Darryl Scott's '65 Belvedere...
Darryl Scott's '65 Belvedere sports a BDS-blown, nitrous-encouraged, 451-inch RB (for now).
Big Mickey Thompsons handle...
Big Mickey Thompsons handle the 451 RB's power inside stock wheelwells. The decklid is a fiberglass item, just like the hood and front fenders.
The 727 got a B&M Pro ratchet...
The 727 got a B&M Pro ratchet shifter; the stock dash got Auto Meter gauges; the stock benches and the doors/side panels got tweeded. A rollcage is required for this sub-10-second car to run on the strip.
The 451-inch RB now sits where...
The 451-inch RB now sits where a stock six-cylinder once did. BDS blower, Enderle mechanical fuel injection, and nitrous help put this 3,500-pound car in the 9s.
What is it about the '65 Belvedere, out of all of Plymouth's "Roaring '65s," that makes it appealing as a grocery-getter or all-out screamer? Ask the folks who've owned and built one or more, and they'll tell you it was the looks they liked, or their good experiences with other early B-Body Mopars, or the price was right.
Darryl Scott's '65 Belvedere post is definitely one that meets all three criteria. "I liked the looks of the '65 post car. I got hooked on it," Darryl says from his Elizabethtown, Kentucky, home. "I ran across this car 16 years ago and drove it home for $500 with a 225 Slant Six and a three-speed on the column. And it's a whole lot lighter than the four-door." By four-door, he means a dual-quad, 440-powered, 4.10-geared '64 Polara four-door street-racer, which was the donor for this Belvie's first V-8.
" I took everything out of my four-door and put it over into that car just to get rid of the four-door," he says of the Polara body, which was in good shape. That RB may have been its first V-8, but it was far from the last one. "I later had a 500-inch B1-headed motor in it, with a plate [nitrous] system on it." Darryl says that combo was good for 8.60 in the quarter, through the mufflers, on 10-1/2-inch slicks.
That rear tire size factored into the '65's current setup. It was built to run in a local heads-up, stock-suspension, 10-1/2-inch tire class at his local track. Right now, there's an RB that's been bored out to 451 ci wearing a BDS blower and Enderle mechanical fuel injection, with a fully plumbed nitrous-oxide injection system (good for 50 to 350 extra horsepower) barely hidden by the Dzus-fastened fiberglass hood. "It'll run 9.40s the way it sits right now, without the nitrous system, and that's with the blower pulleys' driven 1:1 ratio," he says.
No doubt helping its straight-line performance is the car's updated front end. The original stamped steel K-member and upper control arms were replaced by tubular pieces from LRT Chassis that shaved a bunch of weight off the front of the car (as did a rack-and-pinion steering setup). Those new chassis pieces-which not only save weight but also improve the B-Body's bumpsteer geometry- help the Belvedere's handling on and off the strip. "It's tremendous; it handles like a dream," Darryl says.
Factor in the weight savings from the fiberglass hood and front bumper, and you're looking at a onetime 3,800-pounder tipping the scales closer to 3,500 pounds now. Maybe not as light as a factory A990 or an altered-wheelbase '65 Belvedere, which Ma Mopar engineered (and had the crew that made Amblewagons do the conversion on), but it's still light for a big-block-powered midsize car.