The incredible thing about the automotive world is how it brings people together. The passion and love for cars can create long-term friendships that last a lifetime. For John Hineman of Alberta, Canada, the love and ownership of two Plum Crazy Purple Dodge Challengers gained him a lifelong friend and eventually gave him the opportunity to purchase two amazing B-Bodies.
“I met my friend Jack back in 2010. We were local to each other and both bought brand new 2010 Challengers in Plum Crazy Purple; his being an SRT8 and mine being an R/T Classic,” recalls John. One day, John went over to Jack’s for a visit and noticed a red 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T sitting out front of his garage. The paint was faded but the car looked to be solid and all there.
John shares, “Over the years, I had heard about a very similar Coronet that was parked in a backyard in west Edmonton since 1976. The car had a bit of a following and was well known. Lots of people tried to buy it over the years but it was never for sale. As it turns out, this was the same car. The backyard it sat in actually happened to be Jack’s fathers.”
Upon talking to Jack about the Coronet, John learned that the car was sold brand new at Lawson Oates in Vancouver, British Columbia. It rolled out of the factory with a 440 Magnum backed by an 18 spline A-833 4-Speed manual transmission and a 3:54 geared Dana 60 rear end. It was driven around locally in the Vancouver area by the original owner until 1970 when it was put up for sale. A fellow named Spike bought it after seeing it with a for sale sign on it in downtown Vancouver. At some point, it ended up in Edmonton where Jack bought it in the fall of 1973.
Jack would drive the Coronet until 1976 when he parked it in his father’s backyard. Over the years, he pulled out the original engine and rebuilt it but never installed it. The car would sit in the backyard for 33 years until he brought it home to his house around 2009. Since bringing it home, it continued to sit. John tells us, “While we were talking about the Coronet, I asked him if it was for sale in which he replied “Nope, not for sale.” Over the years, I would stop by to say hello and see how he was doing. Of course, I always had to ask about the Coronet. We both loved our Mopars and would always have great chats, but as always, the Coronet wasn’t for sale.”
One day while over at Jack’s, he mentioned to John about his “other car”. Naturally, John asked “what other car?” He told John that he had a FJ5 Limelight 1970 Plymouth Road Runner in the garage. To make things even better, it was a factory V-Code 440 Six Barrel 4-Speed car! Now, for those that don’t know John should know that while he loves everything Mopar, the words FJ5 Limelight/Sublime, FC7 In-Violet/Plum Crazy Purple and V-Code (Six-Pack/Six-Barrel) get him especially excited.
“I immediately told him that I needed to see it! FJ5 and a V-Code on top of that were right up my alley. He told me that I couldn’t see much of it as the garage was full but he’d show me anyways. He cracked open the door and man was he right. All I could see was a small portion of a FJ5 Limelight front fender. He closed the door and said, “It’s definitely not for sale,” John laughs. He continues to say, “I offered to help him clean the garage to where he could at least park the Coronet inside with the Road Runner but he declined the offer.”
Jack explained that the Road Runner was sold new at Fleming Motors in Lethbridge, Alberta on September 3rd, 1970 to a fellow named Dennis. It came from the factory equipped with the Super Track Pak which included a 4:10 equipped Dana 60 rear end, the Road Runner Décor Package, a black bench seat interior and power front disc brakes to name some of the options.
Early on, Dennis swapped the 4:10 gears out for a set of 3:54s better suited for highway driving. In the mid 1970’s, Dennis was now living in Edmonton, and decided to put the car up for sale. Jack’s brother purchased the Road Runner and about a year later, sold it to Jack. Jack would drive the car for a few years, even using it in him and his wife Judy’s wedding in 1978. In 1982, he parked the Road Runner and it wouldn’t see the road after that.
Fast forwarding to this past summer, John went over to Jack’s for a visit and noticed that his house was up for sale. He says, “We got to talking and I offered to help him pack and move all of his stuff. About a month later, during one of our conversations, he told me that he had finally decided to sell me the Coronet R/T. He knew that I loved the car and finally felt comfortable with letting it go.”
John agreed to buy the Coronet but naturally, had to ask about the Road Runner. Jack told him that it still wasn’t for sale. John shares, “Since I couldn’t buy the car, I did the next best thing. I offered him free secure storage of the Road Runner until he decided to do something with it; whether it be getting it back on the road or selling it. My only condition was that I wanted first chance if he did decide to sell it down the road in which he agreed.”
Jack’s house eventually got an accepted offer on it so over the next while, John and Jack proceeded to clean up the property and started moving things to Jack’s new house. One day in August, Judy took John aside. “Judy said, “John. Jack really likes you. You’re like his best friend. I think if you were to ask him about the Road Runner, I think he’ll sell it to you now”, John says. John asked him about the Road Runner and sure enough, Jack agreed to sell it.
John tells us that he plans to get both of the cars on the road and start enjoying them. Thankfully, both the Road Runner and Coronet are very solid with very little to no rust and both are still numbers matching to this day.
John says in closing, “The Coronet has been off the road for 43 years and the Road Runner for 37 years. It was really nice to be able to put the Coronet inside for the first time in 43 years and I’m really looking forward to getting them back on the road. I am very happy and appreciative to be the new owner of both cars. I truly believe Jack is happy and content knowing my appreciation I have for his Mopars and that they are both in a good home.”