1965. The middle of the decade that changed so much of American culture was almost the calm before the storm. The Vietnam War was escalating under LBJ, but protests were not popular yet. The Beatles and the Stones were leading the British Invasion on the pop charts. Mustang and GTO, two of the most significant machines built in the 1960s, were entering their sophomore year, with the other manufacturers, including GM’s divisions, attempting to play catch-up with the twin trendsetters.
Unlike what Jim Wangers so brilliantly did with the GTO, marketing street car packages seemed to take second-place to noting racing machinery for Chrysler. The Hot ’65 Dodge advertising campaign was coupled to race Hemi stuff in many of the enthusiast magazines. After all, Chrysler’s drag cars were in the automotive enthusiast magazines on a regular basis. Since the company had chosen to boycott NASCAR in 1965, engineers at Highland Park had developed a package of radical changes for their handful of factory experimental cars, and the subsequently altered wheelbase cars soon resulted in the popular moniker ‘funny car.’ The 426 Hemi race engine was also being used in a run of Super Stock entries built around low-budget sedan body styles; there was no Street Hemi yet.
Nonetheless, for the street crowd, Dodge had a lot going for them. The new 1965 midsize and full-size vehicles had been restyled; the car used for the new Coronet nameplate (which had last appeared in the 1950s) had been shortened to a 117” wheelbase on a 204” overall length, and the former mid-size Polara grew larger to become the full-size model in Dodge’s line-up. The Coronet now became the musclecar in Dodge’s line-up, available in the base Coronet (formerly Dodge 330 grade), midrange Coronet 440 trim, and upscale Coronet 500 trim. The 500 was only available as a two-door sports model (hardtop or convertible), with bucket seats and console as part of the package. The others could be had in any format from two-door sedan to 9-passenger station wagon.
|That is an original AFB on top of an engine with original paint, original coil and original valve cover decals. Amazing…||Chrysler’s New Process four-speed was only a year old, and either it or the Torqueflite could be had with 426S package at no extra charge. The tach mounted in the console was optional.|