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Highly Original: 1966 Dodge Charger

The year 1966 was where the fun began for Dodge’s legendary muscle car, at least one of them anyway, as that’s when the new Charger model debuted. However, during the earlier days, it was considered more of a luxurious pony car, with styling sometimes compared to the AMC Marlin.  While it’s often the second-generation cars that seem to be the most captivating among enthusiasts, it’s always good to find a first-year example, such as this 1966 Dodge Charger, here on Facebook Marketplace. The Mopar is located in Fenton, Michigan, not very far northwest of Detroit, and has an asking price of $16,500. Barn Finds reader Ted spotted this one, and we’d like to thank him for sending us the tip!

The owner states that his Charger remains highly original. Though it’s never specified exactly how long the B-Body has been under his care, he tells us it was purchased from the second owner, so this one’s not exchanged hands all that many times compared to most of these cars.  The Dark Blue finish is said to be the factory coat still, and it’s showing some fading along with a few areas of rust and some minor dents here and there.

Some of the more noticeable areas of corrosion can be seen on the quarters around the wheel wells and the driver’s side front fender above the concealed headlight.  However, perhaps the most concerning area is on the other fender near the antenna, where there’s a pretty good-sized chunk of metal rotted through, so I hope there’s not too much more hiding inside the panels that we can’t see.

The smallest cubic-inch engine for the Charger in ’66 was a 318, which is how this one came equipped, with the seller confirming it’s still the original numbers-matching wide block.  The engine has just gotten a fresh oil change and is said to be running smoothly, but only through a remote container and hose, so maybe a gas tank and fuel-line clean-up will be among the first things the future owner will need to address.  The automatic transmission is also the factory component, although no specifics are given regarding its current state of health.

At least a few of the compromised metal areas have been dealt with already, as the seller mentions that the floorboards were reconditioned when he purchased the car, and while some of the interior items have also been refreshed, the inside panels and console are stated as original.  The owner also tells us that lots of extra parts may sell with the Charger but doesn’t detail how to change that word to will, so I’d somehow make sure that those extra items get negotiated into the deal.  What are your thoughts on this first-year 1966 Dodge Charger?

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Melton Mooney

    Some years ago, a buddy and I drove his 66 Charger from Oklahoma to Mopar Nationals in Ohio and back over a weekend. Only a nice stereo and cruise control could have made it a more pleasant drive. All the underpinnings, shocks, and tires were new, which I’m sure helped a lot.

    Like 5
  2. Avatar photo mike

    Best looking body style to wear the Charger nameplate

    Like 23
  3. Avatar photo Dan

    First-gen Chargers are relative bargains; even Hemis are still barely nudging $100K and a decent 383 is a steal compared to a GTO or SS396. But this one, merely a 318 car, isn’t worth even $10K because of the rust issues. Obviously worth more than a comparable Coronet but I wouldn’t pay more than $9K here.

    Like 4
  4. Avatar photo Roland

    I have walked my talk with these cars – as of today I have owned mine for exactly 40 years. It is a 67 with a 383-4 speed. This ’66 has home made patch panels behind at least the driver’s side rear wheel, probably both sides. If you use a sheet metal break to make the bottom fold it looks wrong as the bottom of the panel has a slight curve to that fold. The rust on the fenders is where it should be.

    This car would be a great project for someone to take on in their own shop. A full restoration would not pay for itself, but the completed car is glorious.

    Like 11
  5. Avatar photo Rex

    I’m a born and bred Chevy guy. But I’ve always have had a passion for mopars. This really seems like a good price for what appears to be a decent car, beautiful styling. Next gen Charger empty shells totally rotted out heaps of scrap metal, people ask the same money for. The same can be said for Camaros and Chevelles. Alot of us average guys don’t want or need a concourse car, just one we can appreciate and enjoy, this car could fit that bill. No

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo Aussie Dave Member

      Rex, I bleed blue blood (Ford) but like you a Mopar can/has persuaded me to change.
      I wish I still owned my Valiant Charger, but sadly the rust got her, and at the time it was illegal to weld chassis.
      There’s an Aussie joke about variants, they were checked for rust on the production line, if there wasn’t enough, they were sent back for more.
      I’ve also owned a VJ safari wagon, 318. Like the charger, the rust got to her right where the steering box attached to the frame, at 50mph, you needed 4 lanes to keep her going straight.

      Like 2
  6. Avatar photo Steve

    As a huge MOPAR fan, the 1966 Dodge Charger with the fastback design was a really sharp body style. The rear signal lights were a cool feature as they blinked one at a time across the rear lights. I’ve only seen a handful of these through the years. Awesome find!

    Like 9
    • Avatar photo Chasbro

      I think you’re thinking of the t bird or cougar. The first gen charger taillights are not sequential. I have one I’ve owned since 1980.

      Like 3
  7. Avatar photo Fubard

    Wondering what “floorboards were reconditioned” means….

    Like 4
  8. Avatar photo Paul

    back in 1970 i worked at a gulf station and we had a doctor who always brought in his car and his wife’s. Funny I don’t remember what he drove but his wife had a 66 charger it was an ugly yellow but what surprised me it was a 426 hemi first one I ever got to drive. sometimes I think back I wonder what ever happen to that car if the salt of northeast Ohio got it.

    Like 3
  9. Avatar photo Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking car. I’ve always loved this version of the Dodge Charger. Assuming all corrosion is superficial, and there’s nothing to compromise the frame, this looks like it’d be an awesome resto project. Given its condition, I’d be willing to pay between $10k and $15k for the car. That’d leave enough money for inspection, restoration, some mods as needed, and insurance. Once all that’s done, have fun! Hey Charger!

    Like 1
  10. Avatar photo Walt from Vermont

    I think that those into cars should know the difference between unibody and body on frame. Two completely different animals. With body on frame, most of the sheet metal could be rusted away, but the car would be structurally sound if the frame was structurally sound.
    In a unibody car, the structural strength comes from the whole body itself, especially the undercarriage. Any rotten metal, such as floorboards or rocker panels, affect the structural integrity of the vehicle. Not so with body on frame. In the case of the 1966 Dodge Charger, which is unibody, one must examine the total undercarriage to determine its structural integrity. Rusted out rocker panels is a big deal. Not so much as say, a 1966 Chevy Chevelle. Please use words like “compromising the frame” in the proper context.

    Like 1
  11. Avatar photo TCOPPS Member

    The console is from a 1967, so not original.

    Like 0
  12. Avatar photo Denis

    I do not use Facebook. So, I cannot access much of the information on the site provided. Is there a work around?

    Like 0
  13. Avatar photo DJ

    Looks like a 67 318 LA small block.
    Hope they find the oil cap

    Like 0

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