Early Survivor: 1966 Dodge Charger

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When thinking of a Dodge Charger, this may not be the car that comes to mind. Many imagine and lust after the body style after this model, but these early chargers are pretty special in their own way as well. This ’66 is a beautiful survivor that needs a little bit of work to make it the perfect driver.  Bid up to $7,900 with the reserve unmet, we ponder what the sale price will be. Find it here on ebay out of Houston, Texas.

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The original 361 V8 still runs nicely after 50 years of service. The engine and bay look pretty good. We like that there are still original manufacturer stickers in the bay, and that the paint over all is still in nice shape. The 361 is original and stock aside from an electronic distributer. The engine recently received many new maintenance items. The only downside is the air conditioning needs some work to be put back into service. The seller has installed several new air conditioning items as well, but it sounds as if the last piece to the puzzle is new lines.  Aside from the air conditioning, this 361 is healthy as well as the 727 Torqueflite transmission.

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The interior of this Charger is quite luxurious. The seats have been recovered, and new carpet has been installed to make the interior extremely nice. An interesting feature is the center console runs from the front seats to the back seats. The rear riding passengers have an arm rest in the back as well.  The soft gold coloring is beautiful and the interior is virtually flawless. The only flaws to mention are that the gauges need some help. The only operating gauges are the ammeter and tachometer. The gauges also do not illuminate. The blower motor is inoperable, and the interior clock runs a bit too fast. There are a few other issues like this that need attention for this Charger to be 100%.

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The exterior of this Charger is very nice, with only minimal evidence or rust. There are a few small holes around the rear window. The seller has been thorough with the description of this Charger. Aside from the small rust issues, and a dent in the driver fender, the exterior is very nice, and the paint, glass, and trim, look great.

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If it was not for the rust around the rear window, we think this car would be the perfect survivor. Though the rust wouldn’t stop someone from enjoying this car as is for years to come. Restoration would likely be simple as the car is complete and is in very nice shape. No matter which option appeals to you, this is a very nice car, and how often do you see these early Chargers out and about?  What would you do with this Charger, enjoy it as is for a while, or full restoration?

 

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Comments

  1. Jeffro

    Love this body style better than the models behind it. Speaking of behinds…this car has a good looking a$$! And look at the hips on her. If the this car could make a sandwich…it would be the next Mrs.Jeffro

  2. Mark S Member

    My all time favorite dodge body style. In this case I would leave the rust repair to the professionals and I’d want a minimally invasive repair with new paint blended in to cover the metal repairs. Other than that fixing the above mentioned issues which would be pretty easy I would change anything.

  3. Nick Member

    Powered windows make this one really rare ride. Very nice.

  4. Bingo

    I always loved the interior on these models. Huge console and buckets in the back. Very different.

  5. Jim

    Nice ride! I doubt it’s powered by a 361…. Options were 318, 383, 440 (I think) and the 426 Hemi.

    • G 1

      The 361 2bbl was an option in 66. Also the year of the spinner hub caps. beautiful dash at night.

    • George

      Jim, I think you are correct. Those who followed the postings on the 67 red Charger a a few weeks back have already had it with my raves about my Dark Red Metallic ’66 w/ 383 and a 4speed, but I will keep it short and say that was a great, fast, maintenance dream. I miss it even today. In my view the 318 while a great spunky motor for the Dart, goes against the imagine the Charger projected. The 318 w/ Torqueflite auto was a nice sedate luxury ridge for the older set whereas the 383’s up were for the young and extremely cool sexy guys the gals loved. Not that I was one of them, but my Charger made me feel like was and that I was king of the road!

      Like 1
  6. RNR

    The other non-stock powertrain item is the dual exhaust – in 1966, 361’s were all 2 barrels with single exhaust. The 361 was dropped in ’67 in favor of the 383 2bbl, again with single exhaust. The ’66 B-bodies look great in this gold poly – my dad bought a new ’66 Coronet 500 the same color, and two brothers in the neighborhood had matching gold ’66 Coronet 500 and Charger, but both with the 383 4bbl (the better to flat tow their 426 Hemi powered ’56 T bird gasser!)

    Very nice car here. Brings back many memories.

    • G.P. Member

      I had 2 66 Chargers and both had the 361- 2 barrels with single exhaust. 150.00 each, thirty years ago.

      • Loco Mikado

        Love the car but the 361engine leaves a lot to be desired IMO. The extra 22 CI of a 383 makes a bigger difference in the performance of the car than it looks on paper. The 361’s were dogs, at 43 CI more than the 318 Poly you could hardly tell the difference between the two driving. For some reason all the mid 300 CI big blocks from the Big 3 all were dogs, 348 Chevrolet, 352 Ford and 361 Mopar. They worked best as low HP high torque truck engines. It must be the combination of big block and small displacement for block size. The small block equivalent engines put out more HP in a smaller package with less weight, 350 Chevrolet, 351 Ford and 340 Mopar. The 360 Mopar was almost as doggy as the 361 in comparision to the 340.

  7. Luke Fitzgerald

    Now – for the money what would you do – buy this – wash and drive – or the Super B above – and spend the rest of you life fixing it? – I’d be going to TX

  8. BradL

    The rear bumper looks like it was tweaked by one of the old U-Haul bumper mount tow set-ups.

    And if you’re thinking, “this is a Texas car so it must be good”, I can tell you that cars in Houston will rust with the best of them. We’re not that far from the Gulf and it’s very humid here. Even through the lens of their potato camera, I can see suspect areas that require a MUCH closer look.

  9. Ernie the Dancing Weasel

    Ya know, this is pretty much exactly what I think of when someone says “Charger”…

  10. roselandpete

    I like this car but with so many things not working I would not call it a survivor.

  11. Chris

    The gauge issues are easy and cheap to troubleshoot and fix. You can get all the sending units cables end at Rock auto. When I got my charger none of the worked right except the clock. Pretty random.

  12. Eddie

    Very Nice Car !!!

  13. DRV

    Which came first, the Marlin or the Charger?

  14. RNR

    The “Rambler” Marlin first appeared as a 1965 model.

  15. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Optional clock on the console…..they came factory with a tach in the dash…..that’s kinda rare….seen more pw window cars which is rare too…..it hasn’t been screwed with…..that’s rare….on a Charger….

  16. Rolf Poncho

    Not the best looking shape Dodge have made

  17. Brad

    Did these have sequential turn signals, like the early Thunderbirds ?

  18. Howard A Member

    As someone pointed out on a previous ’66 Charger post, Illya Kuryaken ( David McCallum) is seen driving a new ’66 Charger like this in “The Man From Uncle”. http://www.imcdb.org/i540203.jpg
    For many, including me, it was the 1st time we saw the Dodge Charger. While the Marlin was kind of 1st in the fastback wars, it was Dodge that stole all the thunder with this car. I remember, it wasn’t a very popular car (like the Marlin, if only it had a hatchback) and I don’t remember seeing many. Great find, regardless of what motor, they were all good.

  19. Philip

    Usually the voltage regulator for the cluster will sort out Mopar gauge issues. The 361 everyone calls a dog has great potential if you know your availability of stock Mopar parts and how to judiciously apply them. Would not agree stall about mid cubes being dogs, I love this body style, we had the Coronet of the same year, the 361 once massaged slightly ran batter than any 383 powered car and looked great doing it. You don’t see enough of these , and far to many of the next generation all the wanna be Duke Boys fans drool all over.

  20. Bill Miller

    I owned a 67. Light tan with maroon interior. The 318 had blown up so it had a 383. Great car at a drive in movie! All four seats folded forward flat and the panel behind the rear seats dropped down as well. Pillows up against the taillights in the trunk to watch the movie or whatever! The gauge illumination was neon. Little fine wires to the needles and the wires would break. The taillights were not sequential . Bought it for $2500 sold it a year later for $3500.

  21. Roger Meisenbach

    The 361 must have been phased out early in the ’66 production year because, when I ordered my Coronet 500 in May 1966 (my first new car), the 361 was no longer a factory option.

    • Loco Mikado

      Mopar did a lot of half model year and running changes in the 60’s. Start with one engine and end up with another. Just like in ’67 Pickups the early half the year they had the old wide block poly 318 and the last half of the year had the new small block 318. Or in ’68 your PS pump could be one of 3 different models in a B body.. March would have been around the 1\2 way point of the model year.

  22. George

    Hey, I edited my entry but it did not take. The 318 was a luxury RIDE not ridge. I added a sentence which read: “All of the Chargers had 150 mph speedometers. The 383’s and those above it could all bury the needle, but I would think the 318 would miss the mark by around 30mph.”

    Like 1

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