My Search For American Muscle – Part IX

PART IX – Interesting Hemi Dodge Coronet R/T 

I’m still looking for a classic car, and I am just a picky as ever.  I saw this 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T Hemi car pop up for sale on an auction site and got really excited.

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A very nice Hemi-powered 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T in a cool turquoise color.  It looks like it won a couple national awards, too.

 

The auction site listed the car as “no reserve” and with an estimated selling price of $50,000 to $60,000.  That is a steal for a Hemi-powered original car.  The car was being auctioned online only and was in Indiana, so I was very interested.

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The info presented on the auction site.

Then I started looking at the pictures with the discerning eye that I have developed on this car hunt journey.  First thing I noticed was this VIN tag:

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I’ve looked at numerous pictures of Mopar VINs from 1967 and this one doesn’t look similar.  The black paint is not very clean and the rivets aren’t the correct shape.  Plus there are no Chrysler Corp. markings anywhere.  The number does decode to a Dodge Coronet R/T with a Hemi engine.
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As a reference, here’s a real 1967 Hemi Dodge Coronet R/T VIN plate.  I suspect that the top one is a fake.

Then there was a picture of the fender tag of the car:

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This fender tag decodes correctly to a Hemi-powered 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T as best as I can tell.

The fender tag seems correct for the car as presented, but I see a red flag.  My main issue with it is that it is somewhat weathered and worn.  This car is pretty well restored and the fender tag looks like it sat outside for thirty or more years.  Seeing that the tag is screwed on, which is how they were attached, it can be removed quite easily from one car and reapplied to another.  It is correctly stamped for a Dodge Coronet R/T (WS23) with black interior (P6X) and turquoise paint (LL1).  I can’t dismiss it as not being the real-deal yet, however.

Then there was this picture of the Certicard:

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Certicard’s were Chrysler cards that were used for warranty information that could be swiped for records purposes.  They were kept in a plastic sleeve usually in the engine compartment on the firewall of the car.

This is a major red flag.  The vehicle identification number (WP41G…) doesn’t match this car at all.  It decodes as – W=Dodge Coronet, P=Premium, 41=Four door sedan, G=383 2-barrel engine.  All of this is wrong for the car listed for auction.  But…  this card could have been from another car and just is along for the ride with this one.  Maybe someone mixed up the cards?  I don’t know, but I am sure I’m not gambling $50,000 on this car being the real deal.

Knowing all of that I now suspect that the car was originally most likely a 1967 Dodge Coronet 500, that had been cloned into a Coronet R/T with a Hemi engine.  It was a very good clone though.  The correct 150 mph speedometer was present, as was the bucket seats and console, and painted the correct trim and exterior colors that appear on the fender tag.  I’m just not buying that it is real.  What is a little puzzling to me is that it won two AACA awards.  Those judges know a heck of a lot more than I do about the originality of these cars and they still gave it a thumbs up.

I kept an eye on the auction and saw that the bidding was pretty slow and was in the $30,000 to $40,000 range for a few days.  It finally sold for $50,000.  The current market value for a real Hemi-powered version of this car would be closer to $90,000 or more.  Someone got a really nice but possibly cloned Hemi-powered Dodge Coronet R/T to drive around.  I just hope that they know that it may not be the real deal.

 

Author: Ironman Chris

Family, running, triathlon and drumming are my things.

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