1962 to 1965 Mopar Logo, based on early 1960’s Mopar Logo

1965 Plymouth Belvedere I

May 2011 Mopar of the Month

Akron Don writes: I sold my 1965 Plymouth Belvedere I race car in 1974, shortly after I was married (pure coincidence, honest). In 1995, I opened the paper one Saturday morning and found two in the paper. By noon that day, with the urging of the one who must be obeyed (see they can be supportive of our crazy ideas), I had this one in my possession. Originally a /6 automatic car from Kentucky, the Plymouth came to me with an overbored 413 and a four speed. The Mopar now has a 440 and produces close to 400 horsepower at the rear wheel.

1965 Plymouth Belvedere I passenger side
1965 Plymouth Belvedere I passenger side
Yes, I drag race the Plymouth.

The Plymouth’s been a work in process ever since I got it. The paint was flat and the engine seemed down on power. My first major project was to do a short-term stabilization of the body since it was showing a few spots of rust. $7,500 later, the body had been taken down to bare steel, patched and an excellent base coat/clear coat paint job had been done. Kinda blew the budget, but it looked good!

1965 Plymouth Belvedere I driver side on highway
Driving to Carlisle in 2007 - no Trailer Queens here
1965 Plymouth Belvedere 440 engine
Engine with 426 Wedge Chrome

Since the paint job, the car was gradually converted into a 426W clone then migrated into a stock appearing drag car. The car initially won show trophies including a Best Plymouth in Show. However as the car was modified, the Plymouth did not qualify as a stock class and not did not have enough modifications to do well in modified classes.

1965 Plymouth Belvedere I receives award
2007 Carlisle All Chrysler Nationals

The Belvedere is currently in race mode as I attempt to get my 87 octane 3800 pound beast into the 11s. I ended last year at 12.16 and with a few minor tweaks I’ve made over the 2010 winter, I should make that number shortly.

The Belvedere racing at the Norwalk “Pinks All Out” in 2010

When I’m done with the race car phase of my life, I’m planning to make the Belvedere I into a 426 Wedge-powered clone. All the parts are in the garage including heads, intake, carburetor and the chrome air cleaner and valve covers. While the Belvedere will still race on occasion, the Plymouth will mostly join it’s stable mate on the car show and cruise circuit: a 1965 Plymouth Satellite convertible, 383 four barrel, with power everything and AC. The convertible should make its debut at Carlisle All Chrysler Nationals 2011.

1965 Plymouth Belvedere I driver side rear 1965 Plymouth Satellite convertible, front
1965 Plymouth Belvedere I <br>and Akron Don
1965 Plymouth Belvedere I
and Akron Don
at Carlisle 2000 after
Dyno Run (350 HP)

Contact Akron Don:  Contact owner, 1965 Plymouth Belvedere I

Thanks Akron Don!

Looking great and running the same! You will have a tough choice to decide which Plymouth to drive! Not really. BOTH!

Gary H.

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