Cohort Capsule: The 1966 Dodge Charger Makes Its First Appearance At CC


How many cars have yet to make it to the pages of CC? Well, that rather depends. But when it comes to classic American cars from the 60s, the list is getting shorter; we can now cross the ’66 Charger from it. And this is a very CC-worthy one, rather than a pristine garage queen. G.Poon caught it and posted it at the Cohort, although he labeled it as a ’67. Easy to make that mistake, as the differences are minute. And since we’ve already featured a ’67 here, it’s only by virtue of this being a ’66 that it’s made the CC cut.


The external differences are very small, the main one being that the ’67 had turn signal indicator lights mounted on top of the chrome fender trim at their leading edge.


Inside, the differences were considerably more extensive. The ’66 came standard with a rather show-car worthy interior, including a full length console and four bucket seats.


The rears folded down, along with that arm rest, to make a flat floor. Given that there was no through passage from the trunk, just what purpose this served has been lost to the mists of time. But it sure looked cool in 1966. And by 1967, the interior was majorly decontented, with the buckets and console becoming optional, and even then, the console didn’t extend past the front seats.


The dash contained very Chrysler-ish big round gauges that were electroluminescentally backlit, just as on the ’60-’62 big Chryslers. Nice, expensive, and wouldn’t last, although they were back for 1967.


Here’s how they looked at night.


The ’66 Charger was pretty well-trimmed in the engine compartment too; no slant six Chargers, that would have to wait until 1968. The base engine was the 230 hp “poly” 318 V8, in its last outing. Upgrades included the 265 hp 361 V8, the 325 four-barrel 383 V8, and of course the mighty 426 hemi.


Yes, the 426 hemi (rated conservatively at 425 gross hp) made the Charger worthy of its name. It could click off sub-14 second quarter miles and hit close to 100 mph in the traps. That was hot stuff in 1966.


Not surprisingly, this one is not hemi powered, otherwise this would be the find of the year, in this condition. It looks to be sporting the 383, which according to a Car Life test ran the quarter mile in 15.6@89mph. And the 0-60 in in 7.2 seconds. Not bad, especially since was a Torqueflite equipped Charger, although the TF gave away little in performance to the four speed.

Needless to say, seeing a Charger in this kind of original condition with bare steel wheels is a serious time warp. Nice catch, G.Poon!



CC 1967 Dodge Charger: Chrysler’s Marlin  Lee Wilcox

CC 1968 Dodge Charger Six: Rarer Than An Original Hemi Charger?  PN