Jay Leno gets cozy with his 1966 Dodge Coronet

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The muscle car era was a fascinating time for the American automobile.

Jay Leno knows this and he owns a handful of wonderful examples of the era. One of his greatest examples is his 1966 Dodge Coronet. What looks like your average massive coupe hides a beastly secret between its fenders. If you glance at the badge, you'll see "426 Hemi" and you know this thing means business.

On the outside, the Coronet appears fairly plain in its appearance. The color is lovely, but the rest of the car is standard middle-to-lower trim bits and pieces. It's that massive Hemi sitting under the hood that sets its apart though, and it does so with noise and power.

From the factory, the engine was rated for around 425 horsepower. Everyone under the sun says it was underrated though, and it was making closer to 500 horsepower. That's pretty thrilling for a vehicle with four-wheel drum brakes and a suspension setup on par with that of your average old pickup truck. It can't corner. It can't stop. But it will make you smile every time you fire it up and hit the gas.

Today's muscle cars are pretty amazing machines. The originals, however, are where the real muscle magic still lies and this is a great example of that.

 
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