Dodge Stories
Mopar Muscle|January 2020
The ever-evolving chase for the story behind this very rare Mr. Norm–sold 1965 Dodge Coronet 500
Cam Benty

In this Coronet’s last 54 times around the sun, there are some very clear things we know about this amazing car.

• The car was originally built as a 1965 Coronet 500 with a Street Wedge 426ci/365hp engine, a four-speed transmission, and lots of cool performance stuff.

• The car was delivered to the new owner by the famous folks at Mr. Norms Grand Spaulding Dodge in Chicago, as documented by the original factory punch card that came with the car.

• At some point, it was upgraded with a date-coded 1966 426ci Hemi engine dressed with twin Holley carbs on a chromed cross-ram intake, a 1970s date-coded Dana 60 rearend, and a fiberglass front that includes the very cool drag race-inspired hood scoop.

• So what does that all mean for current owner Brad Toles? That he has an amazingly cool Dodge with lots of unique history. Best of all, that Dodge gets him as excited as a kid on Christmas morning every time it lights. As we followed behind the Dodge to the photo location, he said, “Just look at that thing! That’s so awesome! It looks small but is bigger than a ’Cuda and the lines are just perfect. Can you imagine that this car rolled off the dealership lot? You gotta love it!”

• Yep, just like Christmas.

GRAND SPAULDING DODGE

During the late 1950s and 1960s, the number of car dealerships jumped dramatically across the country. Manufacturers reasoned that if prospective buyers had a dealership in their neighborhood, the companies would sell more cars. In this Golden Age of American car production (1955- 1970), some dealerships began to focus on performance cars as a way to generate additional traffic. Yenko in Pennsylvania, Motion in New York, Dana in California, Royal in Michigan, Galpin in California, and others all specialized in delivering high-powered cars to a thirsty public. Most importantly, car manufacturers took advantage of this specialization, creating unique cars with bigger engines and other performance options to help push cars.

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