Remembering Jim Thornton, Dodge Performance Legend

Jim Thornton (Photo: Chrysler Historical Collection via We Were the Ramchargers)

On Monday, June 2, 2014, the drag racing world and fans of Dodge drag racing history lost Jim Thornton to an autoimmune disease and a rare form of cancer. He was 77. Thornton was the man behind the Super Stock and Factory Experimental Max Wedge and Race HEMI® vehicle platforms that carried racers to victory in the early and mid-sixties. Born in Richmond, Missouri, in 1937, Thornton — who served as race vehicle design manager at Chrysler from…

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Remembering Jim Thornton, Dodge Performance Legend

The Dodge Heritage Series: Part 4, 1950-1959

1955-Dodge-Royal_Lancer

 

Welcome back to the Dodge Heritage Series, a 10-part exploration of Dodge brand history. This is Part 4 in the series.

 

The 1950s were an exciting time at Dodge. The decade featured a long, impressive list of engineering innovations and bold, new styling that led the American auto industry.

 

With its sibling brands at the Chrysler Corporation — Plymouth, DeSoto and Chrysler — Dodge introduced the Forward Look in 1955. This unique styling language, developed by Vice President of Design Virgil Exner, featured sleek, swept-back lines, aggressive grille openings and dramatic tail…

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The Dodge Heritage Series: Part 4, 1950-1959

A Pair of Crowns: 1968 Coronet R/T and Super Bee Hulks Await Restoration

Story & photos by Steve Magnante. Please hover over each picture for more information.

 

On first glance, only the domed hood sets this WS23L Coronet R/T hulk apart from a run–of-the-mill Slant Six or 318 car. While family-style Coronets came with flat hoods, only the R/T and Super Bee screamers carried this non-functional domed unit, which also saw service in 1969 (on non-cold air cars). Despite the kinked hinge, severe surface rust and botched plastic fill job, it’s salvageable.

 

 

A car’s name is just as important as its outward appearance. The sleekest…

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A Pair of Crowns: 1968 Coronet R/T and Super Bee Hulks Await Restoration