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						1966 Hemi Charger

Bag This Hemi Charger For Under $50K

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, Craigslist

Hemi-powered Chryslers have always been among the most valuable muscle cars ever built. Attach the 426 ci displacement and magical four-letter moniker to any Chrysler and it can instantly be worth a few times more than its other big-block brethren. In fact, these cars were legitimately paying off huge mortgages when Hemis really got hot it the early 2000s. This Hemi-powered 1966 Dodge Charger seems to be a deal at $49,500 though, or is there something more we’re not seeing?

While Chrysler had unveiled the 426 ci race Hemi back in 1964 for NASCAR and drag racing use, the street Hemi didn’t make its appearance until the 1966 model year. It was available in several B-body Dodges and Plymouths, and while 2,729 street Hemi-powered B-bodies escaped the factory in ’66 (the highest of any production year), only 468 Hemi Chargers were built. That makes this car a pretty rare machine by anyone’s definition.

The seller reports that the Hemi is backed by a 727 Torqueflight automatic, but it’s not just any 727 that could handle the Hemi’s 490 lb-ft. For 426 Hemi and 440 six-pack applications, special modifications were made, including a fatter front clutch retainer, an additional friction disc (five total), taller stator support and wider kickdown band. The seller does not reveal whether the transmission is original to the car or not, and it wasn’t until 1969 that Chrysler started stamping partial VINs in the transmission pan rail. So you’d be left with a date code to establish its originality.

If I had to guess, I’d assume the engine is not original to the car, as the seller has not claimed it to be numbers-matching. He just explains “around 32,000 miles on overhauled engine,” so I guess take that for what it’s worth. But I feel bad for obsessing over numbers like this, I mean, she is a real-deal Hemi that probably goes like a bat!

There’s obviously a lot of information we’re missing on the car regarding original specification and the its condition, as the seller only identifies that it’s “a very nice Hemi muscle car,” but what about the price? Assuming this one’s got the right stuff, $49,500 has to be about as cheap as they come. Hagerty’s price guide lists a #4 Fair condition car to be worth $53,900, and a #3 Good car at $68,000. If you’re looking for a tangible comp, a ’67 four-speed model just sold on BringaTrailer for $64,000, and obviously the four-speed adds value, but that much? Also, a baker’s dozen people have since commented on the auction, citing it as a screaming deal.

If you go to check this car out for yourself (which you definitely should), look for the VIN tag in the driver’s side door jam to start with XP29H6, and it’s always good to ensure that the partial VINs on the core support and package tray match up. As far as date codes on the engine and transmission go, you generally want to find them one to three months ahead of the car’s assembly date, but there are all sorts of exceptions here.

Find the Hemi Charger here on Seattle Craigslist.

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HEMI Mopar Muscle Cars