1966 Plymouth Street Hemi B-body

1966 Plymouth Street Hemi B-body

The 1966 Plymouth Street Hemi B-body was far more than a Mopar ordered with a big block motor swap. They say it is the most understated power train ever built. Comprehensively designed for performance, the B-body Hemi Belvedere II had integrated a factory performance package with Heavy Duty hot rod shop stuff. It came with a deep-sump oil pan and longer fuel line, dual-point distributor and a 2.5″ diameter dual exhaust with a crossover pipe. Special mufflers with 2.25-inch tailpipes accented the package.

A Pennsylvania based Mopar collector states that his 1966 Plymouth Hemi Belvedere II is the only 1966 Plymouth Street Hemi B-body survivor with this great option and color combination. The car is like a time capsule. The seller calls it “an original paint, original interior, original drivetrain, survivor.” This is the kind of find that urban legends are made of. Only this one is real, and it is featured in this week’s Cars On Line newsletter. (Click here to review the feature article.)

1966 was the first year that Plymouth offered the 426 Street Hemi in a production car. Only 531 Street Hemi equipped Plymouth Belvedere II’s were produced from the factory.

We quote the owner:  “It is very well optioned with power steering, power brakes and automatic transmission. No rust. The car has been professionally serviced. This car starts runs and drives amazing and everything works as it should. I have done quite a bit of research and I believe this car to be one of very few original paint survivors and possibly the only one with this great option and color combination.” He says the current mileage is 63k.

Richard Petty won the Daytona 500 in 1966 in a 1966 Plymouth Street Hemi B-body, and the Plymouth team won 12 races in NASCAR that year. Jere Stahl lit up the dragstrips in the same model in Stock and Super Stock classes.

Plymouth’s package for the 1966 Plymouth Street Hemi B-body included a beefed-up radiator with a fan shroud, a high-speed water pump and a purpose-designed belt with better high-speed stretch resistance. The Street Hemi cars could only be ordered with the 727 TorqueFlite automatic which featured significant internal upgrades to run in the 1966 Plymouth Street Hemi B-body. The TorqueFlite featured a higher-stall speed torque converter as well as the aforementioned auxiliary cooler up in front of the radiator.

A Mopar 8¾ rear end with 3.23-gears was bolted into all TorqueFlite cars. Thicker torsion bars were new that year, as was the front anti-roll bar.

1966 Plymouth Street Hemi B-body

1966 Plymouth Street Hemi B-body

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One Response to 1966 Plymouth Street Hemi B-body

  1. Classic Car Guru January 14, 2017 at 12:37 am #

    The 1966 Plymouth Belvedere that Richard Petty drove to win the Daytona 500 that year looked more like a 1967 model even though it was a 1966. They were looking ahead to some aerodynamics that the ’67 had. NASCAR had banned the Hemi Chrysler cars in 1965. This was their first year back.

    Question: Did the 426 Hemi made Richard Petty, or did Richard Petty make the 426 Hemi?

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