CHRONOLOGY OF THE D/DART PROGRAM

Originally presented by Paul Ceasrine on the ‘For A Bodies Only’ message board

Alan Lewis

 

February 5, 1966

Chrysler Racing Division sent out a Product Information Letter {Bulletin #5} to all Dealers, to inform them of the 1966 'Super/Stock Package' that was being developed with the '426 Hemi'.

Chrysler Racing Division has plans of building a 1966 Super/Stock Package for both the Plymouth and Dodge 'B-Body' cars again with the '426 Hemi'.

At the time, Chrysler is also backing several Racers with the new 1966 '426 Street Hemi' classed in Top Stock {A/S and A/SA} with the 66' Plymouth Belvedere, 66' Plymouth Satellite, and 66' Dodge Coronets.

At the time, there were no plans for a 'special' 273 Drag Package, as the Chrysler Racing Division was not that all interested in the 'A-Body' Junior Stockers, as they wanted to put all their efforts into Super/Stock or Top Stock with the '426 Hemi'.

The Dodge Division {Southern California Dodge Dealers Association} has put together '4' prepped 1966 Dodge Chargers with the 383/325 HP Engine to 'Showcase' and compete in D/Stock 'Manual' and D/Stock 'Automatic' at both the AHRA and NHRA Winternationals in Southern California.

 February 11, 12 & 13, 1966 ~ AHRA Winternationals @ Irwindale Raceway, California

Chrysler Racing Division is getting stalled by the Chrysler Machine Division, as there is 'limited time' available for the Drag Racing Division to put together a 1966 Super/Stock Program.

At the AHRA Winternationals, Mopar Racers are waiting to get information on the new Super/Stock cars.

The Chrysler Reps are unsure on whether they can get a Super/Stock Package together before the next major event, the Springnationals which are set for early June 1966.

The 4 factory backed 1966 Dodge Charger 383/325 HP Cars are entered at the AHRA Winternationals in Stock Class : (2} in D/S 'Manual' and {2} in D/SA Automatic.

The 2 D/S 4-Speed Charger 383's are eliminated early in Class Eliminations.

The 2 D/SA Automatic Charger 383's fair a little better, as one makes it to the Class Semi-Finals.

 February 18, 19 & 20, 1966 ~ NHRA Winternationals @ Pomona

Word comes down from Chrysler Racing that due to problems at the Machine Division, there will be a late start to the 1966 Drag Racing Program, and as a result of a Plant Strike by Union Workers, there will be a delay for the 1966 Super/Stock Program for the 426 Hemi. 

In the meantime, the 'Special Performance Group' of Chrysler Racing will focus on supporting the 1966 '426 Street Hemi' in the Top Stock {A/S and A/SA} Class, as well as existing AWB Cars, Super/Stock Cars, and 'selected' Stockers.

At the NHRA Winternationals, the '4' Factory/Dealer backed 'new' 1966 Dodge Charger 383/325 HP Cars again fail miserably in Stock Class {classed in D/S and D/SA}, as all '4' Chargers are knocked out early in Class Eliminations.

 February 25, 1966

Following the D/S and D/SA 'disasters' with the 'new' 1966 Dodge Charger 383/325 HP Cars at the AHRA and NHRA Winternationals in California, the Dodge Division and the 'Special Performance Group' decide to abandon backing the #3630 lb. Charger 383/325 HP cars in the D/S and D/SA Class.

It is determined that the 66' Dodge Chargers are too heavy for the {10.60 - 11.29 Wt/HP} D/S Class, and cannot compete with the 'Top Running' D/S or D/SA Cars due to a poor Weight-to-Horsepower break.

 March 1, 1966

Dick Maxwell, Staff Engineer the 'Special Performance Group' and the Dodge Racing Division discuss and come up with 'low-cost' Drag Package for the 1966 Dart GT 273/235 HP 4-Speed 'only' Car.

A 'special' Engine Package {Camshaft, Valve Springs, Holley Carburetor and Distributor} will be swapped for the 'Stock Components' on the 273/235 'Commando' engine.

These modifications will 'add' 40 Horsepower to the 273, and this 'Special Engine Package' will be rated at 275 Horsepower, and will be built to qualify for NHRA 'D/Stock' in the Stock Class.

If approved by the NHRA, '50' of these 1966 Dart GT Cars will be built to qualify for a legal Stocker as per the NHRA Requirements.

Corresponding information is sent to the NHRA for 'approval and certification'.

 March 4, 1966

The NHRA 'approves' the 273/275 HP Engine, and certifies the 1966 Dodge Dart GT for 'D/Stock', as the car will be equipped with a 4-Speed 'only', as per the documentation from Chrysler Racing {Dodge Division}.

 March 5, 1966

Dick Maxwell and the 'Special Performance Group' designate the 1966 Dodge Dart GT with the 273/275 HP as a 'Code' (Super Stock Package S.C. 699).

March 15, 1966

The Dodge Division produces a 'Special Order' Information Bulletin. 

Code; Super Stock Package - Special Car S.C. 699 Dart LP-23, Equipped with a Super Stock 66' Engine

All components installed on the 'Limited Production' 1966 Dart GT are listed.

 March 25, 1966

Dodge Product Information Bulletin ~ Bulletin #10

Chrysler Corporation 'Dodge Division'

To All Dodge Dealers

A Dodge Dart 'Drag Package' is being made available with a 275 Horsepower 
273 High Performance Engine with a 4-Speed Transmission, including a 'Special'
Rear Axle Assembly.

This Dart Package will conform to the NHRA and AHRA Rules to qualify for 'D/Stock'.

 April 11, 1966

Dodge Product Information Bulletin ~ Bulletin #11 ~ P-1537

* Dart Drag Package
* Listed Specifications
* To compete against the Ford Mustang 289/271 HP 'K-Code'.
* A 'well-prepared' Dart is expected to run low-13's or high-12's at speeds upwards to 108 MPH.
* The 1966 Dodge Dart 'Drag Package' will be built and made available for late-April 1966.
* Contact the Regional Office for ordering information.
* Because of the expected use, Dart GT's equipped with this Drag Package will be sold 'AS IS', without any Warranty.


 April 11, 1966

Dodge Product Information

To All Dodge Dealers

{Dart} ~ Super Stock Package 66 ~ Special Order S.C. 699
Special Price Line ~ Body Models

{Dart} ~ 2-Door Hardtop {LP-23}
Equipped with the Super Stock 66 Engine

S.C. 364 ~ Super Stock 66
S.C. 699 ~ Special Order

Suggested Price......... $2875

 April 17, 1966

Hamtramck, Michigan

Fifty LO23 Dart GT 2-Door Hardtops, with the 273/235 High Performance Engine will be built with 'specific' Performance Upgrades, including the 66 Super Stock Package.

 April 18, 1966

Service Bulletin

Dodge Technical Service Bulletin
D66-HP-1
Maximum Performance 273 Engine ~ Drag Drag Package 17-Page Specification Information

 May 1, 1966

According to documentation, the 'First' 1966 Dodge 273/275 HP Dart GT's with the Code 'D66-HP-1' were shipped out.

One of the {WW-1 White} Dart GT 4-Speeds was shipped directly to; 

Atlantic Dodge
657 S. Atlantic Avenue
Los Angeles, California

Note: This Dart had the 'Headers by Doug' {in Trunk Compartment} installed at the Dealership, 
along with some 'minor tuning'.

Note; added, were Cragar S/S Wheels {14" x 6"}, and Prowler 'Eliminator' Cheater Slicks {8.00" x 27.25" Tall}.

Note; added was a 3" Steel-Bracket on the Pinion-Snubber, to help prevent Rear-Axle rotation.

'Car Craft Magazine' Performance Test

Performed........... May 1966
Location..............'Lions Dragstrip' - Wilmington {Long Beach}, California
Test Team.......... 'Gearlords Car Club' - Altoona, California
Car Driver........... Charlie Allen {Dodge Factory-backed Super/Stock and Funny Car Drag Racer}

Performance....... 14.33 @ 94.21 MPH

Article in 'Car Craft Magazine' {August 1966}