Phantom C bodies

Rustyrodknocker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Messages
877
Reaction score
792
Location
Salem oregon
Well - my 66 Monaco was ordered with a 426 Hemi due to the proposed then cancelled 66 Hemi M... and so was delivered with the 440 motor instead - so if we're talking phantom cars, this one was very nearly built.

So if I had my druthers (since my car has everything else except the hemi already, either assembly line installed or in the trunk in boxes according to the original owner, since some of the options weren't available on Dodges, only Chryslers but he ordered them anyway with the intent of installing them):

1966 Dodge Monaco (Canadian)
426 Hemi
4 speed
Disc Brakes
3:23 suregrip
AC
Power windows
Power Vent windows
Power locks
Power seats
Power Antenna
AM/FM search tuner
Reverb
Tilt Tele
Tach
Child safety power window lockout
Autopilot (all the system needs is a clutch pedal system release button - I've already worked it out)
Safety Sentinel

And then to top it off, I'd love to see a hideaway headlight grill on a 66 Monaco. It could be done, but it's going to take a lot of fabricating. I have all the parts to do it, just got to figure out how to weld pot metal to make the headlight doors... here is a photo shop someone did - and they also did a full frontal photo shop, but I can't find the image... 't'would look KILLER!!
View attachment 525498
Check out the muggyweld product for joining pot metal. They call it super alloy. Lots of great videos. Some incredible repairs.
Definitely don't throw out broken castings anymore.
 

Ross Wooldridge

Senior Member
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2016
Messages
4,538
Reaction score
3,770
Location
Scotland, Ontario, Canada
@Xenon said: "If you ever see a Hemi or 6-pak with A/C most assuredly the A/C was added after customer delivery... This "argument" has been around for ages and with every " I know for a fact it happened" has been so totally debunked it it is silly for anyone to even try to make the claim..."

Agreed!

Please understand that I am not making the claim that the factory would have installed AC on my 66 Monaco if it had actually been delivered with the 426 Hemi engine. The original owner worked at the dealership and knew that it was going to have to be a self install or a dealership conversion, and in his case the compressor and stuff was delivered in the trunk along with the other parts or Chrysler only options that he'd ordered, and he was going to try to figure out himself how to install the compressor with the Hemi air cleaner.

He knew he was going to have to use an under dash unit, but it also proved to be an issue with the 4-speed stick and console, so it never happened... same thing happened with the installation of some of the other options that were delivered in the trunk (like the autopilot and Sentinel), or that he bought to install in the vehicle (what we would now call "day two modifications"). Many of the smaller parts I have are NOS because he hung on to them even after he sold the car.

He had big dreams for the car but he was a young man and all of a sudden there he was married and with the family, so the car had to go.

I know all this because I'm in touch with him. The story on how the car came to be is a very interesting one, and if you search it on this site you'll see it.

The bottom line is that my Canadian 1966 Monaco 440 4 speed car is essentially a phantom car that nearly got built!
 
Last edited:

Big_John

Illegitimi non carborundum
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
May 21, 2013
Messages
15,714
Reaction score
21,057
Location
Marcellus, NY
Check out the muggyweld product for joining pot metal. They call it super alloy. Lots of great videos. Some incredible repairs.
Definitely don't throw out broken castings anymore.
Off subject a little, but I've read about using the Muggyweld in real life and they say it's very hard to use at best. The problem is the melting point of the pot metal will vary from piece to piece, and it's a fine line between welding temperature and a puddle of pot metal.

Not saying it doesn't work, just saying it might not work "as advertised". Lot's of practice involved at minimum is how it looks to me.
 

fury1

Active Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2015
Messages
314
Reaction score
509
Location
Minnesota
I’ve thought about a phantom c body I think would’ve been neat back in the day and I’ve landed on two of them. The first would be the fuselage imperial convertible. I know there’s a couple customs in the works but a factory built very would’ve been quite a car!! The second would be for the 65-66 Plymouth fury’s. To have a superstock option like the Belvedere had with the aluminum panels and the Hemi also being an option. I do think that all c bodies from 66-71 should’ve had an option for the hemi. especially for the fury’s and the 300s but then again if that had been the case, the c body market for those cars would be out of the every day guys reach. But it’s a cool dream!
 

Big_John

Illegitimi non carborundum
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
May 21, 2013
Messages
15,714
Reaction score
21,057
Location
Marcellus, NY
For me, it would be the '66 300 M that never was. 426 Hemi, 4 speed, Budd disk brakes, 3.23 gears, and just because we're dreaming, air conditioning.
You know... This really got my attention.

Doing a '66 300M would be kind of cool. Since driving a car with 3 pedals isn't really a great option for me anymore, I'd stay away from that... and personal experiences with the Hemi would push me towards a big block wedge instead (plus a lot less cost involved). But the concept is pretty sound.

I had read that a street wedge 426 was planned, with the Hemi as an option. But 1965 was the last year for the 426 wedge and 1966 being the first year for the 440, it makes sense that some warmed over version of the 440 would be logical.

So... A clean '66 300 and the proper cloisonné emblems, figure out the grille changes and a good, strong 440 could get you started...
 

Ross Wooldridge

Senior Member
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2016
Messages
4,538
Reaction score
3,770
Location
Scotland, Ontario, Canada
You know... This really got my attention.

Doing a '66 300M would be kind of cool. Since driving a car with 3 pedals isn't really a great option for me anymore, I'd stay away from that... and personal experiences with the Hemi would push me towards a big block wedge instead (plus a lot less cost involved). But the concept is pretty sound.

I had read that a street wedge 426 was planned, with the Hemi as an option. But 1965 was the last year for the 426 wedge and 1966 being the first year for the 440, it makes sense that some warmed over version of the 440 would be logical.

So... A clean '66 300 and the proper cloisonné emblems, figure out the grille changes and a good, strong 440 could get you started...

I'd do the Hemi with an automatic in the 66 300 M - as a stable mate to my Monaco 440 4-speed.

So - to back up what you're saying John, and to give others a bit more background to my claims regarding this particular car and the chance it could have come with a Hemi (even though we know that NO C bodies had factory hemi engines), here's the story once again:

There was, according to the original owner of my Monaco (which was ordered with a 426 Hemi and 4 speed and the order was accepted and deposit paid in June of '65) a Chrysler trade fair was held in May of 1965, where it was announced that most definitely there was going to be a 66 300 M with the Hemi option, as the 426 Street Hemi with hydraulic valve train was scheduled for release to publicly available cars. However, the Hemi M project was scrapped after the bean counters deemed it unworthy due to challenges the test mules went through, proving it would be too difficult, costly and not a good return on the investment in tooling and engineering for an extremely niche market option. Think about that 65 Town and Country with 426 hemi, 4 speed, Disc Brakes (you can see the special master cylinder in the pics below, but it has the wrong booster on it - likely a replacement), AC and all the other options that was made as a dealership conversion somewhere in the states (I forget where) as one of the test mules for the 66 Hemi M.

3.jpg


2.jpg


There are far too many factory parts and well placed engineering on this car to have it be some backyard conversion. However, with the crazy amount of tweaking and re-engineering of parts just to fit the Hemi and give people the options list expected in a Chrysler (like AC and power brakes), AND the known issues with Hemi durability (even with the new for 66 hydraulic valve train), plus the need to add a decently attractive warranty to an engine option clearly designed for racing, the 440 was hands down the winner in this case and so it's a no brainer that the option was cancelled - but the option for a 426 Street Hemi was very much in consideration during 1965 planning - so much so that it was announced at a Chrysler trade fair where high volume dealerships sent representatives to this company gathering to see what was coming out for the next year. The person who went to this trade fair from the Calgary dealership where my car was ordered from was good friends with the original owner of my car (who also worked at the dealership), and spilled the beans to him in May of 65. This prompted my guy to immediately special order the Monaco with the options that would have been available in the 66 Hemi M, knowing that in many situations, especially for the high volume dealerships that sold high profile cars etc., Chrysler would build cars with options that weren't necessarily on the option sheet. Being located in Calgary Alberta (where the highest number of Hemi cars were sold in North America), the dealership in question was one of those where special order cars were worthy of consideration, and the dealership processed the order with the intent of having this car made as ordered. When Chrysler scrubbed the project, the dealership didn't want to lose the sale of what was a very expensively optioned car, so they substituted the 440 in place of the hemi for my guy (and didn't tell him), who was understandably pissed about it when the car came in... then he took it for a drive... :icon_fU:

This dealership also sold all the pursuit cars to the RCMP for those years... so the engine that was substituted was not just a run of the mill 440, but was built for police duty on the special engine assembly line - factory balance and "built to design tolerance" which was the Mopar term for blueprinting.
 

Xenon

Senior Member
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
2,208
Reaction score
2,275
Location
Over Yonder
Ross, with all due respect,, I understand you are only repeating what someone else told you...
Sadly, tho, it is false..
ALL 426 Hemi engines were solid lifter until the 1970 model year when the hydraulic valve train
was introduced for the 1970 / '71...
Additionally there is no factory mount / isolator that was even close to making it possible to install a hemi
into a full size of that era..

.
 

Ross Wooldridge

Senior Member
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2016
Messages
4,538
Reaction score
3,770
Location
Scotland, Ontario, Canada
Ross, with all due respect,, I understand you are only repeating what someone else told you...
Sadly, tho, it is false..
ALL 426 Hemi engines were solid lifter until the 1970 model year when the hydraulic valve train
was introduced for the 1970 / '71...
Additionally there is no factory mount / isolator that was even close to making it possible to install a hemi
into a full size of that era..

No problem! :)

I'm not claiming that my car ever could have been built with a Hemi, just providing the background as to how the car was originally ordered, and the fact that it's an interesting story!

I definitely have it wrong regarding the hydraulic valve train thing then - (I thought it was 66 they did that), and I completely agree with you in regards to the engineering difficulties that would have scrubbed any chance for a factory Hemi equipped C body - especially things like motor mounts. It just didn't make financial sense for Chrysler to deal with the engineering required to make things like a one-off motor mount just for that option.
 

Big_John

Illegitimi non carborundum
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
May 21, 2013
Messages
15,714
Reaction score
21,057
Location
Marcellus, NY
I'd do the Hemi with an automatic in the 66 300 M - as a stable mate to my Monaco 440 4-speed.

So - to back up what you're saying John, and to give others a bit more background to my claims regarding this particular car and the chance it could have come with a Hemi (even though we know that NO C bodies had factory hemi engines), here's the story once again:

There was, according to the original owner of my Monaco (which was ordered with a 426 Hemi and 4 speed and the order was accepted and deposit paid in June of '65) a Chrysler trade fair was held in May of 1965, where it was announced that most definitely there was going to be a 66 300 M with the Hemi option, as the 426 Street Hemi with hydraulic valve train was scheduled for release to publicly available cars. However, the Hemi M project was scrapped after the bean counters deemed it unworthy due to challenges the test mules went through, proving it would be too difficult, costly and not a good return on the investment in tooling and engineering for an extremely niche market option. Think about that 65 Town and Country with 426 hemi, 4 speed, Disc Brakes (you can see the special master cylinder in the pics below, but it has the wrong booster on it - likely a replacement), AC and all the other options that was made as a dealership conversion somewhere in the states (I forget where) as one of the test mules for the 66 Hemi M.

View attachment 525648

View attachment 525647

There are far too many factory parts and well placed engineering on this car to have it be some backyard conversion. However, with the crazy amount of tweaking and re-engineering of parts just to fit the Hemi and give people the options list expected in a Chrysler (like AC and power brakes), AND the known issues with Hemi durability (even with the new for 66 hydraulic valve train), plus the need to add a decently attractive warranty to an engine option clearly designed for racing, the 440 was hands down the winner in this case and so it's a no brainer that the option was cancelled - but the option for a 426 Street Hemi was very much in consideration during 1965 planning - so much so that it was announced at a Chrysler trade fair where high volume dealerships sent representatives to this company gathering to see what was coming out for the next year. The person who went to this trade fair from the Calgary dealership where my car was ordered from was good friends with the original owner of my car (who also worked at the dealership), and spilled the beans to him in May of 65. This prompted my guy to immediately special order the Monaco with the options that would have been available in the 66 Hemi M, knowing that in many situations, especially for the high volume dealerships that sold high profile cars etc., Chrysler would build cars with options that weren't necessarily on the option sheet. Being located in Calgary Alberta (where the highest number of Hemi cars were sold in North America), the dealership in question was one of those where special order cars were worthy of consideration, and the dealership processed the order with the intent of having this car made as ordered. When Chrysler scrubbed the project, the dealership didn't want to lose the sale of what was a very expensively optioned car, so they substituted the 440 in place of the hemi for my guy (and didn't tell him), who was understandably pissed about it when the car came in... then he took it for a drive... :icon_fU:

This dealership also sold all the pursuit cars to the RCMP for those years... so the engine that was substituted was not just a run of the mill 440, but was built for police duty on the special engine assembly line - factory balance and "built to design tolerance" which was the Mopar term for blueprinting.
The street Hemi is a lot of hype. Great engines, but you needed to keep up on them to keep them fast... and then a lot of guys couldn't get them to run right no matter what. I've only known a couple guys that could get the street hemi cars to run like they should.

It's been my experience that a good running 440 will usually beat a street Hemi car. (been there, done that) Given the need to wrench on the Hemi more frequently, the logical choice is to build a 440 with a ton of torque for the heavy C-Body.

The guys that believe the Hemi hype have probably never driven one.
 

Ross Wooldridge

Senior Member
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2016
Messages
4,538
Reaction score
3,770
Location
Scotland, Ontario, Canada
Agreed - another nail in the coffin of the proposed 66 300 Hemi M, especially if it was a solid lifter valves train engine as I've been advised - my understanding of the date of the introduction of the hydraulic valve train for Hemi engines was erroneous. No respectable Chrysler driver is going to want to be wrenching on his luxury boulevard brawler every weekend...
 
Last edited:

Ross Wooldridge

Senior Member
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2016
Messages
4,538
Reaction score
3,770
Location
Scotland, Ontario, Canada
... It's been my experience that a good running 440 will usually beat a street Hemi car...

This is the logic that swayed my guy into taking delivery of the car when he discovered to his dismay that it did not have the hemi he ordered - he was going to back out of it, but the dealership owner said that they tried but couldn't get the hemi (for the above reasons), but that they'd pulled strings to get the police-built 440 put in the car instead - my guy said the dealership owner said "This is the motor we put in the Polaras to catch a**holes like you that order hemis. Take this car for a drive and if you still don't want it, I have a line up of people who'll buy it." He took the car the car out, and in his words "I changed my underwear and took delivery of the car."

Enough said. :)
 

MetalManiacAZ

Well-Known Member
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Messages
792
Reaction score
864
Location
Out in the sticks - MS Gulf Coast
Now you guys have me thinking. I HAVE a clean 66 already that is about to get a full refresh. I'm sure I could find a nice period correct 440, warm it over, and design some cool M badges based on the original style 300 badges. It probably wouldn't be too expensive to have them CNC'd. Decisions, decisions...
 

Ross Wooldridge

Senior Member
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2016
Messages
4,538
Reaction score
3,770
Location
Scotland, Ontario, Canada
I believe these were displayed as original 1966 300 M emblems for the car that never was. I wish I'd paid more attention, but it was a few years ago now.
 

fury fan

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
2,595
Reaction score
1,703
Location
Indianapolis
Emblems could be as simple or complex as your skill and wallet allows.
My 300L doorpanels were toast, so I recovered some 66 Nupe panels I had laying around.
The lower trim is merely some aluminum flat with a small puck emblem. (looking back, I wish I had buffed the aluminum to a chrome-like shine to match the other trim better)

The puck was a disc from Mcmaster, with a slot machined thru the back, beveled edges, and a pocket for the artwork.
Teh art was a graphic-arts version of the L emblem, printed on photopaper, carefully cut out and placed in the pocket. It was then covered with clear 2-part resin.
It has held up well for 14 years, although the resin likely won't survive for an outdoor/exterior emblem.

1649793827613.png
 

sixpkrt

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2013
Messages
1,840
Reaction score
5,432
Have pics of your 300L been posted before. I don't remember seeing any, but sure would like to.
 

fury fan

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
2,595
Reaction score
1,703
Location
Indianapolis
I generally only post pics of particular things on my cars (like the doorpanels above), as overall the 3 of them aren't terribly photogenic overall.

The L was suffering from peeling of an ancient low-quality paintjob on the upper surfaces, so here's a pic of it after a weekend with the DA and some Rusto (the Moparts craze of a few years ago) to protect it better. I did all the surfaces from the fendertop trim upward. Got down to where I was kissing the original factory primer. Used 3" sanding discs on a cordless to carefully remove the flaky tape-edging and got slightly under the trim. Used a good brush to get paint under there afterward. Not pretty, but significantly better - I wasn't prepared to put a $5000 paintjob on a $5000 car.

It's a decent project car, very little rust - but needs lots of cosmetics. Although I've not done much resto to it in the 16 years I've had it, I've kept it safe and dry and I enjoy owning one of the few Letter cars I can afford.

1649795487154.png
 

Big_John

Illegitimi non carborundum
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
May 21, 2013
Messages
15,714
Reaction score
21,057
Location
Marcellus, NY
Chances are good that the 300M emblems were cloisonné type enameled emblems. There's a pretty good chance I know where they were made, but there's no tooling or samples left there (I personally looked LOL)
 
Top