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Bucket List 1965 Dodge Coronet AF/X

Words and Photos: Gary Rosier

Mark May of New Smyrna Beach, FL had always wanted an AF/X car that was so instrumental in kicking off the Funny car phase of Drag racing. Something always got in the way it seemed; like a job, family, and making ends meet. His ability to do most anything on the car was gleamed from so many years in the auto parts business, including his own speed shop (12 years) that morphed into a regular auto parts store for 35 more.

At a very early age, he had worked in a Dodge Dealership that his Dad's best friend owned. He worked his way up the ladder startng with washing cars, chasing parts, and learning to use the various machines around the shop. He was a MOPAR guy all the way he says, Dick Landy of course being one of his early favorites!

He visited Florida not long ago one winter and told his wife Rosemarie how he would love to get out of that dreary and cold Wisconsin weather! In the fall of '09 he acquired the shop he had been looking for in Edgewater, FL...that happened to have a house with it, so his wife was easy to please he said and off they went!

Mark had always had his hand in some kind of racing as he had drag raced, did the oval deal for a while and even some ice racing. Fast foward about 4 years ago and Mark found this early Dodge (1965 Coronet) rotting away in Fort Lauderdale. Mark was always building cars for customers it seemed, but tackling this one was almost too tall a task he says as it was a real basket case. Undaunted though, he dove right in and slowly transformed the old relic to what you see here. He's sure he saved this car from the crusher as there was so much rot in it!

Powered by a 440 cu inch 9.5:1 engine that he purchased from an old farm sale believe it or not, it features a pushbutton 727 trans, Mopar rear with 3:73 gears (sure-grip differential), a Speedway Motors straight axle, fiberglass hood, trunk, front and rear bumpers too!

Mark did all his own work on the car except having the transmission built at Gary's Transmission in New Smyrna Beach, FL with a 2500 stahl converter and (unkown) shift kit. It's the ONLY thing he had to farm out. He moved the rear wheels ahead 15 inches and fronts 10 inches.  He also fabricated the 6 point roll cage.

Paint was applied by Mark and is a Dupont White with a little pearl in it and House of Color Candy Tangerine also. His buddy owns Becker signs from Wisconsin Rapids and every winter when he comes to visit Mark has a project for him and thanks him for the great job he did lettering this car.

The Simpson 'chute IS functional, he says! Bucket seats are from Speedway Motors, cheater slicks and owner-built custom "fool-injection" he calls it (its got an Offy intake with a 750 Holley double pumper under there!) rounds out the drag racing and go-goodies.

I don't know about you, but I've followed these cars all my life it seems, having grown up in this era of drag cars, muscle cars and more. Mark gave me a ride in it and what a thrill! We attracted so much attention! You would have thought we were transported back in time, seeing those injectors sticking up and the loud "music" reverberating from those exhausts.

While this car may have been headed to the crusher, and way too many have met this fate, Mark sure hit the nail on the head building this car. Thank goodness for people like him. Final Notice or Bucket List AF/X or whatever, this is one sweet ride and accomplishment. Well done Mark - we LOVE IT!