MAY 27, 2013 (JUNE 2013): ’67 DODGE CORONET 4-DOOR SEDAN — THE ULTIMATE STEALTH BOMBER

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The B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber began development in the late 1970s during the Carter Administration.

The idea was simple-build a jet that could literally fly under the radar.

Car guys call stealth bombers sleepers because they’re designed to look like a mild-mannered librarian’s car with a monster’s heart under the hood.

This 1967 Dodge Coronet 4-door sedan is a classic example of a sleeper.

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Four-door sedans at a car show are like a beacon for a good narrative because nobody wants to save them so if you see one there is a 99% chance that it has a great back story. This ’67 Dodge doesn’t disappoint because it has sleeper status, it’s a survivor and it has huge family ties.

A lot of guys look at a four-door sedan as a convenient parts supply that gets stripped and then sent on a one-way trip to the Great Crusher in the Sky but this Mopar sedan was spared both fates.

That’s why Mark Simmons is the proud owner of this big, bad Coronet and he is also the living historian for this ’67 Dodge.

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The car looks like a vintage police car and not surprisingly, that is part of its colorful history as Mark explained, “Originally I tracked the ownership all the way back to New Braunfels, Texas where it was purchased new at a local dealer. It was a special order Police Pursuit Package”.

Like most car stories, there are a lot of moving parts as Mark added, “The original owner’s widow stated that her husband was a Constable and used it for a short time as a law enforcement vehicle. Shorty after he was issued a county police car and the Coronet was put in storage, where it stayed until around 2002″.

That’s when the car saw daylight again as Mark explained, “When a local plumbing contractor was working for the widow woman and asked about it. She GAVE IT TO HIM!!”.

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Mark targeted the gently used ex-police car and wanted it from Day 1 but like most life journeys it wasn’t a straight line. Car guy life journeys are even worse as he recalled, “I talked to him and he got it up and running then sold it shortly to a visiting business man from Indiana. It was in Indiana that it lost the original HP330 -383 engine there it was transplanted with a 440.That owner sold it to the guy in Detroit were it was further transformed to a drag car, I don’t recall if it ever made it to the track, this is where I came along and saw it on eBay”.

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That’s when Mark finally bought the car, “I first purchased the Coronet in 2004, from a guy in Detroit. I then had the car shipped to my older brother Dennis in Chicago where he drove it for a couple of cruise seasons and was harassed regularly by the local cops for the slicks and flow masters . Unfortunately Dennis passed in 2007 after a long battle with cancer, Denny was always my Gear Head Mentor, it’s the last hot rod he was able to drive and the last one we enjoyed together”.

The car went out of the family but Mark persevered, “This is why when I was able to track it down again I was very happy to buy her back in the family. Now that it’s back in the family I’ve moved to finish the ideas Denny and I had back then. It’s still wearing its original paint with correct patina and amazing original interior”.

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The current and future plans for this sleeper are laid out, “It’s been mini-tubbed and had the rear narrowed to fit 325-65-15 on Steel 10″ rims on rear. 4″ Torque Thrust and redlines on front. We Freshened up the 440,added a roller cam,3800 stall converter, 3:91 posi and frame connectors. I’ll be adding a pro charger sometime soon that will be the ultimate sleeper-a real 9 second car in Sheep’s clothing”!

The big question with a stealth bomber is the daily operational side, “I drive it almost every weekend, very well behaved always, runs fine on pump gas but loves the GOOD STUFF. She is a keeper for sure. Planning to take it to the Mopar Nationals in August. Do some cruisin’ at night”.

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The role of a sleeper is to be well behaved…most of the time. It also has to be fun and Mark summed up this stealth bomber with these words.

“The car is a blast to drive and gets lots of thumbs up”.

Jerry Sutherland

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For a look back at another MSCC ’67 Coronet story please follow this link.

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