1965 Dodge Coronet Restored With A 493 Cubic Inch Big Block

Restoring a classic is a fine balance of maintaining the original appeal and bringing modern power and reliability. In the case of this 1965 Dodge Coronet, a much larger than stock engine hides under the hood. A capable piece of muscle in its day, its displacement is now almost doubled over the factory build specs.

On the outside it has the appearance of a car that’s ready to roll onto the show room floor and win awards. On the inside, there’s the heart of a drag strip champion that matches the car’s history. The owner, Ken Meredith, has been a life long Mopar fan and has been building his skills for decades.

He always has a project car on the go in his own shop and this car owes its slick paint job to his day job. Working at Byrd’s Automotive¬† selling paints to other shops, he had the knowledge to pick a sharp color. Working with his father in their garage from a young age, he also built up his wrenching skills that culminate in this Coronet.

This 1965 Dodge originally rolled out of the factory with a 273 cubic inch engine that was powerful for its day. However, while he was bringing it back to the modern day, Ken wanted to give it so much more. The car itself has a history that included more than $40,000 in race winnings with its previous owner, LC Bigham.

Working on it through evenings and weekends, Ken massaged the RB big block 440 to 493 cubic inches of displacement. This build is good for more than 600 horsepower that flows through a three speed automatic.

The suspension system is relatively near to stock with the only notable change being Super Stock leaf springs. Front and rear wheels are 15″ diameter with 7″ width in the front and 8″ in the rear. The wheels were supplied by Rocket Fuel and wrapped in BFGoodrich Radial T/A rubber.

The interior remains pretty simple in terms of its layout because its focus was function for racing. The entire inside is wrapped in red from the leather of the bench seat, the dash and door panels. The gauges and components in the console are all original instruments that lend themselves to the authenticity of his build.

We’re betting that this already successful racer could still have plenty of podiums left in its future. Feel free to share your thoughts on this 1965 Dodge Coronet restoration job and its new, more powerful heart.

Categories: Gear Grinding

James Murrell
About James Murrell

I love to read about and research all sorts of vehicles from restored classics to top shelf supercars, monstrous offroaders to weird concept vehicles. I always have a vehicle build happening on one side of my garage for myself and a second bay open for my friends to come and build their dreams too.