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Carport Find: 1966 Dodge Charger

We recently saw an unusual 1967 Dodge Charger that had a right-hand drive. But this one from 1966 has the steering wheel on the left side of the vehicle where Americans would expect to find it. It’s a project car that doesn’t currently run, but the seller believes that it might not take a lot to change that. Located in Yuba City, California, this weather-worn Mopar is available here on craigslist for $12,000 OBO. Kudos to Tony Primo for another Dodge tip!

The Charger was a mid-season entry in 1966, designed to be something of a large pony car in the vein of the Ford Mustang fastback. The Charger had seating for four passengers, with bucket seats in both the front and back (that would change in 1968 as a redesign of the Chrysler B-bodies made the cars more like the Coronets they were based on). More than 37,000 buyers stepped up to the plate and took a Charger home in 1966, but interest declined for some reason in 1967 and sales fell by nearly 60%.

Standard equipment in the ’66 Charger was a 318 cubic inch V8, but buyers could upgrade to as much as a 426 Hemi. This car has its original 383 V8 with a 4-barrel carburetor, paired with a 3-speed automatic transmission. This Chargers has both a 150-mph speedometer and a factory tach. The odometer reading is 50,000, but no indication is made if this is the original mileage.

The exterior of the vehicle looks pretty fair, but the interior has been a victim of exposure to sunlight and the front buckets are literally in shreds. So, the passenger compartment might be the place to start once you get the Dodge running. The seller says the 383 turns freely, which provides optimism for the mechanical health of the car. The seller offers to help with delivery as a plus.

Comments

  1. Ru Chia

    Mid year ‘66. Grille looks exactly like the ‘67 Dodge Coronet, which I like, and now know was based on the Coronet. Interesting

    Like 0
  2. Oldschoolmuscle

    The body looks pretty clean and straight forward. Interior looks hammered but i would take this on for my after work and weekend project. i would do some minor upgrades suspension and massage the motor a bit but retain the old school look, plus a good set of tires…

    Like 3
    • Steve R

      It looks straight in the pictures provided, the problem is, what isn’t pictured. A friend looked at a car a few weeks ago with pictures showing similar angles, the seller said it had a few dings and dents. When he got there he saw that the car had been hit hard enough on the left rear corner it would need a new taillight panel, quarter panel and portions of the trunk floor. If it’s complete, rust free (Yuba City is pretty dry) and all panels are straight, someone might be able to work a deal as long as the seller is negotiable. The price seems high for how it sits.

      Steve R

      Like 3
      • Harry

        Yes indeed. My best offer is 4 digits. It looks like a sound car. Good entry point on a project car that may not require extensive rust repair. I wouldn’t bother with a repaint. Do the interior. Brakes, gas, wheels and hopefully the 383 will fire up.

        Like 0
  3. Billy

    Back in the 60s, I was still a kid, but I was already on my way to becoming a full-on American car Gearhead. My family lived in Detroit until 1958 when we moved to Southern California. While in Detroit my mom’s side of the family all worked at Chrysler’s Highland Park headquarters, and my dad’s at the Ford Motor Company’s Dearborn Glass House and River Rouge plant. For the most part the family all drove Chrysler products so I was raised in the back seat seat of Mopars. It wasn’t until my brother bought a new 1966 black on black Mustang, a 289 4 barrel Holly modified carburetor and a 4 speed manual transmission with a really cool chrome shifter on the floor. But being in a Chrysler family, I never took my eyes off what Chrysler was doing, and in the 60s, Chrysler was known for their superior engineering and setting industry standards. When the 67 Chargers were introduced I thought they were real show stoppers, on like the 64 Valient based Barracuda. The Charger was great looking both inside and out. I loved the dashboard and instramention. Chrysler used their beautifully designed Panelesent lighting to light the instramention. I thought that Panelesent was the greatest thing on earth. The aqua color was so cool. In 1963 Ford Motor Company started using that same aqua blue dash lighting but Ford did it with incandescent blues with blue plastic covers over the blues, and that worked great too. The 1967 Chargers were one of my favorites. Then in 68, they were totally redesigned, and they too were great-looking. But to me it was the 1970 through 73, Barracudas and Challengers that were really the same size competition to the Mustangs and by then the Cameros. I thought then I would one day own a Barracuda or Challenger. But by the time I was able to get my license in 1971, the Mopars were holding their values which kept the market value so high I couldn’t afford one. I never understood why that was the case but it was what it was. Meanwhile I found a 1969 Mustang Mach l for $1,900, and it was every bit as cool as the Mopars that were selling used for over $3,000 at the time. The Mach l was actually a better built car than the Mopars. My Mach was a light metallic blue with black interior. Ford called the seat material snakeskin, and it was great-looking, very comfortable and it wore like steel. The Mach interior was exceptionally great looking. The dash had two pods, the drivers side had full instrumentation, and the passenger side had a very cool Rally clock centered in the middle. The dashboard, door panels and center console were all trimmed in a light oak woodgrain which was very cool. The seats had an inch wide red strip high up on the gorgeous high backed bucket seats. There were also red rubber inserts in the black thick carpet. That Mach l had one of the best looking interiors I’ve ever seen. The interior materials all looked to be very high quality, and they were just that. Even after years of constant use it always looked fresh. The exterior had a yellow refective strip on each side and across the back just above the brightly trimmed big taillights with the Mustang 3 section signature look that still exists today. The hood was painted flat black and had a hood scoop that housed amber turn indicators. It also had the two stainless and chrome hood pins. Under hood was a 351 ci 4 barrel Motorcraft 4300 carburetor. Mounted to that was a Ford FMX automatic transmission and with the duel exhaust with 18″ glass packs made it sound terrific. It also had power steering and brakes, and factory installed air conditioning. It had chrome rally wheels with polished beauty rims that finished off the look. Some say the 69 Mustang Mach I was the best looking Mustang of all time. Man I agreed. 69 is the only year Mustang had quad headlights, the high beams were mounted inside the black plastic grill. The Mach I went on to be my top favorite car and still is to this day. With everything the Mach l came with and a price of just $1,900, I soon forgot all about owning one of the Mopars. The Mustang was better looking, better equipped and better sounding than the Mopars, which were great cars. The fact that I couldn’t afford one of the Mopars, turned out to be the best thing to happen to me, regarding cars. All my friends thought the 69 Mach I was totally me. I would have to wholeheartedly agree. Since the 69, I have never owned anything without a Blue Oval on it. Fords somehow feel just right to me.

    Like 10
    • RoadDog

      Sounds like a life-changing experience to me. And there’s nothing whatsoever wrong with that. Happy motoring! 🤙

      Like 1
      • Robert

        I would have to agree with you, Dog, sounds like Billy had to choose between a filet mignon and a new york strip, and since the filet was more expensive, he opted for the strip, even though his family were ‘filet folks’… And the strip ended up being cooked perfectly and melted in his mouth… Dang that analogy made me hungry…

        Like 3
    • Peter Pasqualini

      Seat material for the inserts is Comfortweave , not snakeskin.

      Like 0
  4. lakota

    I always felt the same about the 1969 mustang mach 1. When i turned 16 in 1976 the first car i bought was a dark blue mach 1 with a 351 with a automatic believe i paid a thousand dollars. What a great looking and fun to drive car it was. Always a Ford guy since that car with a 97 cobra and a 99 ford lightning along with a 99 Taurus SHO between my many other fords loved them all.

    Like 2
    • 19sixty5 Member

      I’m not a Ford guy per se, but there are a few that I wouldn’t mind, and the 69 Mach 1 is one of them. I got my drivers license in 1968. 1969 was a great year for American muscle cars

      Like 2
  5. sparkster

    I grew up outside of Detroit in St. Clair Shores, Michigan in 1957 until my dad said pack your suitcase we’re moving to San Francisco in 1966. The year before he purchase a new 1965 Dodge Coronet station wagon. Our family was a Mopar family ever since . Traded the Coronet in for 1968 Dodge A-108 Sportsman van. In 1971 my uncle drove out to California in his 1970 Purple Road Runner , pistol grip , 383, white interior. Air Grabber hood. Great times. Now I only have a 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan sport parked next to my black Lexus. Funny how times have changed

    Like 2
  6. Blackcatprowl

    When I lived in western Virginia there was a ’66/’67 Charger in the parking lot of my apartment complex. I think it was a ’66 as I vaguely remember it having the console that went all the way back. It was a {pretty) regular use car, yet was in excellent shape. Better shape than new cars. Quite attractive.

    Incidentally, every so often, there was a Duesenberg parked there, on a trailer attached to a truck. It, too, was in excellent shape. Those cars are quite large. Bigger than full size.

    Never did run into the owners…

    Like 1
  7. Blackcatprowl

    In the same color…

    Like 0
  8. Dan

    Judging by the shape of this, the odometer had to have rolled over at least once. While the body looks good, nothing is mentioned of the subframe. The total investment to bring this to a #2 or #1 car will be much more than what the finished product will bring at Mecum, so I hope the buyer will also plan on enjoying this car for a few years.

    Like 0

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