1962 to 1965 based on early 1960's Logo

1965 Dodge Coronet 500

May 2013 Mopar of the Month

Finding The Car You Bought New 46 Years Ago
by Chad Parrish
Missoula, Montana

Chad writes: In 1965 I bought a new Dodge Coronet 500, red with black vinyl top with a 426 street wedge/4-speed from Dodge City in Spokane, Washington. That car was sold to a Spokane disc jockey when I ordered a new 1969 Super Bee from the same dealership. In 2005 I set out to find my original 1965 Coronet. I found the disc jockey that I sold it to in Birmingham, Alabama and discovered that he had sold it to “some guy in Oakland” when he left the Bay area in the 1980’s. After checking the web sites of various Bay area Mopar clubs, I found a photo from the San Jose Mopar Alley 2005 summer rally.

1965 Dodge Coronet 500, front

Mopar Alley’s president identified the person in the photo as John Winslow from San Jose, and gave me his phone number. I called John, and told him that I thought his car might be my old Dodge. He sent me the VIN, and we sent it off to Chrysler Historical.

Sure enough - John’s car was sold new at Dodge City, Spokane, Washington. It was one of 729 1965 Coronet 500’s built with a 426 street wedge and 4-speed. It turned out to be the same car that I bought new in 1965. John now had the complete history of his car. His son bought the car for him as a Father’s Day gift in 1994 from “some guy in Oakland.” John has since turned his car into a Super Stocker and races throughout the west. The old Dodge has made a lot of mid-10 second trips down the drag strip as Grandpa Gone Wild. Racing this car is John’s passion.

1965 Dodge Coronet 500 - drag strip version 1965 Dodge Coronet 500 - wheel stand drag strip version

So, obviously John was not interested in selling his Coronet. He did, however, help a great deal in locating another 1965 Dodge in Novato, California. I bought the all-red Mopar in 2006. It was a 361/auto car with the same black and silver interior that John’s car has. With a lot of help from my son in Las Vegas, we completed a rebuild of this Coronet.

1965 Dodge Coronet 500 - passenger side - mountains in back

Here’s what it looks like today. 1965 Dodge Coronet 500 - driver side

The 1965 Coronet now has a rebuilt 1969 vintage 440 with a 4-speed, and is a lot closer in performance to the original street wedge car. The Mopar now has a black vinyl top. It came from the factory with a white vinyl top when delivered new to El Paso. The factory air blows cold and adds a level of comfort that the original Coronet did not have. This Dodge has many parts from John’s car. The Hurst shifter - console top - 426 Wedge air cleaner and valve covers - and bellhousing all come from John’s car and were on the car when I bought it new in 1965.

1965 Dodge Coronet 500 - interior 1965 Dodge Coronet 500 - engine

It is a story of two guys one from California, the other in Montana - who have become friends and have one thing in common: red and black 1965 Mopars.

1965 Dodge Coronet 500 parked at NAPA 1965 Dodge Coronet 500 parked at VA City Trading Company

The Dodge is pretty special to us, and my wife and I drive it throughout the West. For example, in 2012 we drove the Mopar from Missoula, MT to Las Vegas for Mopars at the Strip .... to Seattle for The Spring Fling ... to Sandpoint, Idaho, Kalispell, MT, Palouse, WA, and to Spokane, WA, where it won "Mopar Muscle" at The Great Northwest Good Guys Show. In other words, we put a lot of miles on our Coronet 500 and have a great time doing it.

Contact Chad: 1965 Dodge Coronet 500 contact owner

Thanks for sending the story Chad. It is a good read! I guess the stars were aligned and all turned out well for you: a new Mopar friend and revisit of the original 1965!   smile!

Gary H.

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