Courtesy of Auctions America

Dodge’s response to the muscle car movement in 1967 was the Coronet R/T, a high-performance package that included the new 375-horsepower “Wedgehead” 440-ci Magnum V8 engine.

Fed by a 4-barrel AFB carburetor, the Magnum engine very effectively reduced the rear wheels to smoke with 480 foot-pounds of torque at hand. Standard on the R/T was the TorqueFlite automatic transmission (this one has the optional manual 4-speed), special racing stripes (dealer added, if desired) and identification, Redline tires, deluxe steering wheel, a beefed-up suspension with heavy-duty shocks, springs, torsion bars and front sway bar, a 70-amp battery and heavy-duty brakes.

Priced at $426 more than the standard Coronet 500, including its comfort and convenience features such as bucket seats, console and full wheel covers, the Coronet R/T proved to be immensely popular, with production amounting to over 10,000 units.

The car offered here is as a frame-off-restored 440 Magnum Coronet R/T finished with Code P Bright Red exterior paint (per data tag) and a black bucket-seat vinyl interior. It is equipped with the rebuilt original 440-ci, 375-hp V8 engine and desirable 4-speed manual transmission.

This is a well-equipped example that features, in addition to the above-mentioned standards, air conditioning, factory Road Wheels, black vinyl top, AM/FM radio, tachometer to the right of the steering column, power steering and brakes with front discs.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1967 Dodge Coronet R/T 440
Years Produced:1967
Number Produced:10,109 (hard top)
Original List Price:$3,052
SCM Valuation:$29,500–$39,500
Tune Up Cost:$250
Distributor Caps:$22.58
Chassis Number Location:Plate on the driver’s side instrument panel behind windshield
Engine Number Location:Pad on the right side of the block to the rear of the engine mount
Club Info:The WPC Club Inc.
Alternatives:1966–67 Plymouth GTX, 1966–67 Pontiac GTO, 1966–67 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396
Investment Grade:C

This car, Lot 2070, sold for $35,200, including buyer’s premium, at Auctions America’s Auburn auction on May 9, 2015.

Under the market radar

It’s easy for the average gearhead to lament the ’60s muscle car market. GTOs, SS 396 Chevelles, Road Runners, Super Bees — you name them, the prices have probably gone sky high. For those buyers looking for inexpensive muscle, it can seem like all that’s left are slugs from the ’70s, fake “tribute” cars, or other clones with no authenticity and little real value.

Yet, for whatever reason, there are muscle cars the fly under the market radar. Case in point: this 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T 440. Maybe it’s the car’s understated style that keeps its profile low — no gaudy graphics and psychedelic paint colors. But make no mistake, these cars pack a punch; they just don’t advertise that fact.

How much punch? “Dandy” Dick Landy set the AHRA B/SA National Record in 1967 with a Coronet R/T 440 at 12.61 @ 110.02 mph. Those were mostly stock automobiles running headers and slicks (and a little of Landy’s legendary tuning magic). In a magazine road test, Motor Trend saw 0–60 in 7.2 seconds, and the quarter in 15.4 on street tires with a passenger in the front seat (hanging on for dear life, I imagine).

Not a Hemi, but close

So how did the Coronet R/T 440 compare with its more famous (and temperamental) cousin, the Street Hemi? Motor Trend, in their June 1967 publication, tried to put the issue to rest. “Ever since early in the model year, when we saw the more down-to-earth Magnum consistently whip one of its exotic King Kong Hemi brethren in a series of quarter-mile bashes, we have wondered about the phrase “…performance approaches that of the 426 Hemi …” in Dodge’s descriptive literature for the Magnum engine. For this reason we decided to get one of each, identically equipped in all essential respects, and make a mano-a-mano, to borrow an expression from bullfighting, trial of the two.”

On the drag strip, with street tires, they discovered: “When running together, the Magnum would leap into the lead at the start, and the Hemi would start to close rapidly and catch it at the end — but just after the quarter mark and the end of the race. Also, another thing we came to notice about both cars that added to our enjoyment and which we feel any owner would doubly appreciate: the sheer ruggedness and built-to-last impression we got from testing them. They seemed to thrive on the kind of treatment we gave them. No howls developed in the rear axles: nothing seemed about to break or fall off. In short, they seemed completely unaffected by all the hard running, and they ran better afterwards.”

Top muscle

Road Test magazine called the Coronet R/T “the top muscle car in 1967,” and when you look at its comparably priced competition, they might be right. Other than the Coronet’s cousin, the Plymouth GTX, everyone had much smaller engines at the top of their regular options, from the Ford and Mercury’s 390, and Chevrolet’s 396, to the 400-ci engines powering the GTO, Olds 442 and Buick GS. While the others had their own attributes, you really got more raw bang with the R/T.

So why do the Chevelle SS 396s average $50,000 to $70,000 or more (add at least $10k for a convertible)? Or GTOs average just a bit less than the Chevy? It’s the age-old pro-Chevrolet/pro-Pontiac bias of the marketplace. And while Mopar certainly has its own strong following, the later more in-your-face cars tend to be most sought after in the market today. The more subtle-looking ones, like our subject car, don’t have the same premiums assigned to them, but that can make them great cars to buy and use.

Today, most interest in the ’67 Coronet R/T 440 tends to be in convertibles (628 made out of 10,109). But hard tops are the real bargain, if you can find a good one. This Coronet R/T is a good one, with plenty of factory options, including the difficult-to-find 4-speed manual (1,355 made). With factory air, power steering and front disc brakes, this is about as good as it gets for ’60s Mopar drivability, so this can be a frequent driver for the new owner.

Even though this ’67 Coronet R/T sold right on the money in today’s market, after nearly a half-century, it’s still a performance bargain. Well bought.

(Introductory description courtesy of Auctions America.