1966 Chrysler Newport
2dr Hardtop Coupe
8-cyl. 383cid/270hp 2bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
Chrysler’s 1965 restyle added some bold cues to their entry –level Newport, and showed that the company had figured out how to design big cars to scale. The Newport had a bold, sculptured side panel with a chrome accent strip both above and below it. The grille and headlights were recessed, as were the taillights. The base engine was now a 270-hp, 383-cid V-8. Newports could also be ordered with a 315-hp, 383-cid engine, and either powerplant could be equipped with the standard manual three-speed transmission, a four-speed manual, or the 727 automatic.
The Newport lineup included a four-door sedan, a glassier town sedan, two-and four-door hardtops, a convertible, and six- and nine-passenger Town & Country stations wagons. Prices ranged from $3,000 to $3,600. The public responded favorably to the redesign and Chrysler sales boomed. The Newport line represented 55 percent of Chrysler’s 200,000 sales.
For 1966, a few changes were made to the grille, and fender skirts were standardized. The optional 383-cid engine increased to 325 hp, and a new 365-hp, 440-cid V-8 could be added to the Newport for $335 and it could only be paired with the automatic transmission. The four-speed was also dropped. In 1967, Chrysler Newport sales dipped slightly as the country weathered a slight recession. Newports were significantly redesigned, with scalloped side panels with bright trim above and below, and a more formal roofline with wider C-pillars. The town sedan was dropped and a Newport Custom line was introduced, which added upgraded upholstery, armrests, and some exterior trim.
For 1968, Chrysler resigned the Newport’s grille to be bolder, more in keeping with the rest of the car’s style. Newport coupes and convertibles were offered with a simulated wood-grain option in the side scallops, while the base engine gained some extra ponies to now produce 290 hp and the optional 383 bumped up to 330 hp. The four-barrel 440-cid V-8 continued unchanged. The following year marked the beginning of a new generation of Newport, one that carried Chrysler’s famous “fuselage styling.”
This generation of Newport was the last of the pre-emission Chryslers, and these big cars have a lot of 1960s style. The Newport has always been much more common than Chrysler New Yorkers or the pricey 300, which makes them relatively easy to locate today. Choosey and patient buyers can find a lot of car for the money, though fuel expenses can be hefty for budget-minded individuals, what with the big V-8s typically achieving 10 mpg. Spares are plentiful and there are enough junkyard dwellers that most trim parts can be found without too much hassle.