1967 Dodge Coronet R/T Hemi

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Dodge conjured the Coronet R/T as its first comprehensive muscle car model. See more muscle car pictures.

Sometimes packaging could make all the difference for a muscle car. This certainly was the case for the 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T Hemi.

Dodge's midsize Coronet was given handsome new styling for '66 and could be armed with devastating power. But to casual eyes, the modest "426 Hemi" fender badge was all that separated it from grandpa's grocery-getter.


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Dodge remedied that for '67, introducing a new model whose initials stood for Road and Track. Without disturbing the Coronet's clean lines, the R/T added enough performance cues to make its meaning clear. It got an exclusive Charger-inspired grille with exposed headlamps, plus modest nonfunctional hood slats and small R/T emblems.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. This is one of the 9,553 1967 R/T hardtops that Dodge built.

The sporty theme continued inside with standard bucket seats (though a tach was a $50 extra). Underneath, the R/T was all business: The suspension had heavy-duty everything -- even ball joints -- while the standard 11-inch police-spec drum brakes could be augmented by a $70 front-disc option.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Buckets were standard in the R/T, and buyers chose between a center console with floor shift or a fold-down center armrest with a column-shifted TorqueFlite, as shown here.

Included in the $3,199 base price of the R/T hardtop or the $3,438 convertible was Chrysler's largest engine, the 440-cid V-8, here tweaked to 375 bhp and christened the Magnum. The only engine option was the 426-cid Hemi, now in its second year in "Street" trim and again rated at 425 bhp. It added $908. Transmission choices were Mopar's excellent heavy-duty three-speed TorqueFlite automatic or a four-speed manual.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Standard in the 1967 Coronet R/T Hemi was the four-barrel 440 Magnum V-8.

For minimum-hassle street work, the consensus choice was the 440. It was quicker than the Hemi up to about 60 mph, cheaper to buy, and easier to maintain. But for pitiless dominance, it was the Hemi.

"The 426 Hemi is unquestionably the king of the muscle cars, both for its speed and for its defiance," wrote Patrick Bedard for Car and Driver in 1990, putting this edition of Mopar's intermediates among his Ten Best all-time muscle cars. "The 'Street Hemi' was a class act, very smooth, quiet at idle, tractable in traffic." Open it up, however, and it revved like a Ferrari and ruled like, well, King Kong.

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