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No Reserve: 1966 Dodge Charger 426 Hemi

Some vehicles are mere pretenders when it comes to wearing the crown of a genuine muscle car, while others are the real deal. This 1966 Dodge Charger falls comfortably into the second category courtesy of its legendary Hemi V8. It is a dry climate classic that seems to represent a straightforward restoration, and the seller’s decision to offer it with No Reserve may make it irresistible to some. The Charger is listed here on eBay in Beverly Hills, Florida. The auction opened at $39,900, but there have been no bids so far.

Dodge released its First Generation Charger in mid-1966, positioning its new model between the traditional Pony and Personal Luxury Cars. Its distinctive fastback styling earned almost universal praise, looking sleek and elegant. This Charger’s original owner ordered it in Code Z Gold, with the car retaining most of its original paint. It has worn through to the factory undercoat in many locations, and areas like the engine bay show signs that this was a restoration project that stalled early. However, the car has spent its life in dry climates, which is good news for potential buyers. The seller describes this beauty as 98% rust-free, although they don’t specify the location of any possible problems. There are no apparent issues externally, and the underside shots reveal rock-solid floors and rails. The panels sport a few minor bumps and bruises, but there is no evidence of prior accident repairs. The bumpers have benefited from a trip to the platers, and the remaining trim is in good order. The headlight doors and other lights work as they should, and the seller includes a new set of taillight lenses.

It takes a single glance at the Charger’s interior to confirm Dodge’s target market. It isn’t as luxurious as vehicles like the Ford Thunderbird, but it is a rung above cars like the Mustang. Occupants benefit from a full-length console, four bucket seats, and one of the most beautiful gauge clusters to grace any production car. The gauges look elegant and clean during the day, but the company’s decision to use electroluminescence makes them spectacular at night. Potential buyers have plenty of positives to consider because the back seats were recently retrimmed in Black leather. The seller includes matching front covers and new door trims. The dash and pad are excellent, and there are no console issues. The overall impression is that it will take more time than money to make this interior really “pop.”

Considering its mid-year model introduction, the Charger’s sales total of 37,344 cars for 1966 was pretty impressive. Buyers could select mechanical specifications which ranged from relatively mild to extremely wild. This Charger is 1-of-468 ordered with the legendary 426ci V8. Its rarity is emphasized by the original owner’s decision to pair the Hemi with a four-speed manual transmission. Only 250 buyers trod that path, producing one of the most potent muscle cars to roll off any production line in 1966. The Hemi delivered 425hp and 490 ft/lbs of torque, allowing the Charger to storm the ¼-mile in 13.9 seconds. If the driver was brave enough to keep the pedal to the metal, a top speed north of 140mph was their reward. This Hemi is dismantled, coming with equal helpings of good and bad news. It is missing the crank, pistons, and other smaller components. The engine block needs a visit to a machine shop to repair cracks near one engine mount. However, the cylinder heads are in good order, and the car retains the rest of its original drivetrain components.

It isn’t easy to describe any project candidate with a price close to $40,000 as affordable, but some justify that figure. This 1966 Dodge Charger seems to, courtesy of its solid body and ultra-desirable Hemi V8. It is a classic that could generate a potential value above $80,000 if restored to a high standard. Perfection could make six-figures achievable. The lack of auction action raises the prospect that someone could secure it with a single bid. Are you tempted?

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Sam61

    2 fer deals abound on Barn Finds…2 “66 Chargers and 2 “62 Studebakers…oh my!

    Like 2
  2. Avatar photo Roland

    Sweet car. If I had not bought mine 40 years ago and kept it I would be interested in this one, which has a lot less rust than mine. Still, I like my 383, even if it is not as desirable as the Hemi.

    Like 9
    • Avatar photo Chasbro

      I also have a 383/4sp 66 that I bought over 40 years ago. Fastback chargers rule!

      Like 5
  3. Avatar photo stillrunners Member

    Wishing and hopen’ was a popular song when this was new…..owner is saying it has heads ready to go – I didn’t see that – rare but lets see if it meets the opening bid.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo HoA Member

      Dusty Springfield,,,although I’ll admit, I had to look it up. 1964 and was written by you know who, Burt Bacharach.

      Like 5
      • Avatar photo Duane

        Song was originally written for and recorded by Dionne Warwick and was released in 1963. Hope someone steps forward to restore this legendary Charger.

        Like 5
  4. Avatar photo Davey Boy

    Looks like the body has been clear coated. Never seen a car with body work and washed through paint shine like this does. Would be nice to own though. I would like to build this one and leave the body just like it is. Anyone look below at the other 66 Chargers available on ebay? The cranberry maroon one with the blown 69 Hemi looks like it may end up being a pretty good deal if you want something like that. It looks like it would be an absolute blast to take the car shows and what not. Looks like it would be a ton of fun to drive.Would never be worth what this one is just because it’s not original but really looks like fun for the price. Hope this one goes to the right buyer.

    Like 3
  5. Avatar photo Big Bear 🇺🇸

    Missing major engine parts big $$$… And to build a Hemi is not cheap. Also I didn’t see a trans! Yes it would be cool to have if I had deep pockets! I hope this goes to a good Mopar home!!! 🐻🇺🇸

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo Davey Boy

      If you look in the lower left corner of the first picture with all the parts, you will notice the shifter sitting on top of the transmission. Also it does look like the crank wrapped up standing on the right side of the picture.

      Like 0
  6. Avatar photo Yblocker

    Much akin to the first gen Barracuda in conception, and similar to the Rambler Marlin in design, but I do prefer these over the later Chargers. This could be nice when completed, but if I’m gonna spend $40grand on a car, I’m gonna drive it home. Oh whoops, I forgot what world we’re living in now lol

    Like 7
  7. Avatar photo Ed

    Expensive to restore but in my mind worth the price of admission. A very unique piece of Mopar performance.

    Like 3
  8. Avatar photo Harry

    Food for thought, If the opening bid starts at 40k then that in itself is a reserve.
    Clean car but dismantled and Hemi work as stated above is expensiv This year Charger does not have a huge following. In the end it it is will come down to the buyer and seller agreeing and thats what it will be worth.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Steve R

      It’s the drivetrain that’s driving value, not the Charger name affixed to the fender. It’s scary to think how much more the seller would be asking if this were a 68-69, or even a 70.

      Steve R

      Like 6
  9. Avatar photo HoA Member

    Cue Man from UNCLE intro, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, no wait, that was Mission Impossible theme, well, anyway, that was the 1st time many saw the new Dodge Charger. Agent Illya Kuryakin( David McCallum) drove one and we were hooked. Not a hemi, but what an intro. It was one of the most popular shows, but did little for sales. The car had an odd appeal, not quite a muscle car, not quite a personal cruiser, that and the price. I read, this car cost for a base Charger was $3122. The hemi added a whopping $880 bucks, and only had a 1 year warranty, compared to Chryslers famous 5/50 for the 318, and you had to sign a statement saying you weren’t going to race the car, I kid you not. The ’67 changed little except a 440 was available, but Chrysler knew a change was needed, and the ’68s changed everything.
    Coming from Wisconsin, I’ll never know why the Charger made it and the Marlin didn’t. Marlin was still a Rambler, that’s why, and a Charger, well, tough competition. Like the GTO, the word “hemi” has become a household word, even though many today have no idea what that means, it just sounds catchy, like turbo, and a hemi powered anything will always get attention.

    Like 8
  10. Avatar photo Billy

    I’ve searched the ebay ad twice. Still can’t find the front passenger seat, the heads rocker rails or the tranny.
    These are essential pieces for the puzzle. I have always enjoyed this generation of Charger, however I’m a little suspect of this one at the number the owner is dreaming of.
    It is a good solid start for a family project. Best of luck to all!

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Steve R

      The seller should have spent the time to take more and better pictures, it would have made the car easier to sell.

      Look carefully at pictures #15, the heads are clearly shown. In picture #16 you can see the transmission towards the front, to the left of the bell housing. As for the passenger seat, it’s likely folded forward to get a better view of the rear seat area, any potential buyers will ask any he’d likely be able to send additional pictures.

      Steve R

      Like 2
      • Avatar photo Billy

        OK, I’ll give you the tranny. However, please look at #9 and #10. There is no passenger seat there.
        Also apparently I didn’t explain myself clearly. I didn’t say anything about the heads. I said that I didn’t see the “heads rocker rails”. Pretty important piece for a 426 Hemi.
        This engine appears to me of being cannibalized.

        Billy

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo Steve R

        Billy, you are right about the seat and the rocker shaft assembly. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if the shafts are wrapped up in what looks like a blanket next to the cylinder head in picture #16. No matter what, it’s up to the seller to present the car and what comes with it better, you can get away with that if you are asking $4,000, not $40,000.

        Steve R

        Like 0
      • Avatar photo stillrunners Member

        “The heads (M.23.5 & M.29.5) are in excellent working condition.” – they looked like they needed a valve job by the 2nd picture after the block and the after mentioned rockers could be in the plastic bag…..that’s I saw Steve – looks like very little on those faces though.

        Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Chasbro

    I also have a 383/4sp 66 that I bought over 40 years ago. Fastback chargers rule!

    Like 1
  12. Avatar photo Car Nut Tacoma

    Awesome car. This would make an awesome restomod project.

    Like 0
  13. Avatar photo Steve RM

    In the engine parts photo I’m wondering if the standing piece that is wrapped in plastic and duct taped is the crank.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Billy

      You know, I kinda thought the same thing. But, in the ad it said that it didn’t have the crank.
      Again, I have a big “?” on the whole power plant.
      Somewhat agree with the comment made about a “restomod”. It really would be nice and helpful if the owner could verify a few of our bewilderments.
      Something else worth comment is the fresh looking paint on the bell housing.
      Hell, I don’t know…

      Like 0
  14. Avatar photo Steve

    Same money as the low mile Monte Carlo. I would choose this one in a second.

    Like 0
  15. Avatar photo 2cool2say

    I had an all black ’66 Hemi Charger decades ago. I used it to street race, daily transportation and even towed my Hemi ‘Cuda with it. Great car, and it cost me $588.95 to purchase from a Navajo Indian on the Reservation in northern Arizona. He also had a Boss 429 Mustang, 428CJ Mustang, 425 Toronado and a 427 Cougar.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Dusty Rider

      You should have cleaned him out at those prices!

      Like 1
  16. Avatar photo Douglas

    I thought all 66-67 hemi cars were J code on vin.

    Like 0
  17. Avatar photo Dan

    Now THIS is the ’66 Charger to get, not that 383 mentioned earlier. If it were at least $15K cheaper, I might be in, but rebuilding that Hemi ain’t cheap. I’m not as concerned about the missing shotgun seat as I am about rebuilding that drivetrain.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Car Nut Tacoma

      I agree. I was going to say that given its condition, $39k looks like a lot of money to ask. I’d be willing to pay close to $10k. I don’t mind patina, as long as it’s purely superficial, that there’s no rust holes.

      Like 0
  18. Avatar photo Yblocker

    “Block needs a trip to the machine shop”. Hopefully they don’t let “Cooter” strike an arc on it, welding cast iron takes a special procedure

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Yblocker

      “To repair cracks”

      Like 0
  19. Avatar photo Mike

    What fool would disassemble an original hemi and lose all the internal parts to it????

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Billy

      Perfect question. Perfect. Period.

      Like 0
  20. Avatar photo Kam 1

    I’m just finishing a rotisserie restoration on a 66 hemi Charger. 100k invested, but, finding nos and reman parts is the biggest challenge. Rebuilding the dash required shipping to Texas, headlight motors Pennsylvania, steering wheel Minnesota. I could go on and on, but real car guys know what I’m talking about. I started with an Arizona car, so the body was solid. I think this car is a little overpriced but like anything else, it’s worth whatever the next guy is willing to pay. Whoever gets this, have fun and enjoy it.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Billy

      Very nice. I would love to lay an eye ball on it someday.
      Congratulations!

      Like 1
  21. Avatar photo TCOPPS Member

    Here’s another twin to this, 426/4 speed in Iola WI (2016-2018)

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo Car Nut Tacoma

      Lovely car.

      Like 0

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