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1966 Dodge Monaco 500 Gets First Wash After Years in a Barn, 440 V8 Lives

Introduced in 1965 as a replacement for the 880, the Dodge Monaco was the company's flagship model for 12 years, until it was redesigned into a midsize in 1977. A popular nameplate back in the day, the Monaco is nowhere near as desirable as the Charger from the same era. And that's a shame because the two-door version is just as fancy and nearly as fast as its more muscular counterpart.
1966 Dodge Monaco 500 6 photos
1966 Dodge Monaco 5001966 Dodge Monaco 5001966 Dodge Monaco 5001966 Dodge Monaco 5001966 Dodge Monaco 500
Granted, Dodge never offered the mighty 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI V8 in the Monaco, but the full-size arrived in showrooms with both the 383-cubic-inch (6.3-liter) B and the 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) RB V8s. And with the latter available with up to 350 horsepower, the Monaco 500 was capable of running the quarter-mile in less than 15 seconds. Quite an achievement for a full-size rig tipping the scales at more than 4,000 pounds (1,814 kg).

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a big fan of the Dodge Monaco. I could blame it on the "Blues Brothers" film, but I'm actually more fond of the first-generation model in terms of design. So when I saw this 1966 Monaco 500 being brought out of long-term storage I just couldn't keep it all for myself.

Yes, you're more likely to see first-gen Monacos in junkyards rather than at the local cars and coffee, but this 500 model got lucky enough to spend its retirement under a carport. There's no precise info as to how many years it sat untouched, but the amount of dust covering its body suggests it's been at least a decade.

But the car is still in fantastic condition. Yes, the chrome trim has seen better days and the paint has all sorts of tiny scratches and dents, but hey, it's the kind of unrestored survivor that would win prizes at car shows. In the "barn-found" category, of course.

But you don't have to take my word for it. The video below shows the Monaco getting its first wash in who knows how long and the cream paint comes back to life. But that's not the only cool thing about this video. The engine also comes back to life and runs surprisingly smooth. On top of that, it has the big 440 V8 under the hood. And it sounds downright fabulous. Hit play to find out.

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