In 1965 the Chrysler Corporation, continued to get their feet wet in the intermediate sized platformed automobile with Detroit muscle. With the production of the Dodge Coronet and the Plymouth Belvedere. This production continued from 1964 mainly due to the Plymouth Belverdere’s first, second and third showing at Daytona. These Plymouth’s came with the new 426 cubic inch Hemi engines installed. Both the Dodge Coronet and the Plymouth Belvedere moved from the full sized vehicle platform to Chrysler’s intermediate platform. The Dodge Cronet, after an absence from the order sheet returned and became Dodge’s most popular vehicle according to the sale’s figures. Dodge produced four models of the Coronet.The Coronet 500 was at the top of the line and came as a two door sedan or a convertible model with muscle car features if ordered. Dodge did create about one hundred of the base two door Coronet sedans and 440 models exclusively for NHRA drag racing in 1965. These models came with a race version of the 426 cubic inch Hemi engine and an altered wheelbase. This altered wheelbase later became the start of the NHRA Funny Car Series
The Coronet 500 included as standard equipment a 273 cubic inch V8 engine. A 318 polyhead, 361, 383 and a 426 Hemi engine with different horsepower’s were available. It also listed a 413 cubic inch displacement on the order sheet but none have been reported and this was the last year that this powerplant was listed. The Coronet 500, had listed as other standard equipment, some special exterior trim and badging. On the inside there were bucket seats, a padded dash and a chrome center console. There was also air conditioning to keep you cooled off on hot days. A 4-speed manual or a 3-speed automatic transmission would be between the bucket seats.
The Dodge and the Plymouth were virtually the same. The Plymouth Belvedere included as standard equipment options a set of electric windshield wipers, arm rests, a cigarette lighter, a heater and window defroster, a 12-volt alternator and battery with self-adjusting brakes. On the convertible models, a power top was included as standard equipment. The optional equipment came from a long list. For performance, you could order power steering and brakes. There were many Sure-Grip rearends, some with drag racing gear ratio’s. On the outside, various styles in wheel covers, rubber-inserted bumper guards, a remote control outside mirror, variable speed windsheild wipers and tinted window glass. For operator enjoyment an AM/FM radio and a front storage compartment in the center console. All these add ons whether standard or optional equipment, created the Chrysler muscle cars of 1965. And they were the only real competition to the Pontiac GTO ,”The Original Muscle Car”, in sales and performance. If shopping is what you are into head on over to the Liberty Tree Mall on Endicott St. in Danvers, Ma. on Wednesday evenings until October.