Monaco achieved some fame as police cars in Hill Street Blues and The Blues Brothers.

1976 dodge royal monaco

dodge royal monaco

The Coronet name was used later, but only in South America, for their version of the Dodge Diplomat. It had started at the top, moved to the bottom, and re-appeared in the middle, giving birth along the way to one of the most popular icons of Chrysler Corporation’ s history.

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