They all mean the same thing, but in the case of this particular '70 R/T, the meaning couldn't be more significant. This one is the Pilot-the first '70 Coronet built. Though not correct in every pain-staking detail, for a car this significant, it doesn't need to be.

Knowing that it exists, and being able to see it, is enough. Knowing that it is as original as it is, meaning that everything it rolled out of Chrysler's doors with is still intact, is a really nice bonus. That includes the numbers-matching driveline. This isn't some rare Fender Tag somebody restored a car around.

For most Mopars the basic history for restoration is not too difficult to track down. However, for a Pilot Car, a whole different set of rules is needed. A lot of the car's construction history comes by way of inductive reasoning. For instance, it is believed that the car was assembled in St. Louis in early 1969. The coding on the fender tag verifies the early construction date, April 1969, but production location is an educated guess based on the fact that only the St. Louis plant did not add separate Fender Tags to call out "Pilot" or "Executive Order" cars, as the other Chrysler plants did. In addition, there are no Broadcast Sheets for the car, but that would make sense because the car would have been built virtually by hand by a small team of assemblers. This also explains the lack of inspection marks, or any evidence of them ever existing.

It has been well documented that early- and late-production vehicles often had "wrong year" holdover parts installed during their construction. This car is no different. While the dash cover was the same for the '69-'70 model years, the door panels and instrument cluster were distinct, yet this car has the '69 pieces installed.

Interestingly, the seat covers, which are original, have the '70 patterns on them. Under the hood is perhaps where you will find the most significant crossover parts, in the form of the entire Six Pack induction system. The codes on the carbs and intake manifold indicate '69 1⁄2 M-car (the lift-off hood Super Bees and Road Runners), which were the first Chryslers to carry the now-legendary Holley set up. Six Packs were first mass produced in 1970, so an earlier set found its way on the R/T. Same for the skid plate on the front K-member and heavy duty frame boxes for the rear spring mounts-starting in 1970, all Six Pack cars had them.

While talking with owner Robert Yapell, it became clear that most of the pieces that had not been sorted out on the models prior to 1970 were installed on this car, hence the Six Pack intake, the hood-mounted turn signal indicators and the one-year-only hood. The car wasn't built for promotional use, it was built as a guinea pig.

The one concession to looks versus engineering troubleshooting comes by way of the paint code, which originally calls for B-5 Blue. Someone realized that if the car was going to be used in factory assembly manuals and parts catalogs, the blue hue wouldn't work, so a switch to white with a black top and interior was ordered. This is confirmed by white overspray located around the window openings inside the quarter-panels, as well as a few other places. Unfortunately, the car was treated to a "Red Convertible/Black Top and Interior" restoration by a former owner in the early 1980s, when everybody with a convertible wanted it to be red.