Plymouth's 1965 intermediates wore a facelift of the 1964 editions, carrying many of the styling cues of the upscale Furys.

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Introduction to 1965-1967 Plymouth Belvedere/Satellite and GTX

The 1965-1967 Plymouth Belvedere/Satellite and GTX received an A+ for performance, thanks in part to its Hemi V-8. The cars even made their mark in NASCAR and stock-car racing.

The 1965 Belvedere was a new application of that time-honored Plymouth model name, now applied to a full line of intermediates, distinct from the new full-size Fury also introduced that year.

There were three distinct series: the Belvedere I, with sedans, a wagon, and a light Super Stock hardtop; the Belvedere II, which added a hardtop and convertible; and the Satellite, a luxury model available only as a hardtop or convertible.

Dimensionally similar to the smaller 1964 Plymouth, the Belvedere had Fury-like styling. But because muscle-car action centered on intermediates, it received most of Plymouth's performance options.

One of these was the 426 Hemi V-8, replacing the previous 426 wedge as the racer's choice. Offered as an option only on the light Super Stock, the mighty Hemi developed 425 horsepower, 60 more than the wedge version.

It provided terrific performance: 120 mph top speed and 0-60 in eight seconds or less. Not cheap at $4,671 base price, the Super Stock was frankly designed for racing. It looked like a potential champion, but NASCAR disallowed the Hemi Belvedere, and Chrysler withdrew from competition in protest.

Added as the top-line offering in 1965 was the Plymouth Satellite, which came standard with a 273-cid V-8.

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A late-season change of heart by NASCAR brought it back, but Plymouth tallied only four wins in the short time remaining.

Nor was the Belvedere Hemi welcome in drag racing. The National Hot Rod Association ruled that Plymouth's Super Stock drag racers were too light, preventing them from running cars with fiberglass hoods and fenders.

See how our story continues for the 1966 models on the next page.

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Chrysler's famous 426 Hemi was offered in only a handful of drag-strip specials during 1965, but was made a regular Satellite option in 1966.

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1965, 1966, 1967 Plymouth Belvedere/Satellite and GTX

For 1966, the Belvedere/Satellite received new sheet metal, resulting in a crisp, lithe body that was truly elegant. When equipped with the smaller V-8s of 273, 318, and 361 cid, they were the best all-around Plymouths in the line. Their crisp, chiseled styling was retained for 1967 with few changes.

Also for 1966, the incredible 425-horsepower Hemi was made available as an option on the Belvedere II and Satellite. The result was the electrifying "Street Hemi," equipped as standard with a heavy-duty suspension and oversize brakes. It was first offered with a four-speed gearbox, later with optional TorqueFlite automatic.

In the light Belvedere package, the Street Hemi could be simultaneously a docile boulevard tourer and a demon at the stop light. With the right tires and axle ratio, and correctly tuned, it was one of the quickest production cars available.

Right off the floor it was ready for drag-race competition in A/Stock or AA/Stock classes, and along with Dodge's Coronet it was allowed to run on NASCAR's shorter circuits-with predictable results.

David Pearson won the 1966 NASCAR championship with a Coronet; Richard Petty won in 1967 with a Belvedere. These were the major breakups of Ford's otherwise tight stranglehold on NASCAR between 1965 and 1970.

In 1967, the Hemi option was offered on the new Belvedere GTX, in addition to a 440-cid wedgehead "Super Commando" V-8 with 375 horsepower. The 440 had first been seen in the 1966 Plymouth Fury and other full-size Chrysler products but didn't become a performance engine until the 1967 model run. Even in this form it was not highly stressed.

In late summer 1966, a few factory-backed racing Belvederes carried the letters "GTX" in stock-car competition. The meaning wasn't clear until the "win-you-over" 1967s were announced, with a Satellite GTX at the top of the line.

Offered as a high-performance hardtop or convertible, the GTX looked its part, with a silver and black grille and rear deck panel, simulated hood air intakes, sport striping, and big dual exhausts.

Cars equipped with the powerful engine wore small 426 Hemi badges on their lower front fenders but otherwise gave little warning of what lay within.

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The Belvedere I and II lines were continued with the same models, and a stripped Belvedere wagon was introduced with a base price of only $2,579. This proved to be more of a price leader than a serious seller: Only 5,477 were built, and the model was withdrawn in 1968.

Plymouth's racing victories are so numerous as to preclude mention here, but Richard Petty's NASCAR performance is worthy of note. He scored a record 27 triumphs (out of Plymouth's season total of 31), including 10 straight wins, on his way to his second Grand National driving championship. Both the 27 and 10 figures are records that still stand today.

Find specifications for the 1965-1967 Plymouth Belvedere/Satellite and GTX in our final section.

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The first Satellite GTX arrived in 1967 wearing sporty trim and dual hood scoops, taking over as Plymouth's top-of-the-line intermediate.

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1965, 1966, 1967 Plymouth Belvedere/Satellite and GTX Specifications

Plymouth's new line of intermediates included the Belvedere I, the Belvedere II, and the Satellite; the GTX would arrive in 1967. Find specifications for the 1965-1967 Plymouth Belvedere/Satellite and GTX below.

Specifications

Engines: all ohv V-8; 273 cid (3.62 x 3.31), 180/235 horsepower; 318 cid (3.91 x 2.31), 230 horsepower; 361 cid (4.12 x 3.38) 265 horsepower; 383 cid (4.25 x 3.38), 270-330 horsepower; 426 cid (4.25 x 3.75), 425 horsepower; 440 cid (4.32 x 3.75), 375 horsepower

Transmissions: 3-speed manual; 4-speed manual, 3-speed automatic optional

Suspension front: upper and lower control arms, longitudinal torsion bars

Suspension rear: live axle, leaf springs

Brakes: front/rear drums; front discs optional

Wheelbase (in.): 116.0

Weight (lbs): 3,050-3,335

Top speed (mph): 120

0-60 mph (sec): 6.6

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