Plymouth Belvedere II R023
The year 1967 was important for drag racing; NHRA introduced Super Stock Eliminator as a stand-alone division. In prior years, Chrysler had built special-package cars for the old Super/Stock portion of Stock Eliminator. Now those low-production and higher-performance vehicles would race together in a new stand-alone class with other optimized packages. That fact helped determine the 1967 Chrysler cars. Not wanting to compete against its own successful 1965-year packages, Chrysler chose to build special all-steel, Street Hemi-type packages to move these cars down a class into what was SS/B and SS/BA (for automatics). As a result, many enthusiasts consider these the most streetable of the Chrysler Hemi race packages of the 1960s. All of the factory RO23-code Plymouths and sister WO23-code Dodges came off the assembly line on February 12, 1967 like this example did. Though all were delivered new only in White, today this race-prepped car is painted Silver with some competition identification. What makes it even more exclusive as an RO23-VIN model is that it uses the A833 4-speed transmission; only 17 of the 55 hardtop cars (all Belvedere IIs) built for the program were so equipped. With the A833, Chrysler also mandated the Dana 60 SureGrip differential with a track-friendly 4.88:1 gear set. The Street Hemi retained the iron heads and 10.25:1 compression, but benefited from better ignition pieces, the factory’s heavy-duty internals, and a special intake manifold that had much of the plenum area separators removed. These intakes were hand-modified for this program and were only available on this package; one is on this car. The car also retains the oft-discarded Chrysler cast-iron exhaust manifolds, akin to what it was sold with when new. Though the body is all-steel, R023 Belvederes came without extra padding, body sealer and undercoating. It even used a single bench seat instead of buckets. Finally, each RO23 Plymouth was equipped with a hood scoop, had the radio and heater deleted, and used steel wheels. Among the personalized details are the Silver paint with vintage graphics, dual batteries in the trunk, a Moroso tach, and other race-focused changes.
- One of 55 code RO23 Super Stock Belvedere IIs produced in 1967
- One of 17 with A833 4-speed transmission
- Built February 12, 1967
- Modified 426 CI Hemi engine
- Bored aluminum intake manifold
- Dual 4-barrel Carter AFB carburetors
- Plenum chamber walls removed
- Forged steel connecting rods
- Special cam and dual points distributor
- Cast iron heads
- Cast iron exhaust manifold
- 4.88 Dana 9 3/4 rear axle
Source: Mecum Auctions as part of the Indianapolis event in May, 2015
Photo Credit: John Hollansworth Jr.