427 & 4-Speed! 1966 Chevrolet Impala Wagon

Jamie PalmerBy Jamie Palmer

You won’t find many wagons that left a factory with a big-block V8 and a four-speed manual — and you’ll find even fewer that are basically in survivor condition with 34,000 original miles! No wonder this car has seen such heated bidding here on eBay where the price is already over $31,000 and the reserve hasn’t been met yet! It’s located in Gallion, Ohio.

If you’re not a wagon fan, just move along please. This car was originally purchased (by trading in a 1957 Chevy wagon) to tow the original owner’s racing car. The car had been sitting in a building in Cleveland, Ohio since 1980 until the seller purchased it recently and gently refurbished or replaced some needy items. For example, that’s a new exhaust system you see poking out of both rear quarters.

That’s the original paint you are looking at, so please excuse the nicks and blemishes in places. The seller removed the heavy-duty tow hitch from the rear of the car and generally returned a few things to stock. A copy of the window sticker and the original dealer order form are both pictured in the ad. You can see from looking at the information that Paul (the original owner) didn’t plan for a lot of luxury — just performance — on this Marina Blue beauty.

When’s the last time you saw a factory tachometer and four-speed manual in a full-size wagon? The interior has cleaned up very nicely, and the seller tells us the only thing that doesn’t work is the factory clock. The heater core has been replaced.

The business end of the wagon doesn’t look bad either! What would you load into the back?

Here’s where the seller may have gone too far for you, although it’s just fine with me. The original engine was pulled, repainted, and any aftermarket parts were replaced with original or replica parts (such as the date-coded spark plug wires). The flywheel was turned and a new clutch installed. They also added new brake lines, a new master cylinder but noted that the original brake shoes are still just fine. The radiator was also re-cored. What do you think — is it worth the price? Would you use it to tow your vintage race car? Or just show up at your local show, unload the family and a picnic and watch people’s jaws drop?

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    What a find! Even though I don’t have a good use for it, and am not particularly fond of guiding huge barges like this around, I would love to own it. Since the “reserve” is probably somewhere around the $50K mark, it’s not going to happen, but still….

    It seems strange to see a car ordered with virtually the same options I would have wanted. Granted, I would also have asked for A/C, but otherwise, if I had to have a ’66 Chevy wagon, this would be it!

    And I agree with the seller putting the engine back to “stock” trim, Jamie. I picture a “before” with yellow plug wires, a chrome air cleaner, plated rocker covers and red rubber heater hoses….

    13
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Agreed completely on the engine. Honestly, the seller did what I would do — just not sure if others would approve!

      I sat there and pictured what this would look like towing my race car…it was a nice thought!

      11
    • Alan (Michigan)

      “Reserve is OFF” at the current $34,800. Dang, what a cool fun car.

      8
    • CATHOUSE

      The reserve is well under the 50K mark. With just under 3 days left the bid is now at 34,800 and the RESERVE NOT MET notice is gone.

      2
  2. SlickB

    I only have one problem with this and that is I wouldn’t have enough tire to make it to the store and back

    32
  3. Michael

    This car is awesome. Would absolutely be my daily driver. What a find!

    13
  4. Classic Steel

    I guess they quit driving it when the second younger child was diagnosed with a concussion after dad took them for burgers😂

    It’s like putting a supercharged hemi in a caravan with a six speed in today’s standards making a hell-van cat 😜

    15
    • minicoopermk1

      Now THAT is a caravan I would happily drive, at least until my license was revoked.

      As for the wagon, it’s amazing, and perfect as is. Maybe the seller will include the removed parts, if desired.

      7
  5. Thomas Cotrel

    Front disc brake conversion (assuming it came with drums), vintage air, fix the valves and valve seats to run on unleaded. Sweeeeeeeeet.

    10
    • Steve R

      This cars value will be its highest in stock configuration or as it was found in “day two” form. It truely is a unicorn. Due to its rarity and low mileage it will likely never be driven hard again. Aftermarket AC, besides looking out of place will do nothing but hurt is value.

      This car stands on its merits, as it currently sits.

      Steve R

      21
      • Oscarphone

        Upgrading safety items (if you’ve never had the pleasure, disks would be a welcome change) that can be easily removed and originals put back on is not a bad thing. It only enhances enjoyment and does nothing to the value as they can be replaced easily. You are right that the market is shifting to survivor cars over spit and polish over-restored day one or day two cars. Anybody can take a complete wreck and replace every panel and carpet and apply a nice thick coat of paint and clear. A real car is only 34K once.

    • KEN TILLY

      @Thomas Cotrel.
      My brother had a Mk 5 Lincoln up in Vancouver and ran it on standard gas for over 14 years and over 140,000 miles and NEVER had a burnt valve seat. A valve seat will only burn out if the engine is driven very hard, over a long distance, regularly. He only sold it because the rust was getting quite bad, the vinyl top was shredded and, oh yeah, he married a German woman who owned a Porsche 911! One day the 911 broke down on the highway and by the time it was recovered the motor had frozen solid so they got a lift home, got into the Lincoln, and it started right up after being virtually abandoned for about 6 weeks!

      4
  6. Miguel

    Paul got a lot of money for his trade. It was like $700.00 for a 9 year old car.

    3
  7. Will Fox

    VERY rare, and nice to see. About 1975 or so, my older brother bought a `66 (same color) 427/390 automatic Impala 4dr. sedan. At the time, I found the build sheet under the back seat springs that verified it left the factory with the 427. But a 4dr. sedan? Who ordered it that way?! The selling dealer is still in business, and when I stopped one day to inquire who sold this car new, I was stopped in my tracks. Any salesmen from `66 are long gone, and so were the records. To them, it was just an old Chevy.

    8
    • Graeme

      Were you more surprised that there were no salesmen still working there fifty years after the car was sold, or that their sales records didn’t stretch back that far? Not sure what the chevy world is like, but there is company called Marti Auto Eorks that has USA/Canadian Ford sales records on virtually everything they sold from 1967-2012. Maybe chevy’s have someone similar.

      1
    • Jerry Brentnell

      you talk about big block 4 doors, my brother went out and bought a travel trailer, the dealer gave him a list of suitable cars to tow with, such as full size broncos, jimmys on the list was a ford torino 9 passenge wagon with hd tow package 460 v8! he hunted ford dealers around calgary and came up with a country squire wagon so equipped! turned out to be a real pig on gas! brother sold it all ! year later!

  8. OIL SLICK

    Not my cup of tea but it’s cool for what it is.

    1
  9. Big Mike

    Now THIS is a ‘family truckster’. 😀

    7
  10. Randall Jordan

    I have an original east coast asphalt/dirt 39’ Chevy modified…. I currently tow it with my original 76’ Chevy short bed.
    Thos wagon towing my 39’ would just be even cooler.
    Since I own a classic car restoration shop… I think the seller did the right thing by doing the work he did in the manner that he did it in! Makes this car even cookel!
    Randall Jordan San Diego Ca
    Racesrods1776@yahoo.com

    3
  11. Dovi65

    Nice wagon. I can understand why it was ordered with the manual, but as I wouldn’t be towing anything of heft, I’d rather have the automatic

    2
  12. 86 Vette Convertible

    That is one rare brute. With the BBC under the hood it should pull just about anything you want with it. For what it did, looks like it was selected just the way to accomplish the task.

    5
  13. bobk

    My dad was fond of Ford wagons (10 passenger Country Sedans – 8 kids, 7 of us boys) equipped with the biggest V8’s available. Don’t remember what was under the hood of the 58 or the 62. Of the two that we owned during my teenage years, I believe the ’67 had the 390 and the ’72 had the 428, although it could have been the other way around. Both would run down the rural Kansas two lane highways at triple digit speeds – with a full complement of kids on board.

    Ah, memories. It’s a wonder that we all survived.

    8
  14. Skip

    Oh, what a nice wagon!! When I worked at Baker Ambulance in Odessa from 1965 to 1968, we had a ’66 Impala wagon ambulance. It had the big engine, but automatic transmission. It had been converted by a company in Dallas that at the time built ambulances from station wagon and sedan-delivery platforms; going on to build from vans and Suburbans. They went on to be the parent co. of the short-lived Modular Ambulance Corp. whose ambulances were featured on Emergency! for several years. In 1979 on the day Wichita Falls, TX was hit by a nasty tornado, my ambulance partner and I had made a trip from Lubbock to the small town of Morton, TX, where I purchased a super-nice 1966 Bel Air station wagon ambulance for a whopping $600. It had the small-block 350 and standard shift and was a great running machine: and used absolutely no oil. On our way back from Morton to Lubbock we could see the terrible storm that had hit Wichita Falls. I worked part-time at a paint and hardware store back then and my boss’s sister-in-law died in that tornado. In May of 1970 when Lubbock was hit my boss and his family lost their home to the storm but they weren’t injured. They rebuilt with no problem, putting the new house underground.

    4
  15. Mark

    Fantastic car! Compared to this wagon, the modern SUV is nothing more than a bundle of electronic gizmos.
    The pull and sound from this beast while going thru the gears sure would put a grin on your face……one that may take surgery to remove. GLWTS.

    7
    • Oscarphone

      I wonder if any kids now would know what the knob on the door panels was for . . .

      1
  16. JimmyinTEXAS

    Great find. I can certainly agree with the “restoration” but have a hard time seeing it done then placed up for sale. If your plan is to sell it, then sell it and let the new owner build it his way. I guess if you can make a buck doing/getting the work done then selling is motivation enough.

    3
  17. Fordfan

    I believe this car is on YouTube . The dad special ordered this car and the daughter was showing it. she went on to tell about the family rides and vacations in it

    .

    2
    • Steve R

      It was, I watched it a few months ago, but couldn’t find it today. I wish the seller would have included a couple of before pictures in their ad.

      Steve R

      1
  18. Denis Flaherty

    w a n t !!

    3
  19. Mark S.

    My Mom would have loved having the big block. I know she could drive the crap out of a stick shift.
    She had a ’66, 350 auto, it was like a silver mist metallic w/ the wood sides. I rode a lot of miles in the third seat. Cool car.

    2
  20. Joe Howell

    I love old wagons and the 427 and 4 speed are the icing on the cake. Back then you could any combination of engine and transmission you wanted. Knew a family that had a mid sixties Plymouth 4 door hardtop with a 426 Wedge and Torqueflite. Both of these allowed the family to be moved around but also allowed dad to light ’em up now and then. Back then a manual transmission was usually preferred over an automatic for reliability. Slushboxes back then were still frowned upon by many of the old school when it came to heavy duty or severe use. Today’s automatics have come a long way.

    5
  21. Ed smith

    My dad had a 67 bel air wagon 396 auto posi rear end He blew the doors off my Uncles 69 Ford Torino 390 That was all it took my Uncle traded it in 69 Z28

    3
  22. Cmarv Member

    As the owner of a 70 Buick SportWagon that got a 1970 , GS 455 transplant in the early 80’s (complete drivetrain , hood with ram air , suspension , rear , gauge cluster etc ) . I would love to have this factory built “Dragon Wagon” . It’s a rare car indeed . I passed up one of the few 1970 , Vista Cruiser 442 wagons that were factory built for dealers or their wives , around 1995 at Carlisle , $14500 was way too much I thought . I was a dumb a$$ . This one might not get away . Wagons are cool but a factory built hot rod wagon pegs the cool meter .

    10
  23. Craig M. Bryda

    Back in my drag racing days there was a guy who raced a Black ’66 Biscayne (?) wagon at Dover Drag Strip in Wingdale N.Y. His was a 427/425 4 speed. He called it the “Pied Piper” he was always stock eliminator . That car flat out ran. If I could remember more I’d tell ya’s what the E.T. was. I believe his name was Tom Valentine.

    5
  24. gaspumpchas

    Love the Chevy wagons, Craig I remember seeing the Pied Piper at Dover. There was a black one of these that sat at Keegans Junkyard in Valatie, NY, 16,000 mile car. Wonder what happened to it.
    These were the days when you could order anything you wanted and they would build it for you. not like today when you have to order a package or upgrade to a bigger model just to get what you wanted–
    Ahhh the good old days…4 door wagon with a 427, bench seat and 4 speed. The stuff that dreams are made of….

    12
  25. 72 Monte Carlo

    Cars like this are why I am a Chevy guy.

    6
    • Mina

      I’m a ford girl but love this thing and would be proud to own her and even tow with her.

      3
  26. Barzini

    Barn Finds: you featured an exceptional selection of cars today. I don’t know how you keep finding them. Nice work.

    10
  27. Ross

    Chevy BBC wagons are the best shopping carts on the Planet. Fun going to get the groceries and fun on the way home. And it’s a 4 speed….. The Days of Raw Iron Power….. where have they gone? I have my Aunt’s 65 SS 396 Impala 4 on the floor. She didn’t play when she drove it. She drove like she stole it. Original 4 bolt L78 and M21. But all that fun in a station wagon….. Soothing to the Soul!

    5
  28. ACZ

    I’m in love

  29. Bultaco

    There’s a 65 Chevy wagon running around New England with a 409 and a 4-speed. Not sure if it left the factory that way.

    1
  30. Troy s

    No doubt it’s an extremely rare car, especially with the 4 speed. I don’t believe this car was ordered for street racing but for it’s towing abilities and cargo/passenger space. Maybe at some point the car started getting “hot” parts installed and I actually wouldn’t mind it if it still had some of those performance parts, whatever they might have been, but it looks good completely stock as well. Hat’s off to the man who ordered such a willing wagon.

    4
  31. sid pecora

    I would trade that foe my 1951 meecury.lead sled. maybe

  32. Mountainwoodie

    Man this got the thread cranking! Super cool even if it is a boat….now if it was in a ’63…………..

  33. Gray Wolf

    I have a ’66 Impala S/W with a 396-400 trans, you would be impressed with the performance of this car. I could just imagine the performance of the 427-4-speed.

    3
  34. ken TILLY

    Man, that’s one highly desirable wagon. I had a 1961 back in the day but it only had a straight six engine, however, it was a very enjoyable wagon for my job of doing market research all over what was then the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. (Now Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi) with 4 passengers with our luggage plus equipment. I managed to T Bone a Vauxhall Velox which was totalled while the Chev suffered a broken headlight!

    1
  35. Jim22

    Funny you mention the tach. I have a 67 Vista Cruiser that is a base model but has a tach/clock and a tilt wheel. It’s interesting how people optioned these cars.

    • Trey

      My friend has a similar car and asked GM how many were made like that. I can ask him.

      • Jim22

        That would be great to know.

  36. Jay E.

    Just the thought of riding again in the read facing back seats, with exhaust leaking into the area, is making me ill.

    1
    • John Walsh

      I barely remember riding in the back of my moms olds wagon

  37. Wagon train

    The window sticker is hard to read but do you see L34 396 turbojet?

  38. wagon train

    Easier to read the window sticker on a computor screen than a fart phone.. my mistake. NICE CAR!!

  39. ccrvtt

    A friend’s mom had one with a 396 when he was in high school. His dad was royally p—-ed with him when he broke the motor mounts, thought he was hot rodding. Found out years later that it was a fairly common problem for the big blocks.

    Can’t imagine why, not much torque there…

    3
  40. Craig M Bryda

    Oscarphone, I didn’t mean stock eliminator on a national level , it was at Dover Drag Strip in Wingdale N.Y.

  41. Chris A.

    In the late 60’s the NYS Thruway Troopers ran 427 2 bolt main beefed up Impalas as interceptors. 6 of them ran #1 main bearings as the block oil passage had only a pinhole opening to the crank. My Syracuse roommate bought all 6 as scrap, drilled out and clenaed the chips out of the passage, had the cranks rebuilt and financed his Corvette with the engine sales. First Corvette I ever drove.

    2
  42. cmarv Member

    L36 , 390HP Turbojet , is what I see . That is a 427 .

    1
  43. Tim Householder

    I find this car very cool…I remember back in 1966, 2 business owners that manufactured lawn mowers both purchased 66 Novas station wagons ,327 4sp. cars. Both marina blue. The only difference was the horsepower. One being 275 hp the other, I believe was called the L79,350hp. The guys sold their business about 3 years later and I never saw the cars again. So seeing this car just bring a smile to my face, station wagonise……!

  44. Alan (Michigan)

    Holy Smokes, Bullwinkle!

    Bidding ended at $52,988.88!

    That’s a lot of cabbage! 20 bidders, with a few serious ones kicking hard towards the end of the auction.

    1
  45. Mark S.

    W0W! I love long roofs and also ’68 Impalas, those two in combination with a rat motor….some real good times are ahead. $52,988.88!!! A phenomenal price for an unquestionably outstanding and exeptionally phenomenol find!

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