1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Convertible 426 Hemi: Unleashing Power and Style

The 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Convertible with a 426 Hemi engine is a true gem in the world of classic muscle cars. With its stunning design, powerful engine, and limited production numbers, this car stands out as an icon of American automotive history. In this article, we will delve into the details of this exceptional vehicle, exploring its design, performance, and historical significance.

The Meaning of Belvedere

The term “belvedere” is derived from the Italian words “bell” meaning beautiful and “vedere” meaning view. The 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Convertible lives up to its name, offering a stunning view with the top down and an exhilarating driving experience.

The 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Convertible boasts an eye-catching design that captures the essence of the mid-1960s. This era marked a shift from the curvy finned designs of the 1950s to a more boxy and conservative aesthetic. The Belvedere II features clean lines, sleek proportions, and an unmistakable presence on the road.

Shifting Car Styling in the Mid-1960s

During the mid-1960s, American automakers transitioned from flamboyant designs to more understated and conservative styles. Cars like the 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II represented this shift, with their boxy shapes, narrow necktie glass, and muted color options like avocado and beige.

In the late 1950s, automotive advertising mainly focused on middle-income families and affluent households. However, by 1966, Plymouth recognized the need to appeal to younger buyers. Their advertising campaigns shifted towards emphasizing performance, speed, and power, encouraging the youth to embrace the thrill of owning a hot rod like the Belvedere II.

Unleashing the Power: The 426 Hemi Engine

Under the hood of the 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Convertible resides the legendary 426 Hemi engine. Chrysler engineers went to great lengths to ensure the engine’s durability, suspending each unit and meticulously balancing it to eliminate any vibrations or imbalances. The 426 Hemi was initially developed as a race engine but was also made available for street use in a slightly milder form.

The 1966 model year marked the introduction of the street version of the Hemi engine. Despite being a toned-down variant, the street Hemi still delivered an impressive 425 horsepower and 490 pound-feet of torque. Dual quad carburetors, hemispherical combustion chambers, and a high compression ratio contributed to its exceptional performance.

Impressive Performance and Specifications

The 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Convertible equipped with the 426 Hemi engine was a true performance beast. It could achieve quarter-mile times in the low 13-second range, reaching speeds over 105 miles per hour. These cars were not only fast but also spacious enough to accommodate friends, making them perfect for thrilling rides and memorable road trips.

The 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Convertible holds a significant place in the legacy of American muscle cars. Its rarity, exceptional performance, and timeless design make it highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts. The car represents a bygone era of automotive history when power, speed, and style were paramount.

Rarity and Preservation: The Value of Remaining Models

Due to the passage of time and the effects of rust, many 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Convertibles have vanished from existence. Only a handful of these iconic cars, particularly the 426 Hemi automatic convertibles, have survived to this day. Their scarcity and historical value contribute to their desirability among collectors and the classic car community.

Driving a 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Convertible is an experience like no other. The combination of open-top motoring, powerful acceleration, and the rumble of the V8 engine creates a sensory overload that brings back the nostalgia of a bygone era. Owning or even getting a chance to ride in one of these legendary convertibles is a privilege for any car enthusiast.

The Timeless Appeal of Classic Steel Interiors

Stepping inside the 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Convertible, you are greeted by a classic steel interior that exudes a sense of solidity and craftsmanship. Unlike modern cars with plastic-dominated cabins, the Belvedere II features a well-built interior with attractive two-tone blue upholstery and minimalistic yet functional instrumentations.

Contrary to the popular notion of big American cars having poor handling, the 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II defied expectations. It employed a torsion bar suspension design with sway bars, providing relatively tight cornering and commendable road performance for its time. The handling, coupled with its powerful engine, ensured an exhilarating driving experience.

The Interior

The interior of the 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Convertible 426 Hemi is a testament to both style and comfort. Step inside, and you’ll be greeted by a well-appointed cabin that exudes classic charm. The spacious and inviting seats are upholstered in premium materials, providing a plush and comfortable seating experience for both the driver and passengers.

Attention to detail is evident throughout the interior, with carefully crafted elements that showcase the car’s high-quality craftsmanship. From the beautifully designed dashboard to the chrome accents and polished finishes, every aspect of the interior reflects the Belvedere II’s refined aesthetics.

The driver’s seat offers a commanding position, allowing for excellent visibility of the road ahead. The carefully positioned controls and gauges are within easy reach, enhancing the overall driving experience. Additionally, the Belvedere II Convertible 426 Hemi features modern conveniences such as an infotainment system and climate control, blending classic design with contemporary amenities.

Another notable feature of the interior is the convertible top, which adds a touch of versatility to the driving experience. With just a push of a button, you can easily retract the top, immersing yourself in the open air and enjoying the freedom of a true convertible experience.

Striking Design: Aero Straight Lines and Minimal Trim

The 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Convertible possesses a distinctive design characterized by clean, straight lines and minimal ornamentation. The body’s sleek profile and minimal trim elements contribute to its timeless appeal. These cars are a rare sight today, especially the automatic convertibles equipped with the mighty 426 Hemi engine.

Out of the limited production run of the 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Convertible with the 426 Hemi engine, only six examples are known to exist today. These surviving convertibles are highly prized among collectors and often represent the pinnacle of any muscle car collection. Owning one of these rare gems is a testament to both passion and perseverance.


The 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Convertible with the 426 Hemi engine stands as an iconic representation of American muscle cars from the mid-1960s. Its stunning design, exceptional performance, and limited production numbers make it a highly sought-after vehicle among enthusiasts and collectors. The combination of power, style, and rarity makes the Belvedere II Convertible a true gem in automotive history.1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Convertible 426 Hemi: Unleashing Power and Style

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