1966 Dodge Charger 426 Hemi

1966 Dodge Charger 426 Hemi

The 1966 Dodge Charger 426 was built on the Cornet platform that was introduced in mid-season 1966,  adding a distinguished fastback roofline design full-width taillamps, rotating headlamps and a 426 Hemi engine with a flamboyant personality.

The Interior

The interior was one of kind, exclusive to the Charger, premium trim, vinyl upholstery, and door panels. The dash had four circular chrome pods, a 6000 rpm tachometer, a 0 to 150 mph (240 km/h) speedometer, temperature gauge as well as an alternator and fuel gauge. Shifter position indicator in the console, dash air conditioning controls, and the clock came with some packages. The instrument panel used a lighting system called electroluminescence instead of regular bulbs. 

Four engines to choose from

Chrysler offered the Dodge Charger in four engines the standard 318 cid two-barrel,  the standard 361 cid with a two-barrel, and the most common package was the high performing    383 325 hp four-barrel carburetor. Chrysler also brought to life a beast within the 1966 Charger line up. An optional 426 Hemi with nearly 500 hp 426 cid, with a completely redone drivetrain, which enabled the fastback to be pushed from  0 to 60 mph in a little under 7 seconds. Chrysler created the ultimate in Chargers and only advertised the 426 Hemi at 425 hp., however, it had around 500 hp.

 The Transmissions

The available 1966 transmissions included a mounted steering column shifter for the manual 3 speed, a console-mounted four-speed manual or three-speed automatic was included in the standard engine packages.

1966 NASCAR Grand National Championship

In 1966 a competition version of the Dodge Charger with the 426 Hemi, driven by driver David Pearson won the NASCAR Grand Championship. The also famous NASCAR driver Buddy Baker,  had his share of driving the Dodge Chargers onto victory lane. The Dodge Charger won a total of 14 NASCAR races including the Grand Championship.

One of the rarest muscle cars

The 1966 Dodge Charger 426 Hemi is recognized as not only one of the rarest muscle cars from the 1960s, its the muscle car that help Chrysler become legendary.  A new 1966 Charger sold for around $4,500 however today the Charger is so highly sought after by collectors the value of a mint condition can surpass $100,000. Sadly, only  468 Dodge Chargers with the 426 Hemi were produced in 1966 out of the 37,344 that came off the assembly line.    

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