Plymouth Belvedere I 6. Generation 426/425 Lightweight Package 1965

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Belvedere I 6. Generation 426/425 Lightweight Package 1965





In 1965 Plymouth once again made the Fury a full-size car, and Belvedere ostensibly became the intermediate size offering, though the Belvedere was little changed, and most dimensions and weights remained the same—the Fury was merely enlarged, restoring a full-sized line which Plymouth had been lacking. The Belvedere line was divided into the Belvedere I, Belvedere II and Satellite subseries, the latter available only as hardtop coupe and convertible, and featuring the 273 cu in (4.47 l) "LA block" V8 as standard equipment. The line was restyled in 1966, and the high-performance GTX was added in 1967.

Created solely for drag racing due to NHRA rules revisions at the end of 1964, even decades later, the factory engineers still considered the 1965 release, to be the best of all of Chrysler racing specials. The Code A990 Hemi engine was lighter than any other time, and the body panels were designed after extensive metal thickness research by Ramcharger member Jim Thornton at the stamping plant. It was 11 Plymouths produced that model year equipped with the 4-speed model as a factory Lightweight Package. Unlike previous releases, no aluminum or fiberglass body parts were allowed, and Thornton selected thin-gauge steel for the front fenders, hood with scoop, radiator and grille supports. Also up front, the 426/425 HP Hemi V-8 engine used a magnesium cross-ram intake with offset Holley 4-barrel carbs and aluminum cylinder heads, both of which would be exclusive to the 1965 releases, as well as an aluminum water pump, thermostat housing, and alternator brackets. Tubular headers lead to a minimal exhaust system. Behind this went Chrysler’s recently-introduced New Process A833 4-speed manual transmission. One reason so few of them were created was due to the Stock-class legal tire width at the time. Torsion bar independent front suspension and a live Sure Grip-equipped rear axle with Super Stock-designated semi-elliptic leaf springs were the underpinnings, slowed by 4-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.

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