Groovy in Gold: Raymond & Martha Gill’s 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T

The term “Day 2” is one that comes up fairly often in the muscle car world. This describes cars that owners bought new off the dealership lot and almost instantly modified. Parts like the original wheels were taken off and aftermarket mag wheels and big tires were bolted on. Factory exhaust manifolds, valve covers and air cleaners were tossed in the scrap pile and aftermarket headers, chrome valve covers and air cleaners were put in their place.

These cars were jacked up on shackles sometimes with side exit exhaust and other various modifications that made them stand out from others on the street. One of our favorite “Day 2” modifications was the funky custom paint jobs that many did. These multi-colored bright and flashy paint jobs get our hearts beating fast. While unfortunately many of these custom paint jobs have been lost to factory OEM restorations, you still come across quite a few Mopars still wearing their custom paint proudly and we love it!

One of these Mopars still wearing its custom paint job is Raymond and Martha Gill’s 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T. Raymond tells us, “I am the 3rd owner of this car. It was purchased new on January 17th, 1967 from Carl D. Silver, Inc. in Fredericksburg, Virginia. It was painted RR1 Yellow with a black vinyl top and black interior.”

In 1968, it was used as a trade-in on a new Hemi car. Raymond’s dear friend Billy Swerchek, purchased the car from the dealer on September 26th, 1968 after returning from service in Vietnam. After Billy’s unfortunate passing in 2010, Raymond was able to purchase the Coronet from his widow.

Like most “Day 2” muscle cars of the era, the Coronet was fitted with headers, traction bars, an Edelbrock intake, Holley carb, and Cragar S/S wheels. Unfortunately, most of the removed original parts were discarded like they usually were. During that time, it clocked a best of 99.77 miles per hour at 13.68 seconds at the ¼ mile Mason Dixon Dragway near Hagerstown, Maryland.

In 1970, Billy’s interest turned to customization and he delivered the yellow R/T to Bud’s Custom Paint in Maryland with instructions to “use your imagination.” Bud did not disappoint as you can see. After it received its new gold, red and green paint job, the car was driven very little and always garaged.

In 1995, Billy brought the car to Raymond requesting that it be restored back to original. The search began for correct, date-coded engine parts to replace the aftermarket substitutions. At this point, the car showed 101,007 miles so the original 440 and 4-speed transmission were carefully rebuilt using a correct intake, carburetor, valve covers, and air cleaner.

Although repainting the car back to yellow was discussed, they thankfully decided it was too unique to remove so the aging paint remains as a tribute to the past.

The factory 440, assembled by Chrysler on December 13th, 1966 was stroked to 448 cubic inches with a 10:1 compression ratio, and the original forged crank. The high performance cylinder heads are one-year only for 1967 with 2.08” intake valves and 1.74” exhaust valves with 70cc closed combustion chambers.

The heads are stock except for minor pocket porting and hardened exhaust seats. The camshaft is a Michigan 725 and Lunati lifters and a Melling double roller timing chain complete the build.

As mentioned, the Coronet still has its original A-833 4-speed transmission, with factory Hurst shifter. It’s been upgraded with a Centerforce II dual friction, 11” clutch. Out back is the original Dana 60 rear differential fitted with a 4.10 geared Sure Grip unit.

Raymond says the black vinyl top and interior are all original to the car as it left the assembly line. He keeps it tucked away in his garage and only drives it on nice days as it has not seen rain since 1972! He shares, “The Coronet is at home in my collection with my 1970 Barracuda, 1972 Satellite Sebring Plus, 1978 Magnum SE and 1979 Lil Red Express.”

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Cody Krueger

Car Feature Editor – Since the age of 4, Cody has been obsessed with everything Mopar. On Christmas of 1998, Cody's parents gave him a rusty '69 Charger shell that his father saved from a field. Cody's garage still features that '69 Charger as well as the additions of a '71 Charger R/T, '71 Super Bee, '73 Duster, '08 Challenger SRT8 and a '13 Ram 3500. Cody can truly and proudly say that he is a true Mopar nut in love with all types of Mopars!

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