First Year Survivor: 1966 Dodge Charger

With 1966 marking the first year of production for the Dodge Charger, it is always nice to find a clean example that has spent its life being pampered and appreciated. This particular Charger is just such a car, and after 13-years of ownership, the time has come for it to head off to a new home. The Charger is located in Austin, Texas, and is listed for sale here on eBay. While bidding has reached $14,100, the reserve hasn’t been met. The owner does mention that the reserve has been set at a very reasonable level, and this may account for the strong bidding activity to this point.

The Charger has undergone a repaint at some point in its original, and very attractive, Dark Green. The owner believes that this occurred in around 2004, and the car has certainly stayed fairly nicely preserved since then. The owner refers to it as good, but not show quality. There are a few minor marks on the car, the worst of these being a scratch in the paint between the rear window and the deck lid. The rest of the car looks to be really nice, and the owner does say that there is no rust in the vehicle. He has owned the Charger for around 13-years, and it has remained garaged for the entire time. He believes that this may have been the case throughout the car’s entire life. The external trim and chrome also look good, and the overall impression is of an extremely clean car that is ready to be driven and enjoyed.

Powering the Charger is a 383ci V8, which produces a healthy 325hp. Shifting duties are performed by a 3-speed TorqueFlite transmission, while power steering takes the hard work and sweat out of the driving experience when the going gets twisty. When he purchased the car 13-years-ago, the owner was told that the engine had been “gone through,” and it now runs happily on unleaded fuel. He also claims that the engine runs cleanly, with no signs of any smoke or problems. He states that while the odometer shows around 12,000 miles, he has no idea of the vehicle’s true mileage. He does suggest that there is enough wear on the original interior trim to indicate that these miles aren’t original. The engine and its surrounds all look to be very clean, and the owner also supplies this Vimeo clip of the engine running, and it does sound really strong.

The first year of Charger production resulted in a car of pretty handy performance, but the real talking point was the interior features. The car wears its original upholstery right through, and while there is some wear and discoloring visible, it certainly does look serviceable as it is. The dash and pad look to be faultless, as does that cool looking steering wheel. The most obvious wear is to the armrest on the driver’s door, along with some on the armrest on the center console. That console in itself was a real talking point when the Charger first broke cover, as it extends right through to the rear of the passenger compartment, and with rear folding bucket seats, this meant that the Charger truly was a 4-seater.

Perhaps the most radical feature inside the ’66 Charger was the gauges because they truly were something different. Dodge chose to ditch the idea of regular globes to illuminate the instruments and instead used electroluminescent lighting. This gave the gauges an almost space-age look of a night, and also made them exceptionally easy to read. Sadly, this was a feature that was discontinued at the end of the 1967 model year, so it was a distinctive idea that only lasted for those two years. The gauges and their illumination look really good for an unrestored car, and the owner says that while the gauges do function fairly well, they do suffer from the occasional inconsistency in their reading, which is not uncommon. For instance, he does recommend that the next owner not let the fuel gauge drop down to the “E” mark. It sounds like you might be walking if you do that.

As a clean and largely original survivor, this ’66 Charger is an extremely nice car. There is no reason why it couldn’t be driven and enjoyed immediately, and unless the next owner is seeking spotless perfection, it is a car that has no real issues that need to be addressed. It is a car that would look great in your driveway, so are you tempted to make a bid on this beautiful classic?

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Comments

  1. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Wow nice and it has the rare consol clock…..Keith put down the pipe and comment please ,

    8
    • Keith

      Wow! A clean Mopar with no rust and reasonably priced? Am I dreaming, am I in some other dimension? Am I reading this correctly? Wow!

      12
      • 36Packard

        See your back on your meds, good for you! Welcome back to reality, we missed you.

        11
    • 36Packard

      Oh, be nice to Keith. He lost a girl to a guy driving a Dodge or Plymouth, he had his feelings hurt. Have you no empathy? I really do love those spinner wheel covers, they are killers. I think I like them even more then Magnums or Road Wheels.

      11
  2. 36Packard

    Beautiful car, wonderful color. Though I prefer a more sedate engine, I could live with this one.

    3
  3. Rex Kahrs Member

    This is a Mopar-gasm!

    15
  4. Miguel Member

    I love this car. It cannot be improved upon. Of course I am not talking about adding air, which it sorely needs.

    7
  5. Skorzeny

    I think 36Packard would put a 36 HP VW motor in this… while I would supe up the 383…

    2
  6. Mountainwoodie

    Though it is a slushbox, you cant beat original……..best place to start.

    Now where did I put that money? Not in this couch…….

    4
    • Mountainwoodie

      I keep looking at this car…….vin decodes as having a 2 barrel on the 383, built in Michigan. Sure wish it had a 3/4 speed. Anyone know if they came with that?

      1
      • RNR

        Hi Mountainwoodie – all 383’s installed in B-Bodies in 1966 were four barrels – no such thing as a 383 2 BBL in a ’66 Charger.

        If you wanted a big block 2 barrel in ’66, they had the 361. In ’67 they dropped the 361 and offered the 383 with both the 2v & 4v carbs.

        3
      • Mountainwoodie

        Hey RNR: Check this out……….maybe I misread it

        http://www.degeneratepress.com/newport/vin66-74.htm

        Fifth digit = engine

        A – 170 1-1BBL 6 Cylinder “G” engine

        B – 225 1-1BBL 6 Cylinder “RG” engine

        C – Special Order 6 Cylinder engine

        D – 273 1-2BBL 8 Cylinder “LA” engine

        E – 318 1-2BBL 8 Cylinder “LA” engine

        F – 361 1-2BBL 8 Cylinder “B” engine

        G – 383 1-2BBL 8 Cylinder “B” engine

        H – 426 2-4BBL 8 Cylinder “RB” engine (Hemi)

        J – 440 1-4BBL 8 Cylinder “RB” engine

        K – Special Order 8 Cylinder engine

        1
      • RNR

        Hi again, Mountainwoodie – Yes, I understand the confusion: the Allpar site also says “G” is for either a 383 two or four barrel in 1966. However, I am struggling to copy a link, but if you search “1966 Dodge Brochures” you can quickly find a factory options page from the dealer brochure showing that the engine line up for ’66 B-Bodies includes a 361 2BBL and a 383 4BBL..no 383 2 BBL.

      • stillrunners Stillrunners Member

        The 4 speed was the option on 66/67 Chargers and 66 was the year of the 4 buckets.

        1
  7. Mark

    I had a 66 in green with the same white interior but mine had a 318. What a blast to drive. IMO the first gen 66-67’s were the best out of all the years. These are getting harder to find by the day and they aren’y getting any cheaper. GLWTS. Someone is going to get a fun ride.

    5
  8. local_sheriff

    IMHO best Charger gen ever, this one has a great color combo and overall condition. I was not aware of the illuminated gauges; what a cool feature! Seller seems to be honest in his description and responds on questions, kudos for that!
    Way more ‘distinctive’ and ‘exclusive’ than the succeeding Chargers – though I’m mostly a GM kind of guy, I’d seriously consider bidding on this were I in the market.

    7
  9. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Loved them when they came out, still love them today. Once saw one at a car show with a Hemi in it, very impressive. I wouldn’t kick it out of the garage for eating crackers.

    6
  10. bobhess Member

    Helped a friend do a all parts off paint job on one of these. Lots of acreage to work smooth! Good looking cars and pretty quick for their weight and size. Nice to see one in this condition.

    3
  11. Paul

    Nice car, However I never like this body style at all….looks like something that AMC designers came up with.

    4
  12. Carcrazy

    I’ve never had anything Mopar despite having owned over 40 classics in the last decade. However, this would be my first choice for one simple reason—-the 4 bucket seat layout is fantastic. I absolutely love this interior design. The gauges are super cool also. Anytime I see a dedicated 4 seater arrangement instead of a simple backseat, I’m impressed. I owned a 86 Mercedes 16v Cosworth, and my daily driver is a Panamera S, both with “only 4 seats”.

    Beautiful car.

    5
  13. RNR

    When I was a kid my dad bought a new ’66 Coronet 500, gold with black bucket seats and a 318 – I loved that car! Meanwhile a block up the street two brothers also bought new gold and black ’66 Dodges, one a Coronet 500 like my dads, the other a Charger – both had the 383 4bbl, though. They flat towed their 426 Hemi powered early T-bird gasser to the strips at Lancaster and Niagara behind those Dodges – good times, then.

    6
  14. RP

    Ah, fond memories……. It was my first car, bought it on my eighteenth birthday. Mine was a kind of copper/gold with the 426 and two Carter AFBs. I sure miss that old hot rod.

    3
  15. Fred Alexander

    Waaaayyyy back in time when I was in 4th year mechanic apprentice I had a customer who owned one of these he’s bought brand new.
    After a minor tune up of course I had to road test the vehicle which back then it was our policy (and in subsequent years in my own shop) to ask permission to road test the vehicle after working on it in applicable situations.
    Permission granted and I took her for a good cruise down the highway – – – back then even as young as I was I always treated customers cars with respect – – which at times kinda hard to do with the surfacing of 396 409 427 440 etc.
    I really liked this car and always wanted one but on apprentices wages and just married it was way out of reach. ($2.35 hr.}
    Also saw a beautiful 66 Barracuda full restoration to original at the show and shine I had my 62 Caballero at yesterday.
    Looked at them new – – -wasn’t impressed with the Mustang offerings back then wanted to buy a Barracuda – – but again – – – $$$ outta reach.

    2
  16. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Reserve not met at $14,900 and I don’t blame the seller for wanting more.

    The 66 – 67 Chargers are my favorite and I can still hold out hope that I might one day be able to afford one.

    1
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      LOL Dennis! You beat me to it! Great job Stud! Take care, Mike.

      1
  17. W9BAG Member

    Did these have sequential turn signals in the rear ? I didn’t know that these had the electroluminescent instrument panel. I believe that ’62 Chrysler’s had this as well. A very innovative design that would make me want to drive this car at night.
    I was 8 years old when these came out, and thought that they were the coolest looking car on the road !

  18. stanley kwiecinski

    picked up a 67 in 1980. rootbeer? outside clean rust bubbles. interior champhagne blown trans.$75.00. Threw the stock caps out. put some anson slots on it. stuck a cammed up 440 in her with the auto. we don’t need no stinkin’ stall speed! couldn’t stop the sled with no vacuum!! slammed the door at a gas station…the torsion bar snapped! guess it was telling me something? engine ended up in a stick 69 GTX i was happier! 67 was towed by mayor jane byrne of chi. even though it was on private property? Mopars were a dime a dozen in the 70s.

  19. stanley kwiecinski

    maybe 77?… age and alcohol don’t synch, so well

    1

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