Volume II, Issue 1, Page 39

1/3/2007

As the price of vintage Mopar iron has climbed into the literal financial stratosphere, the idea of cloning or replicating a scarce example has gained not only adherents but acceptability, The most prolific of these have been the Hemi-powered E-body convertibles of 1970 and 1971, but there are other machines that have gained a great deal of notoriety in the collector world for their low production numbers. The 1970 Coronet R/T convertible is a great example.
           
The ‘70 model would be the final rendition of the Coronet in performance trim; the Super Bee would be moved to the new Charger for 1971, and Coronets would be available only in a four-door design (popular among taxicab operators and police fleets) after 1970. A redesign of the body for ‘70 model year had very mixed reviews in the press, with angled ‘cat-eye’ wrap-around bumper bezels surrounding twin headlight/grille assemblies. In retrospect, it is possible to see how the new fuselage-style Charger/GTX designs in process for 1971 may have influenced by some of the body lines on this model.


James Fuller’s Coronet began life with a 318, but some upgrades have made it a real street walker.

From any manufacturer, a convertible was a pretty hefty premium package; to get one with full high-performance trim was expensive. As a result, 1970 would be the final year that Chrysler offered such a beast in any car in the B-Body line-up. Only a handful of buyers arrived at the Dodge franchise for Coronet R/T convertibles – a total of just 236 left the factory – three Hemi cars, 16 440 Six Packs, 16 more 440 Magnum four-speeds, and the other 203 were 440 Magnum automatics. (source: Paul's 1970 Coronet R/T Home Page & Registry http://coronetrt.tripod.com/)

For James Fuller of Houston, the chance of finding and buying a real one was pretty slim. He had been a fan of the design since his teenage years.

“When I was 17, my uncle had a 1970 Super Bee. He told me if I waxed it, I could take it out for an evening. Well, I did and got to go on a date in it and fell in love. Not with the girl, but I said someday I’m going to own one of these things.”