1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Hemi 426/425HP V8 2 Door Hardtop

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Type: Used
Year: 1966
Make: Plymouth
Model: Belvedere II Hemi 426/425HP V8 2 Door Hardtop
Body: 2 Dr Hardtop
Engine Size: 426/425HP Hemi V8
Trans: Automatic
Mileage: 0
VIN: RH23H67253482
Stock: 53482
Ext Color: Orange
Int Color: Black

Original California 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II 2 Dr Hardtop 426 Hemi Car.

Original 426 Hemi car with copy of build sheet, build card & build record receipts from FCA Historical Services showing original 1966 'H' code 426 Hemi from St Louis plant delivered to Los Angeles, CA on 4/5/1966.

Originally a Black car with Black trim. Torqueflite trans, 3,23 axle ration, Sure grip differential. Reportedly repainted in 'Hemi Orange' at the factory & sold with factory fiberglass Ramcharger hood, reportedly ex cover of Car Craft magazine.

First year of 426 street Hemi engine rated at 425HP (highly underated actual dyno tests show closer to 475HP). 1 of reportedly 531 Belvedere Hardtops produced with the Hemi engine & 1 of 251 with the automatic transmission.

West Coast Classics are proud to present an absolutely exceptional example of this original southern California 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II 426 Hemi 2 Door Hardtop with California 'Historical Vehicle' plates and boasting the factory optional 'H' code 426/425HP HEMI V8 engine powered by dual 4 barrel Carter carbs and originally matched to the Torqueflite automatic transmission with the mandatory TF 8 3/4 Hemi 3.23 axle ratio sure grip differential rear end and with original option of factory tinted glass and which was built in the St Louis plant and shipped to Los Angeles, CA on 4/6/1966. Originally Black with an all Black vinyl bench seat interior and was sold radio delete. The car was previously owned for 12 years by an U.S. Air Force mechanic of 40 years who had purchased the car on base from its previous owner, his close friend and a U.S. Air Force Jet Engine mechanic and MOPAR enthusiast who had purchased the car directly from the original owner. The previous owner repainted the car in a two stage 'Hemi Orange' about 6 years ago and installed the carpet, otherwise the car is completely original inside, no seat upholstery, dash work etc ever completed, only the weather stripping has been replaced, otherwise its an original survivor with believed to be original miles.

The car is one of the few cars (if not the only one, as it was reportedly painted and sold 'Hemi Orange' from the factory with the fiberglass Ramcharger hood to be debuted as the 'Orange Peel' car for the So Cal drag racing series in the late sixties!) to be delivered with the Ramcharger hood (still available and to be included in the sale along with the original steel stock hood). This is a great daily driving and completely rust free example of this mostly all original 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Hemi 2 Door Hardtop Coupe with a striking two stage repaint in 'Hemi Orange' and with it's original specs Black bench seat interior and the 426/425HP V8 engine! Racing Belvedere's had never been knocked completely out of a race by mechanical problems, but transmission woes had cost them at several races. The installation of a bigger transmission cooler and pan (Art Carr), a B&M ratchet shifter with a Line Lock switch, and a manual valve body, on the Torqueflite 727 and a 2800 stall convertor seems to have solved the problem for the drag strip. Please also note that the after market B&M ratchet shifter has now been changed back to it's original column shift with the cable for the B&M shifter to be sold with the car in case anyone wanted to change back to the B&M shifter. It was changed due to the fact that the cable for the B&M shifter is prone to melting under heat and it was decided to change back to the original 727 Torqueflite linkage. Please also note that 410 gears that were reportedly installed from the factory when the car was to be debuted as the 'Orange Peel' are to be included with the car in a box in the trunk. The original 323 gears are reportedly now installed. Also Wildcat Motors in Oregon supplied the previous owner with the proper hardware and the transmission linkage was reverted back to the original Torqueflite using this hardware. A torque convertor and increased pan (Art Carr) were added to the original 727 Torqueflite and an electric fuel pump and electronic ignition. It was decided however to leave the now non functioning B&N shifter in place to save replacing the carpet and in case the next owner wanted to ever utilize it again. This is a truly superb example of a 1966 Plymouth Belvedere Hemi Hardtop with no signs of the car having ever been involved in any accidents and it has no rust and all original sheet metal and panels.

In 1966 the 426 "Street Hemi" appeared, not to be confused with the earlier 426 Max Wedge Stage III engine, which although race bred engines, had different combustion chamber configurations and compression. The rare Plymouth engine introduced in 1964 was the 426 "Race Hemi" intended for off road (race) use only, it used a cast iron block, a forged and shotpeened crankshaft, impact extruded pistons, cross bolted main bearing caps, forged rods and solid lifters, all of which would be carried over for the "Street Hemi's". The majority of these Hemi's went into the base Belvedere coupes as they were the lightest model in the lineup. A Hemi powered '65 Plymouth racing car went over 129 mph in the quarter mile and whilst NASCAR issued a temporary ban on the $1,800 engine, Hemi Belvederes won many events in USAC, NHRA & AHRA competitions in 1965. Richard Petty's eight NASCAR wins then created greater demand for the engine as well as for the Satellite with the announcement of the engines induction into NASCAR circles and with USAC seeing the Hemi powered cars take its annual championship.

According to Chrysler's historic archives, 844 Hemi powered Plymouth Satellites were built in 1966. Hardtops accounted for 817 of these, including 503 with 4 speeds & 314 with Torqueflite. Ragtops with Hemis installedd totalled 27 units. Production of Belvederes was even lower with 136 coupes, 531 hardtops and only 10 convertibles. All had the same "Street Hemi" engine. Although similar to a "Race Hemi" this 426 cid engine used a 4 barrel aluminum intake, milder vaalve train specs, different 10.25:11 pistons and a big single air cleaner. A pair of tubes were added to the right hand exhaust manifold to handle heat riser functions. Chrysler rated the engine at 425HP @ 5,000 rpm and 490 lbs ft of torque a@ 4,000 rpm with a stock class Belvedere was going over 122mph in 11.6 second quarter miles.


The 426 RB block was introduced to power the big and heavy Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth intermediates and full size cars in 1964 with the Chrysler corporation being heavily involved with racing at this time. This street Hemi engine was the ultimate big block after the 375HP 440 cid V8. Chrysler was heavily involved with racing at the time and the Max Wedge engines were doing well on the drag strip but they were not as competitive on the NASCAR circuits. The Wedge just could not breathe as well as their competitors and Chrysler knew that the reintroduced hemispherical combustion chamber cylinder heads for use on the 426 cid RB blocks was the best design for producing the most power. Rather than build a completely new engine from the ground up Chrysler chose to fabricate hemi cylinder heads and use them on their existing RB engine block. The result was the 426 Hemi from which Chrysler built a great variety of hemi-head engines starting in 1964-65.

The drag race hemi engines were different from the circle track engines with each using different intake setups, internal components and with different displacements. The drag engines were offered in 415 & 426 HP versions whilst the circle track engine was rated at 400 HP with a single 4BBL carburetor. Chrysler first used the engine in the most prestigious NASCAR race of all - the Daytona 500. Hemi powered Plymouths took the first 3 positions in the 1964 race and although Ford won 30 races that year compared to Chrysler's 26, it was obvious that Ford's 427 Wedge days were numbered which resulted in Ford building its own hemi engine, the 427 SOHC.

It should be pointed out that the 426 Hemi and other engines used in sanctioned racing were special, low production engines that were never really intended for use on any street vehicle. Indeed the engines were only produced for street cars after NASCAR ruled that if either Chrysler or Ford wanted to race their complex and expensive hemi-head engines then they would have to build a certain amount of street cars with these motors and sell them first to the public. Ford famously declined but Chrysler went ahead and so the legendary 426 street Hemi was born in 1966. Ford eventually did build its own street hemi, the Boss 429, but not until 1969.

This particular 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II 2 Door Hardtop example has obviously always been garaged and well maintained since new and the car shows no evidence of any previous accidents or rust. It is a true survivor with one recent professional repaint in 'Hemi Orange'. The floor boards, trunk and all the typical rust-prone areas are completely solid and rust-free! The car has striking 'Hemi Orange' color paint with a beautiful original 'Black' vinyl bench seat interior which is in exceptional condition throughout. All the chrome is also still in as new condition.

The original 426/425HP HEMI V8 engine with original air cleaner and original 2x4 Carter carbs is extremely strong and powerful and this particular car drives absolutely magnificently - must be driven to be appreciated - does not miss a beat and purrs like a kitten - a truly remarkable daily driver that will give any modern day car a run for it's money! The Torqueflite transmission shifts smoothly through the gears and the car has four good tires!

To MOPAR enthusiasts the 1966 Belvedere is special for many reasons, first of all being rarer than a Satellite, and most importantly for being the first year with the legendary "Street Hemi", with the mighty 426 cubic inch engine rated at some 425 horsepower, which is known to be highly underated with actual dyno tests showing a horsepower range of closer to 475HP. This awesome power combined in a mid sized (B Body) car made for an off the shelf race ready package that to this day is almost unbeatable in the 1/4 mile stock class!

This is a rare opportunity to own a simply stunning example of an original southern California with 'Historical Vehicle' license plates 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II original 'H' Code Hemi 2 Door hardtop, 1 of only 531 Hemi Belvedere Hardtop cars built for '66 and 1 of only 251 with the automatic transmission, and with few finer looking or driving examples available anywhere else!

Base price: $2,524.00

Price as profiled: $3,739.20 - Options on car:

426 Hemi, $907.60;

TorqueFlite, $206.30;

Sure-Grip, $37.60;

Padded sun visors, $6.35;

AM radio, $57.35.

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