1966 Hemi Belvedere Convertible*

1966 Hemi Belvedere Convertible

If you want to talk about rare cars, then let’s talk about this one.  In 1966, only 10 of these cars were made with the Hemi motor.  That’s rare!  The other thing about this car is some of the strange options.  It had a radio delete, which makes sense for a racer, but it had power windows!  Still, I love the lines of a 67 B-body and this things was so big and heavy that it was a real pleasure cruiser (kind of a boat actually).

The Hemi had been around in many shapes and forms for 15 years prior to the Belvedere’s birth, but 1966 was a very special year for Mopar muscle enthusiasts – it marked the release of the Street Hemi option for theBelvedere range. The Hemi engine had passed by the bargain-basement Plymouth range since 1951, as they were usually found in more upmarket Chryslers and Dodges. Plymouth fought back though, and in the early Sixties the Plymouth Super Stock Max Wedge engines were the ones to beat on the dragstrip. Plymouth did offer a Hemi engine ‘for competition use only’ from mid-1964, but their Street Hemi was just that; an enginedesigned for street use, that stood a chance of idling without boiling, yet could throw 425 horses around when asked. The iron-block, overhead-valve Hemi had to be installed in some street cars in order to homologate the motor for NASCAR racing – Plymouth needed to give Richard Petty something special to play with, but NASCAR insisted that they extend the compliment to everyone else, too. That said, the street version wasn’t that far removed from its racebred brother – they both had twin Carter four-barrel carburetors, but the public-access version had a slightly lower compression ratio and hydraulic lifters instead of solid. The results were the same, too – a factory-advertised 425bhp and the respect of all your peers.

Over 800 Belvedere Satellite hardtops were ‘Hemified’, but Belvedere II Hemi convertibles? Ten. Six autos, four manuals; that’s your lot. And, unless anybody knows better, the one you see here is one of only two of those autos known to have survived.

Super Rod 03-06 2-page
Bill Sefton
Bill Sefton
Bill Sefton, Chicago native, and passionate car collector. Currently retired, but still involved in the car collection community. Reach out, happy to connect!