426 Hemi Powered: 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II

Prior to the advent of the Road Runners and Super Bees, Plymouth and Dodge stuffed some of their most robust powerplants under the hoods of the Belvedere and Coronet. This 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II is one of those cars, and it was graced with the biggest of big: the 426 Hemi. Because it is a 2-door hardtop, it was one of only 531 built and – according to the seller – the last Hemi installation for the 1966 model year. Wearing most of its original paint, it’s located near Vancouver, British Columbia and available here on craigslist for $88,000 OBO. Thanks, Ron, for finding this rare survivor for us!

Chrysler made the decision for 1962 to downsize their full-size cars, thinking that was the direction the competition was going, specifically Chevrolet. They were wrong and for two years tried to sell “small” full-size cars and sales suffered as a result. They rebounded from that for 1964 with bigger full-size automobiles but retooled the ’62-’63’s as intermediates, the Plymouth Belvedere and Dodge Coronet. For 1966, the Belvedere was the entry-level Plymouth in this class, while the Belvedere II was a step up. The Belvedere would be a popular car in NASCAR and Richard Petty won the Winston Cup in 1967 with one using a 426 Hemi race V-8 engine.

The 426 Hemi was the second evolution on the Chrysler motor with hemispherical combustion chambers, hence the name. In order for Chrysler to use the Hemi in NASCAR, they had to offer a “street version” of the engine beginning in 1966. The “Street Hemi” was similar to the race Hemi but with an inline 2X4-bbl induction system, lower compression (10.25:1 from 12.5:1) and a lower-lift camshaft with iron exhaust manifolds instead of lighter steel long tube headers. The street Hemi was rated at 425 hp at 5000 rpm SAE gross and 490 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. Thanks, Wikipedia, for Hemi background info.

For 1966, only 2,729 street Hemi’s went into production Chrysler products, the Belvedere, Coronet, and Charger. 1,521 of those were in Plymouths and just 531 were installed in the Belvedere II 2-door hardtop, like the seller’s car. We’re told this barn-burner was the last one built for 1966 with the Hemi installed (July 22, 1966). The car never went through dealer-preparation and was not registered for road-use until the 1970s in the State of Georgia. It has been minimally used the past 50 years, with just 40,000 miles on the odometer.

For the most part, this car is said to be completely original. The body is clean with no signs of rust. We’re told that the right fender was replaced at some point in its life, which might suggest it was in an incident. The dark green paint seems to match up fine. The black interior looks to be good, too, but all the photos of inside the car are blurry and not worthy of posting here. When originally purchased, the car was ordered without a radio and without a choke (is that a usual move for carbureted 1960s cars?)

The seller doesn’t come out and say that the engine runs well, but at the price point asked, we’re thinking this was and is a scalded ape when lit up. Which leads to another factory deletion: Positraction. So, this car has plenty of potential – even with a TorqueFlite automatic – to fishtail all over the place. The Belvedere has its original rims with bias-ply tires (surely not original rubbers). Delivery of the car is available, so the involvement of a dealer here seems logical. The seller’s asking price is right in the middle of the range for several other late ‘60s Hemi’s that are on the market right now ($70-100,000).

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Comments

  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    What a phenomenal find!!! The back story would really help sell this faster at that price..
    Unusual interior photos though, like someone took some pictures of someone’s old pictures?
    If it’s real it’s a really cool deal.

    Like 6
  2. jwzg

    This is one more ridiculous find. If it checks out, $88k might be too little. GLWTS

    Like 5
    • stu

      Fake ad!

  3. William

    Always thought these were pretty cars, but the 426 was far too much engine for the street. Only really good for a drag strip. (Legend there) Not much fun at idle or around town, or even around a corner.

    Like 4
    • Tom S.

      Too much is never enough.

      Like 13
  4. Roger Hackney

    Flat out awesome !

    Like 8
  5. Mike

    Is the $88,000.00 U.S or Canadian?

    Like 5
  6. Stephen Miklos

    I knew someone back late 70’s that had a 66 Dodge Coronet Hemi 4 speed posi rear. Tan paint black vinyl top. You could smoke the tires with ease in 2nd gear. Now imagine non posi! Pretty sure that one tire would just blow up after a while 😂! But wow ..what a fine. It’s still has the engine hoist hook attached to it. If I bought this the only change I would do is make it a posi rear end. Just wash and wax it. Clean the engine. Keep it as a survivor because that’s a mother of a Hemi!! 🎅😊

    Like 8
  7. Luke Fitzgerald

    Unassisted single circuit drum brakes

    Like 9
    • Dave

      Right. Dual circuit brakes didn’t become common until 1968.
      Automatic chokes were standard on cars by 1966, but my father’s 67 F100 had a choke knob on the dashboard. Carbureted vehicles need some method of fuel mixture enrichment when cold.

      Like 3
      • Steve R

        Dual reservoirs were standard issue for cars starting in 1967, not 1968.

        Steve R

        Like 3
      • Dave

        Cars maybe, but my father’s 67 F100 had a single reservoir master cylinder.

        Like 1
  8. Troy s

    Only lights this car ever saw in the sixties were at the starting line of a drag strip, at least that’s my impression to a point. Don’t get the rear end choice but the radio delete….you know I wonder what this car really looked like in that decade, I dont believe it was a bone stock car like this for long ,, and then returned to this stocker later on. Just a hunch.

    Like 5
  9. Super Glide

    You don’t miss shifts with a TorqueFlite. According to Jay leno, who owns a 66 Coronet Hemi with a TorqueFlite, the difference between that and a 4 speed in quarter times is negligible. He also talked to the people at Chrysler for advise on how to get the best quarter mile times with a TorqueFlite and they basically said put your foot in the radiator and leave it there. So much for fancy console automatic shifters.

    This car is a righteous find!

    Like 8
  10. Greg Y

    For most non-pro drivers back in the day, the Torqueflyte would consistently turn in better run times than the 4 spds….that’s where it got the nickname of ‘Dial a win’. I had a friend in 1967 that had the twin brother to this car, same color, same taxi cab hub caps. It was always needing to be tuned up but it ran like a scalded cat. I never got to see him run the 1/4 but we had a lot of fun around town with it.

    Like 5
  11. Ron

    This car is in my hood.. What do you think it would go for at Barret Jackson ?

    Like 3
  12. Morley

    Stupid Barn Find site. I can not see the ads or read them. Nothing but pop up ads. Can not get in touch with Barn Find to find out how to rectify the situation . I guess I am outa here. To bad, the site was really
    good.

    Like 1
    • Cycle Salvage Kevin Member

      Morley, no need to leave ANY internet site because of ads. I was on the verge of quitting YouTube because of the damn ads! That was 3 years ago. One morning, a suspected spam email showed up and against my better judgement, I opened it. It was a bonafide on the level offer to get AdBlockPlus for free. BLISS ever since! No ads anywhere is a sanity saver.

      Like 2
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        Yep, AdBlock or uBlock is all you need to get your web surfing back to tolerable.

        Like 3
    • Jim

      Its not Barnfinds don’t blame there its your computer get a expert if you don’t know what to do

      Now my comment: that is a nice 66 Chrysler sent some out to dealers to sell and some set on the lot for a long time with the big engine and trying to get granny to but it. Remember the song little old lady from Pasadena

  13. Roger Hackney

    Correct on the 67 double master cylinders.

    Like 3
  14. Cycle Salvage Kevin Member

    A buddy in high school had a ’67 Belvedere. I don’t recall which engine it had but it was big. Pretty sure it had an automatic. In those days all the kids with hot cars jacked ’em up in back. His car was jacked higher than most of the Chevelle’s, Nova’s and GTO’s in my small town of 2,000 population, Iowa farm kids don’t you know. He was always street dragging and showing off burning the tires. He carried tools and at least one U-joint as he’d need to replace often, lol. He eventually wrecked that beautiful car. After that he bought a new Corvette, not sure what year and guess what? On the only 2 mile straight stretch of road on an otherwise curvy road between Beloit, IA and US18 he buried the speedometer and failed to slow enough to make the curve about a half mile from Fairview, SD on the Iowa side of the Big Sioux river. End over end over end over side over side. You get the picture. He didn’t walk away but after a month in hospital, good as new. Two cars destroyed. I moved away and lost track of him.

    Like 4
  15. Jon G

    It’s only $88k? Really? Hmmm …..

    Like 2
  16. G

    Its OK but better to buy a cherry(you name it) drop in 40k worth of engine,tranny &suspension…drive the dog poop out of it…wreck it…do it again…then die a happy man

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