Survivor Driver: 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II

Styling is always subjective. What one likes, another will consider ugly. Some say It’s stately! while others say It’s Goofy! It’s tough to be absolute in the matter of appearance. With that thought in mind, I find that Plymouth really turned a styling page with the ’66 Belvedere; a much more balanced presentation than the ’65 version. And taking that subjective position here’s a ’66 example that warrants a closer look. It is located in Salem, Virginia and available here on eBay for a current bid of $4,150, 52 bids tendered so far.

Muscle cars rule! Well, certainly not with everyone, that’s for sure, but they garner a disproportionate amount of attention, media or otherwise, lavished praise and collectible car revenue. Sometimes it’s nice just to review the non-muscle car version of a model that is fondly recalled for its muscular underpinnings, which in the case of the Belvedere, is the vaunted GTX. But no, no muscle here, this Belvedere is just a stylish intermediate model bought by thousands of consumers back in the ’60s who were looking for a nice intermediate-sized ride.

The seller has performed some updates to this Plymouth and one of the most obvious is the new carpet. The interior, in general, looks pretty good though the gray seats with turquoise everything else is a bit of a head-scratcher. There’s a clean, non-earthbound headliner still in place but a pretty worn-out dash pad which contrasts the interior’s generally upbeat condition. According to the seller, everything works as planned except for the original AM radio.

The exterior of this Belvedere is straight and rust-free though, as the seller admits, the original turquoise enamel finish is very thin and holding back surface rust, for now. He mentions that the quarters rusted through sometime back and the previous owner repaired the damage by constructing fiberglass quarters. I think he means that the repair was effected by fiberglass patching but I’m not certain – that would be worth further investigation. Whatever the case, what can be spied in the accompanying images looks fine. There are images included of the underside too but beyond some surface rust, there is no evidence of dropped floors or impending collapse. Finally, the custom road wheels are a nice option and goose this Belvedere with a little bit of attitude.

Nearing the end of its run, is a “polysphere” 318 CI V8 engine, developing 230 gross HP. It would be replaced in ’68 with the “LA” small block engine. I look, obviously, at a lot of old cars and I can’t recall the last time I saw one of these engines. The seller claims that he replaced the fuel sending unit and the carburetor and this 318, “starts easily and runs strong.” Other replacements in the mechanical department include a new, non-power-assisted, master cylinder. The seller cautions that one needs a pretty strong leg to stop this Plymouth, more so than on a modern car. The transmission in this Belvedere is a “non-slipping” 727, three-speed automatic unit.

So yes, this Plymouth is worn, no doubt about it, but it’s not worn out and seems like it has quite a bit of life left in it. There is supposedly an embedded YouTube video clip available but I couldn’t find it performing a search on the definition. Anyway, this a driver, not a show car, as the seller reminds his potential bidders, so it could be driven as is and enjoyed. And that would be my course of direction, enjoy it for what it is, a non-muscle car example of a pretty sleek ’60s coupe that is frequently seen dolled up in muscle car regalia. And that may be the challenge here, to leave this Belvedere as is and just enjoy it for what it is, don’t you think?

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Comments

  1. Arthell64 Member

    Hey Jim this is a 66 belvedere.

    5
    • Jim ODonnell

      Arthell64:

      My mistake, thank you! (That’s what happens when you try to write two of these at once.)

      Jim

      1
  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    Nice car, I like it. I never understood why the engine designers placed the distributor back at the firewall. Anyone?

    3
    • Dave

      Rain protection. My father had a 67 F-100 with a 352 and part of learning to drive it involved removing the distributor cap and drying the insides. No WD40 involved. Big-block Mopars had the same problem.

      2
      • Rex Kahrs Member

        That makes sense Dave. I recall stalling out in my ’65 Dart with slant-6, because the distributor is placed so low on that motor.

        1
  3. angliagt

    That’s not too far from here.Good thing I don’t
    need any more cars right now.

    1
    • Steve Brown

      Is it really about “need”? ;)

      I would drive as is for a bit and then apply the sleeper treatment with a big block.

  4. William Shields

    I’m pretty sure at some point somebody’s switched seats and steering wheel. These cars were usually pretty colour coordinated in there day.

    1
  5. Roger Hackney

    Like Arthell64 stated, this Belvedere is a 66. The 67 has quad headlamps in addition 67 was the first year for the LÀ small block 318.

    5
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      The LA 318 didn’t appear until 1968….last year for the first LA 273 was 1967.

      • Marty Parker

        67 was the first LA 318. Look it up!

        1
      • Bill-W

        The American poly A block plant on Mound Road switched to the wedge A block engine for the 1967 model year.

        The Windsor engine plant switched a year later, for the 1968 model year.

        Which is why the 1967 318 V8 engines built at Windsor had engine number prefix CC318. The first C was for Canada and the second for the 1967 model year. The U.S. engine number was C318.

  6. That AMC Guy

    Aside from the position of the parking lights that head-on photo of the grille screams “1966 Rambler American”.

    4
  7. Jay

    66

    Cruiser – not a drag car

    1
  8. Ken Kittleson

    Picked up a ’67 Sport Fury convertible for $800 in ’85 with a 318 that was strong, smooth and bulletproof. Always liked the look of it these Mopars and the ’67 Satellite was a high water mark in styling, in my opinion.

  9. Kenn

    Chevy V-8s had their distributors at the back of the engine. Not all that rare.

  10. yes300ed

    Strong leg needed indeed. I’ve owed !963 Dodge 330, 1964 Plymouth Fury and a 1972 Dodge Dart Custom all with non-assisted drums. I still get leg cramps!

  11. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Nice car in a not so common color….at a good price today….

    1
  12. Roger Hackney

    I believe that some may be confused because the 273 did linger on in 67 in the smaller cars , Valiant , Dart , the larger cars got the small block LA 318.

  13. Jeff Member

    Could someone explain to me the difference between this Belvedere and the same year Satellite? A ‘66 Satellite 2door hardtop was my first car (in ‘73) and it looked essentially the same as this but with different trim. Why the 2 models?

    • Roger Hackney

      Satellite is just a fancier trimmed version of the Belvedere , same basic car just cost a bit more.

      1
  14. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I spoke to the owner of one of these at a car show last summer. It was in similar condition to this one, and he was proud of that 318 Poly engine.
    He said he had to look hard for one and found it down South.

  15. Chris M.

    3/16 thick fiberglass mud job on the quarters. Great.

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