The Dodge Charger became the performance icon of the 1960s, a muscle car with massive V8 power and angry looks. But while everybody remembers and wants a 1968 to 1970 model, this 1966 Dodge Charger is just as interesting and is beginning to pick up value. Here’s why.
There were many great things about the 1966 Dodge Charger. This 2-door hardtop had a unique fastback roof, not quite the boxy muscle car you know, more of an elegant family car with lots of attitudes.
The model was successful. In 1966 Chrysler went on to produce 37,344 Chargers. However, this one is a rare combination, equipped with a 383 cubic-inch V8 engine, factory 4-speed manual, black paint, black interior, air conditioning, and the desirable center console. We don’t know exactly how many have this configuration, but it’s probably in the low hundreds.
The 1966 Charger was designed in-house at Chrysler Corporation by a team led by Elwood Engel. Despite having to work around existing B-body components such as the cowl, doors, and windshield from the Coronet, the visionary designer Carl “Cam” Cameron still crafted a stunning masterpiece.
Cameron gave the Charger its trademark squared-off grille which integrated teeth so small and dense that it was nicknamed “electric razor.” And to make sure this masterpiece was uninterrupted, we got hideaway headlights with four projectors integrated into pods rotated into place when needed, and it’s nice to see the electrical system is still working.
In addition, this is an Arizona car that was purchased by its current owner in California. That means the metal is in excellent condition, and also explains why air conditioning was optioned. However, most people in a hot climate wouldn’t have bought a black car, which again makes this car rare.
Obviously, the engine isn’t the most amazing spec from a collector’s point of view. Mid-year in 1966, Chrysler introduced the 425 horsepower 426 cubic-inch “Street HEMI”, but only 468 of those were made. By comparison, thousands (the exact number not known) of Chargers were made with the 383, which occupied the middle of the range above the 318 base V8.
The motor itself is original to the car, which adds value. However, it has been updated with a set of Mopar valve covers, an aluminum intake, an upgraded alternator, and electronic ignition. Original is good, but who can resist a set of shiny, machined parts? Also, the front brakes have been upgraded to discs for safety.
Want to see why this car is now worth $35,000? Check out the latest video from Hagerty’s The Appraiser and see what kind of condition his classic muscle car is in.