1966 Plymouth Belvedere Is the Perfect Sleeper, Hides HEMI V8 Under the Hood

1966 Plymouth HEMI Belvedere II 10 photos
Photo: Lou Costabile/YouTube
1966 Plymouth HEMI Belvedere II1966 Plymouth HEMI Belvedere II1966 Plymouth HEMI Belvedere II1966 Plymouth HEMI Belvedere II1966 Plymouth HEMI Belvedere II1966 Plymouth HEMI Belvedere II1966 Plymouth HEMI Belvedere II1966 Plymouth HEMI Belvedere II1966 Plymouth HEMI Belvedere II
When talking about Plymouths from the golden muscle car era, we usually remember the Barracuda, Road Runner, and the GTX. But the Belvedere and the Satellite, which are often overlooked, are just as cool. In fact, they make even nicer sleepers when finished in plain colors and fitted with the mighty 426 HEMI under the hood.
Yup, the bottom-line Belvedere also got the muscular 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) V8. The nameplate actually joined the muscle car market as early as 1962, when Mopar rolled out the race-bred Max Wedge mill, but the Belvedere got the HEMI as soon as it became available in 1966.

But the HEMI-powered Belvedere wasn't particularly popular that year, because Plymouth sold only about 700 of them. Come 2022 and they're quite difficult to find. Especially if you're looking for low-mileage, unrestored and unmolested survivors. It's the kind of classic many of us won't get to see in the metal very often, but Mark O'Malia was lucky enough to get his hands on one.

Spotted by Lou Costabile at Carlisle Events 2022, this 1966 Belvedere II Hardtop is one of 531 made that year with a HEMI V8, but its condition and odometer reading make it an incredible classic. That's because this car is an all-original survivor that hasn't been restored and boasts an odometer that shows only 23,776 miles (38,264 km).

How is that possible? Well, let's just say that this Belvedere was pampered since day one and the previous owners treated it like a garage queen. According to Mark, who bought the car in 2021, the first owner drove it for only 16,000 miles (25,750 km) until 1973. The second owner gave it even less time on public roads, enjoying it for just 7,000 miles (11,265 km) in 38 years.

But low mileage and fabulous condition aren't the only features that make this Belvedere a great classic. It's also one of the coolest sleepers out there. Painted white and fitted with a black interior with a front bench, this Mopar is anything but mean as far as looks go. But all that changes when the 426 HEMI roars to life and sends 425 horsepower to the rear wheels. Definitely not your grandma's Sunday driver.

Speaking of spinning the wheels, the HEMI V8 reaches the rear axle through a three-speed automatic, which narrows the production numbers down to only 251 units. How many of them were finished in this combo and are still around today? Fewer than 20, perhaps? So not only a cool sleeper and an amazing survivor, but this HEMI Belvedere II is also a six-figure collectible.

Did you also notice the blue line tires? That's a one-year-only feature, so you won't see it on Plymouths from different model years unless it's an aftermarket add-on. Anyway, hit the play button below to take a walk around what has to be the finest 1966 HEMI Belvedere survivor out there.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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