Owned by Dave from Orangeville, ON
As my phone rang, I glanced at the caller ID, “skid lid”, alias for my best buddy Roger. Picking up, the first thing he said was “Dave, there’s lettering under the paint on this Dodge, might be something special. I can’t make it all out yet but there’s more on the back quarters…”
That was over twenty years ago and yes, Roger’s intuition was right, he did have something special, or at least unique for our neck of the woods. A 1965 Coronet ‘post’ sedan, only available in the US, which had been transported north, along with three others from PA into Canada, all destined to become Super Stock drag cars. This particular Coronet was transformed from grocery getter to 1⁄4 miler in the early 1980’s, making its racing debut with the name ‘Car Crafters Dodge’, which was later discovered to be an auto restoration shop in western Ontario. It was also rumored to be driven by Mr. Warren Jackson, but this however, was never verified. Early on, the Coronet changed hands numerous times, as race cars often do, with the second verified name change occurring in the mid 80’s. The previously known ‘Car Crafters Dodge’ had now become the ‘Shine Runner’, said to be raced by ‘Murray’, no last name available from past source.
The Coronets early life was spent at local strips in and around the Cayuga & St. Thomas area, running brackets and clicking off 11 second passes. Unfortunately, any further details from that time period have been tough to track down. The last piece of Coronet history uncovered was that a pair of brothers raced the car into the early 90’s, but not after cutting and drilling out every square inch of what they considered ‘excess weight’. As a result, the coronet’s new look was similar to a Swiss cheese sandwich with a big helping of hackery, but that being said, back in the early days bodies were pretty expendable so just go grab another one!
One last interesting piece of information mentioned offered to me by an older fella years ago was that he remembered the Coronet running big 426cu Hemi power but, couldn’t recall with who or under what name. That small scrap of information would explain why the rear portion of the passenger side shock tower was removed, probably to allow easier access to the #8 spark plug.
The Coronet doesn’t see Christmas trees anymore, mostly pine during local cruises throughout the summer each year. Any responsible owner knows it’s against the insurance rules to be anywhere near a drag strip surface with an ex-drag car..!
In closing the Coronet is currently powered by a lightly stroked 440 dual 4/4spd dual quad-833, original six-point cage, Super Stock tub and factory bench. I thought it important to retain the look and feel it had back in its old racing days. People often tell me after seeing the car, their thoughts are transported back to a time when cars like this filled the streets. One night, someone looking at the car said to me ‘thanks for the memory’, which really sums up one of the best parts about building these cars, turning back time and re-creating what once was.
Thanks for reading about the Dodge, and if you happen to catch up with us, be sure to stop and say hello ….! Any new history on the Dodge is always exciting to hear should this resonate with anyone. A quick shout out to RSA on behalf of Jim Hitchcock with Zehr, great folks all around.
Cheers to a great safe summer!
Peddlers Car Club