37k Mile 1966 Chevrolet Impala SS 396

So, do you want to own a clean and potent classic that is ready to be driven and enjoyed immediately? You do? Well perhaps this 1966 Chevrolet Impala SS396 is the car that you have been searching for. It is a clean and solid vehicle that would seem to need nothing more than a new owner who will be happy to hit the open road and appreciate this low-mileage beauty. It is located in Madison, Wisconsin, and has been listed for sale here on Craigslist. The admission price on the Impala has been set at $24,500 OBO. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Ikey H for spotting the SS for us.

Looking around the Impala’s exterior, it’s pretty hard to find anything much to be critical of, because the vehicle does present very nicely. The owner makes no mention of any rust problems with the car, and there are no obvious signs of trouble when you look through the supplied photos. All of the lower body extremities look to be clean and solid, and there are no signs of any dramas around the rear window. The panels are nice and straight, while all of the panel gaps seem to be consistent. The exterior trim and chrome appear close to flawless, while the same would appear to be true of the factory tinted glass. This really is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, because the understated body color and appearance provide few hints on what is hiding below the surface.

It’s well worth the wait to see just what is hiding under the hood of the Impala. What we find is a 396ci V8, a 2-speed Powerglide transmission, a 12-bolt rear end, along with power steering and power brakes. With 325hp at the owner’s disposal, this is a car that doesn’t lack in the performance stakes. The Powerglide isn’t the best transmission to extract the ultimate performance from the vehicle, but a 16.4 second ¼ mile time is nothing to be sneezed at in a car that tips the scales at 3,992lbs. The Impala has recently been fitted with a custom 2½” exhaust, and the owner says that this classic runs and drives extremely well. He also states that it has what he believes to be a genuine 37,700 miles on its odometer. Given the way the listing is worded, it would seem that he doesn’t hold any evidence to verify this. That means that it is a claim that we need to take on face value, although a personal inspection would soon establish whether this claim is feasible.

The presentation of the Impala’s interior is just as good as the rest of the car. The black upholstery on the seats appears to be free of any real flaws beyond a bit of light stretching, but given the fact that it is 54-years-old, that is well and truly acceptable. The carpet might be slightly faded, but it isn’t a deal-breaker. It would be tempting to see if it would respond to a dye treatment, but that isn’t necessary if the next owner wants to retain the “original survivor” status of the car. The dash looks really good, as does the console, while the wheel has managed to avoid any cracking or significant wear. It is a bonus to find that the Impala features air conditioning and cruise control, allowing a welcome combination of performance and comfort.

Sometimes we will see classic cars here at Barn Finds where the owner has set an unrealistic sale price, whereas at other times we will see some great cars where the asking price is very competitive. This Impala would seem to fall into the latter category. It appears to be a clean and original survivor, and if a personal inspection reveals that it is a car that is as good as the listing would tend to suggest, I suspect that someone will be onto a winner with this one.

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  1. Moparman Member

    It’s amazing to me the number of mid ’60’s Chevrolets with cruise control that are starting to surface. I wasn’t aware that it was even an option then! The ’66 is one of my favorites, and this one’s a beauty! GLWTA! :-)

    • r s

      I wonder how accurate that cruise control was? It appears to be like the ones I saw in older Cadillacs – early 60’s – where the speed was set with a dial.

  2. Howard A Member

    What a sweetheart. $25K worth of sweetheart? Whew! Apparently, a new ’66 Chevy Sport Coupe cost about $2,900 bucks new, so adjusted for inflation, it’s about the same, however, in ’66, it seemed a lot easier to come up with $2900 bucks than $25,000 today.

    • SMDA

      Easier in 1966 because we had a more even and fair economic distribution.

      • Mike Hawke


      • SMDA

        Ahh Mr. Hawke, a man of few words. Trouble with brevity is that you really have no space to explain yourself, so what you say is meaningless.

      • r s

        Economics are not ‘distributed’, they are earned and invested for. Nobody ‘distributes’ them.

  3. Jwinters

    its funny to me how these cars are considered big boats but are actually lighter than todays mustangs and challengers.

  4. local_sheriff

    There’s nothing exactly wrong, but personally I find the ’66 Impala a bit too anonymous compared to other years. It’d be nice to see footage of its cowl tag, this example seems to wear the Cameo Beige code V.
    The PG will work but it’s not the most exciting transmission – a TH350/400/700 conversion would help a lot and complete kits are easily available

    • jerry z

      Agree. I would change to a 200R4 or 700R4 overdrive and 3.73 gears to really enjoy the car.

    • Skorzeny

      Umm, no. 4 speed.

      • local_sheriff

        Of course a 4spd would be coolest! But converting an auto car to stick would require way more mods on an otherwise extremely unmolested SS and I’m not sure you’d also need a stick specific console. Staying with a slush box everything will be bolt on and reversible

      • r s

        As someone who once converted a 1-of-375 1971 Sport Fury GT from an automatic to a 4 speed, I’ll say this:
        Not. Worth. It.
        This 66 would be heaving and rising and falling and bobbing with the shifts unless you stiffen the hell out of the suspension, and then you don’t really have a Caprice anymore anyhow.
        I wish someone would have told me to sober up, or hit me over the head, the night I had just enough beer to come up with that 4-speed conversion wet dream for my Sport Fury GT. In the end it worked, it was done nicely with all factory parts for the clutch linkage etc. but you know what? An automatic never misses a shift.

    • Mat

      It is my car. It is indeed a “V” coded Cameo Beige car.

  5. Chris M.

    Beautiful survivor! Although the owners choice in wheels leaves alot to be desired.

    • Todss

      Stock wheels and hubcaps on a survivor car are more than desirable. Easy enough to take off and put in storage and put something that you like on there. Hopefully not a set of 20 inch stagecoach wheels like alot people are going to.

      • Chris M.

        Maybe I should clarify. I was actually referring to the ad where the owner had those huge ghetto rims installed on the car. Obviously it’s appropriate to have the factory wheel and tire combo on such an original car.

    • Mat

      The big wheels photo is just a representation image. It’s a similar car, but not the actual car. All other photos are of the actual car. Some people like the style, so I thought I’d include the photo in the ad.

      • Chris M.

        Got it. Thank you and it’s simply a matter of taste. Beautiful car!

  6. Del

    Nice car.

    Well presented.

    Very clean.

    Price a bit high. 20 grand car ?

  7. The one


  8. Just passin through

    LS conversion with manual transmission.

    • JOHN Member

      I’m a fan of LS conversions in just about anything, because it likely has. There are lots of good reasons, but this car, absolutely no way. This car *appears* to be super original, low miles, the only thing I might do would be adding rally wheels, and maybe retaining the white walls… I can’t believe I said that, white walls! I know I’m getting old now!

      • r s

        Agreed. This car is a real relic, an artifact, a direct time warp between now and 1966. Why must people think they have to rod the hell out of everything? Freshened up and original this car would be so awesome, it’s almost there already.

        Manual transmission? Ugh no way.

    • Del


  9. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Quite a nice automobile. Twenty five grand seems reasonable to me for this car. You could buy a new Asian model for less but it devalue over a short period of time where this car will probably increase in value or at least stay the same, giving you more pleasure per mile.
    God bless America

    • PatrickM

      And you still wouldn’t have an icon from the ’60’s. Still for sale. Who’s gonna pull the trigger? Sure wish it could be me.

  10. John Oliveri

    Put a 400 trani in it, I’d enjoy blowing up that power glide

  11. Jack Pruett Member

    Nice car. Make it into a driver. I don’t think the powerglide would be that bad. I think that this car would do slightly better than 16.4 in the quarter. It should run better than my 67 Chevelle which had a 327/275HP powerglide which was not that fast or light at about 3,600 lbs. My car had runs between 15.9 and 16.4. That car would stay in low year until 65 MPH before shifting and ran well between 40-65.

  12. Frank

    A good friend had a 65 version of this car back when we were in college. That was so long ago that his 65 was just a couple of year old car. Always thought the dash was kind of lame for an SS model. Liked the 65’s look better on the front and back.

  13. bhowe Member

    Love the unmolested and stock appearance. I’m generally into keeping things as factory appearing as possible, so the only mod I’d consider is the same as some of the others mentioned, TH400 or newer 4 speed auto. That’s something that can easily be undone and make it a much nicer day to day classic. I’d even make sure it has nice whitewalls. It just has that sleeper look, not in an all out really high performance vehicle, but one that looks tame, but will surprise a few people. Nice Find!

  14. Dave

    Considering what a homely ‘64 Impala commands in price, I’ll take this sleek, beautiful big-block for $25k any day!

    • Danyul

      I hated the new style when it came out in ’65, always liked ’64 much better.

      • r s

        To me the 64 looks like a brick compared to the 65.


  15. David Ulrey Member

    Absolutely beautiful condition and I would love to own a clean one but this is probably the most boring color the factory could have chosen to put on this otherwise awesome car. Understated body color was quite the nice and diplomatic term that could be used. Well done for that.

    • local_sheriff

      Totally agree on that color choice!! This color is what we’re used to see on low/no options post cars and considering what an array of beautiful colors are presented on the ’66 GM color chart I’d be more than curious to know what kind of split personality buyer wanted a BB SS in such an uninteresting hue.
      But then again it proves my theory on intestine colored cars having the best survival rates…! 😄

  16. David Ulrey Member

    I can’t argue with anything you said.

  17. Paul Leedy

    Where is the car for sale

    • Mat

      In the article, click where it says “here on Craigslist”

  18. PatrickM

    so, what’s the one in traffic? Different from the one for sale in front of the house.

    • Mat

      Just a similar car I found on Instagram

  19. Bill Pressler

    I like the car, and I like that it’s not white, black, or red.

    I prefer the details of the ’65 more, but I think I’d read over the years that the frame on the ’66 was beefed up (which they even advertised they did on the ’65 Caprice, introduced mid-year).

    Real nice car.

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