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Judy Lilly's 1967 Plymouth Belvedere Is a Six-Figure Racer With a Raging HEMI V8

Introduced for the 1966 model year, the iconic 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI V8 made it into a long list of Mopars before it was discontinued at the end of 1971. How many were built? Well, there are no precise records, but most Mopar experts agree that almost 11,000 Dodges and Plymouths were fitted with the 426 in six years.
1967 Plymouth Belvedere Super Stock dragster 7 photos
1967 Plymouth Belvedere Super Stock dragster1967 Plymouth Belvedere Super Stock dragster1967 Plymouth Belvedere Super Stock dragster1967 Plymouth Belvedere Super Stock dragster1967 Plymouth Belvedere Super Stock dragster1967 Plymouth Belvedere Super Stock dragster
That's a fairly low figure overall, but things move into hard-to-find territory if we break it down to nameplates. Because we have to split that numbers between more than a dozen models. If we add body styles into the equation, we get some extremely rare muscle cars. The kind that left the factory with a HEMI in fewer than five units per year.

We also need to keep in mind that Mopar also dropped a few 426 engines in factory-built drag cars. Many of these are even rarer than their streetable siblings. But this 1967 Plymouth Belvedere takes the cake because it's as unique as they get.

Yes, Plymouth built more than one R023 factory lightweight racer in the 1960s, but this specific Belvedere is believed to be the prototype for the entire series. And not only was it raced for many years, but it also made it to 2022 in one piece. This is downright amazing given that the car disappeared at some point and resurfaced in the 1990s as a small classified ad in the back of Hot Rod magazine.

Luckily enough though, the buyer eventually spotted traces of the car's original livery and uncovered Judy Lilly's name on the C-pillar. Further research revealed the significance of the former drag racer, which led to a full rotisserie restoration with help from Lilly herself.

Who is Judy Lilly you ask? Well, let's say that she was one of the most prolific drag racers of the early 1960s. She became so fast that she scored a class win at the NHRA Winternationals in 1965, a victory that landed her a deal with Chrysler. This HEMI Belvedere was part of that deal, which she raced in the NHRA Super Stock/B class in 1967.

She scored four Super Stock national wins, a record at the time, and was named Super Stock driver of the year three times before retiring in 1978. In short, Judy was a major star of the drag racing scene in her prime.

Back to the car itself, it's been restored in its original Daffodil Yellow livery with Dark Copper stripes and it still rocks its original 426 HEMI V8. The mill was restored by drag-racing legend Dick Landy and not only runs like new but also makes quite a racket when the open exhaust comes into play.

Auctioned off in 2021, the Plymouth changed hands for a whopping $280,000. Yes, it's nowhere near as much as a 'Cuda HEMI convertible, but it's more than the average Belvedere. Check it out in the video below and make sure you crank up the volume at the seven-minute mark.

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