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In the Garage: 1966 Dodge Coronet 500
THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1966 Dodge Coronet 500 sedan owned by Andrew N. Vourlos
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
While sedans of the ‘60s have been gaining collector interest as prices rise for more preferred convertibles or coupes, there’s a whole lot more to the story behind Vourlos’ Coronet. It’s been part of his family for over 46 years. “It was our primary car, serving as a daily driver and vacation vehicle,” he says.
“The Coronet has a very striking color called ‘Dark Turquoise.’ The interior is color-keyed with the exterior, which makes for a very rich and beautiful combination. When buying the car new, my mom chose this car from others on the lot because the color reminded her of the ocean, which she loved so very much.”
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
Since January 2011
WHERE HE FOUND IT
“The Coronet was in my family since my dad bought it new in September of 1966 from Helms Brothers Dodge in Bayside, Queens,” he says. “I brought it to my home on Long Island after it spent its entire life at my childhood residence in Fresh Meadows, Queens.”
“When I brought the Coronet home, she had just over 201,000 miles on her and was burning oil,” Vourlos says. “I pulled the drive train on Thanksgiving weekend of 2012 and sent it out to be overhauled by a local engine shop. There are some small areas of rust that I need to repair and some tears in the seats. Overall, though, she is in solid shape. I hope to have her back on the road in time for Father’s Day.”
TIPS FOR OWNERS
“When rebuilding a motor,” he advises, “find a shop that has been around a long time with decades of experience. My dad’s motor is in great care at the place that I found.”
“My dad paid $2,748 for the Coronet, as evidenced by the original bill of sale from the dealer, which Dad kept along with the window sticker that showed an MSRP of $3,135.70. For me, there is no price tag for the Coronet. She is pure sentimental value.”
THE BOTTOM LINE
“In 2009, I lost my mom to a heart attack,” Vourlos says. “Fourteen months later, I lost my dad to renal cancer. These were the two most wonderful parents a son could have ever wanted. I love them dearly and miss them terribly. The Coronet is my final connection to the lifetime that I spent with them. I will never refer to the Coronet as ‘my car.’ It is, and always will be, ‘Dad’s car.’ Once back together, ‘Dad’s car’ will again frequent the cruise scene as my tribute to him for all the years we had together.”
If you have an antique, classic or collectible car to be considered for this page, please send your information and a jpg photo (at least 200 dpi) to David Fluhrer, Optimum Autos; e-mail: email@example.com.