What Is It?

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Last week's photograph (the blue beauty with the black vinyl roof) showed the rear quarter panel of the 1968 Dodge Coronet R/T, one of the many muscle cars that blossomed from the Big Three in the 1960s.

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One clue as to the model year of this 1968 Dodge Coronet R/T was the round side marker light on the rear fender. Most Chrysler cars had the round lights the first year they were required.   Chrysler Group LLC
Chrysler Group LLC
One clue as to the model year of this 1968 Dodge Coronet R/T was the round side marker light on the rear fender. Most Chrysler cars had the round lights the first year they were required.

There were several clues to its identity: The styling, which debuted for 1968 and continued for 1969; the round side marker lights that appeared only in 1968, the first year the safety feature was mandated; the style of the stripes at the tail.

Moreover, the photo showed a two-door hardtop, and the Super Bee -- which many readers guessed -- debuted that year as a pillared coupe.

Many readers identified it as a 1967 or 1969, and many more as the Charger, whose styling was different. There were many other guesses, too, including Chrysler products such as the Plymouth Road Runner, Barracuda and Satellite. There were many more incorrect guesses than correct.

Chosen randomly from the names of the readers who guessed 1968 Dodge Coronet was Gerald Byrd , of Augusta, who wrote:

"This was my dream car in the '60s. It is a very rare car because they made more Super Bees than they did Coronets.

"It came with the 440 engine. The 440 was one bad you-know-what-kind of car. The first one I ever saw was a model kit, and from there on out, I wanted one and I've never had one. I had one opportunity to buy one and couldn't get it.

"They were great cars. Of course, Chrysler products were rust-prone back in the day because of their thin metal. That's what made them go so fast -- they were such light weight.

"There's no way it can be anything else. Thanks for the memories."

Byrd wins a gift from The Augusta Chronicle.

Also identifying the 1968 Coronet were:

AIKEN: Howard Jones said he identified the car by the marker lights, stripes and an insignia on the roof pillar.

Also: Raymond Richards

CLARKS HILL, S.C.: Jerry Pittman

CUMMING, GA.: Chris Rhodes wrote: "While sharing the same quarter panel sheet metal as the '69, the '68 model had the double skinny quarter stripe and the '69 had a wider single stripe with 'R/T' in the center.

"Equipped with Chrysler's venerable 375-horse 440 wedge V-8, the Coronet R/T was a stoplight terror. It was a long, low and heavy car, but the R/T had massive low-end torque and was capable of great off-the-line acceleration.

"Back in the day (mid-1980s), I knew an older gentleman who owned a 440 wedge-powered Dodge. It was nasty quick and ran like a scalded dog, or a shot-at cat!

"Though the Coronet R/T had the power to please its target market, it never enjoyed very brisk sales. This was in part because 1968 also saw the introduction of a redesigned and wildly popular Charger. While more expensive than the Coronet, the Charger was viewed by many as a more appealing design.

"To further aggravate the situation, Dodge also debuted the Super Bee, which provided nearly as much power and performance as the Coronet at a significantly lower price. With a more handsome cousin and a cheaper brother in the same showroom, the R/T never secured a strong foothold in the sales department."

EVANS: Larry Heath wrote: "The car is the 1968 Dodge Coronet R/T model, based on the rear stripes. This was the Dodge version of the Plymouth GTX. The car came standard with a 440 engine rated at 375 horsepower. The only optional engine was the famed 426/425-horsepower Hemi.

"This (and the GTX) was intended to be an upscale muscle car. The cheaper versions were the Plymouth Road Runner and the Dodge Super Bee, which came with the 383 rated at 335 horsepower.

"I bought a new GTX in 1968 upon my return from Vietnam. It was stolen and stripped about two years later. Had this not happened I would possibly still have it stored away in the garage.

"This is an excellent example of the muscle car heyday. By 1971, insurance and government regulations emissions basically ended the original muscle car era. Only a few survivors (such as Pontiac's Trans Am) carried the banner into the later 70s."

Wayne Wilke wrote: "Most were sold with a 375-horsepower, 440-cubic-inch V-8. It was a Chrysler 'B' body platform, which it shared with the Dodge Charger and Super Bee. The Coronet was the only one available as a convertible, however.

"The Coronet was not as popular as the Charger or the Pontiac GTO but it held a special place with Mopar muscle-car mavens."

GIRARD, GA.: David Alexander guessed the 1968 R/T, wrote his wife, Diane Alexander.

GROVETOWN: Robert Martin and Sandra Sheppard

MARTINEZ: Jeff Miller wrote: "The car shown in last week's paper should represent a 1968 Dodge Coronet R/T -- most likely with a 440-cubic-inch-displacement engine. You've got to love those redline tires, right?

"I'm sure you'll have tons of people identify this ride as a Charger, but, it is a Coronet. The almost indistinguishable Coronet and Charger could be seen as automotive doppelgangers of each other."

Jim Muraski wrote: "This week's car is a 1968 Dodge Coronet R/T. There were 9,964 hardtops produced and shipped to U.S. dealers. The base price was $3,379. The majority were produced with the venerable 375-horsepower 440 Magnum V-8, while a scant 230 buyers ponied up the additional $435 to upgrade to the 425-horsepower 426 Hemi."

Christopher C. March Sr. wrote: "The vehicle for this week is a 1968 Dodge Coronet R/T 440 cubic inch, 375-horsepower engine, with automatic transmission. This one has a black vinyl top, Magnum 500 wheels and redline tires.

"The Dodge Coronet was completely redesign in 1968. As in 1967, the 440 V-8 was available only in the Coronet R/T in 1968 ..."

NORTH AUGUSTA: Kevin Tesch

WARRENVILLE: George Taylor.

THIS WEEK'S CONTEST

Can you tell us the make and model of this 2011 vehicle (the blue-gray one that shows just the roof)? For example, your entry might be to the effect of: the Pontiac Banshee.

If you recognize the vehicle, call (706) 823-3419 or e-mail your entry to glynn.moore@augustachronicle.com.

We need your complete name, the city or community you live in, and your telephone number.

If you call, please spell your name so we can include you.

If you have any comments about this vehicle, please include them. Comments will be edited for space and content.

Your deadline is noon Wednesday. A winner will be chosen randomly, and the results will be printed in next Friday's newspaper.


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