Crankin’ Coronet


5.7L Hemi adrenaline quickens the pulse of a ’65 Dodge.

By Bill Woods Photos by TheBruntBros

’65 Coronet is a real sleeper, with just the Cragars giving a hint that all is not stock. Originally from Hawaii, the Dodge was
bought off eBay on the basis of just photos. So, some bodywork was needed (surprise!) before the swap operation could begin

You’d figure that with all the attention being devoted to ’70-’71 ’Cudas and Challengers, classic Mopes like
the ’65 Dodge Coronet 440 would be totally off the radar screen And maybe they would, except for the efforts of guys like Dan Calvano and Dan Tanner (and maybe a few other Dans out there).
Calvano, now entering his senior years, has been building all kinds of cars for as long as he can remember, but there’s always been a soft spot in his heart for the 1965 Dodge Coronet 440. That’s because he had
bought one new. Dan actually haggled on two (one for his buddy) so he got a good deal for the pair—$2550 each. His car, a blue 383 4-speed 2-dr. hardtop, ran real good until the ’70s, when it was rear-ended.
Calvano said “the cars weren’t worth anything back then,” so it was off to the boneyard for the Dodge.
’Course that Coronet was always in the back of Calvano’s mind, and his friends knew it. So when a ’65 Coronet 440 2-dr. hardtop turned up some three years ago on eBay, one of his buddies called him when there was an hour left on the bidding, and Calvano nailed it for $5500. Since the car was located in Hawaii, where it had been sold new, Calvano could only judge its condition by photos—and you know how that can turn out. OK, so the car needed work. Calvano was at his stage of life where he couldn’t keep anything stock, anyway. But he planned something a little different for this project. Over the years, as a result of his car building projects, Calvano had built up a number of contacts—like the guy in the salvage yard who called him about the 172-
mile 2006 Chrysler 300C that had just come in. That 5.7L Hemi would make an interest-

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x