Barn Find: 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396

Perhaps as iconic now as the original Pontiac GTO, the Chevelle SS 396 is sought after today in muscle car circles. Part of the mid-size Chevelle line-up, the SS 396 (Super Sport) became a series of its own in 1966 and sold more than 66,000 copies. It was the first year that the big block engine was available in the car except for a limited production run of 201 units in 1965 (Special Order Z16). The ’66 Chevelle SS 396 has its original motor, but its 4-speed transmission took flight some time ago. Located in an open part of a barn in Five Points, Tennessee, this once-fast Chevy is available here on craigslist for $18,000 OBO. Thanks to our very own contributor, Adam Clarke, for the tip!

Chevrolet rolled out the intermediate Chevelle in 1964 as a family car that was smaller than the full-size Impala/Bel Air/Biscayne but larger than the compact Chevy II/Nova. Ford had done that two years earlier with the Fairlane vs. the Galaxie and Falcon. It was a sales success and would remain in the Chevy line-up for ages. The Super Sport option was available, but during 1964 and 1965, you were mostly limited to a 327 V8. Then 1966 came along and the SS 396 would be the Bow Tie equivalent of the GTO which had a 400 cubic inch V8.

Most 1966 SS 396s had the L35 edition of the motor than produced 325 horsepower. But the L34 at 360 hp and the L78 and 375 hp (the Z16 engine) were also available. The seller doesn’t mention which configuration is in this car, nor does he/she benefit us with any photos of the hood open. It was a 4-speed car when built, but the tranny is no more, and the driveshaft has also disappeared. The seller believes a 12-bolt rear end is underneath and may be original. The engine hasn’t been cranked in ages, so expect to have to do a rebuild.

We’re told the car has rust and will require sheet metal work, but the photos don’t help us to understand the degree of the problem. The frame may be solid, but there are no assurances. Inside the car, the seats and carpeting have also been “borrowed” so add those items to the shopping cart. (the photo here is of another Barn Find we covered to give you a feel as to what it may have once looked like). The hood is not original, but the Chevy has four new tires to roll around on. The seller says there are too many projects requiring time and money, so this car must go. But he/she will consider an interesting trade (maybe not that busy).


  1. Dan A Cifalia

    Good luck to this seller !

    Like 19
  2. EJ

    I believe that the GTO in 66 still had the 389 as their engine.

    Like 7
    • Joe Bru

      you’re right. 389 in 66 Goat

      Like 2
      • jwh14580

        You are correct. I had 2

        Like 1
  3. Bill W.

    Missing interior, missing transmission, wrong hood, hasn’t run in years, may have the 12 bolt rear end………18K for all this missing stuff. Plus, the bonus of all the rust to deal with. I say no deal.

    Like 18
  4. Melton Mooney

    The guy wants rotted 69 Charger shell money for a repairable 396 Chevelle with the original motor. How dare he.

    Like 9
    • Joe Bru

      Mr. Mooney: one can’t compare 69 Charger values to 66 Chevelle values, totally different league these days. Stock restored 66 Chevelle prices generally end where decent Charger prices start, around 35K. Stock restored Chargers regularly sell for close to 100k now. Dan mentioned 10k for this car, that’s about the max. If one spends any more than that on this car, without seeing the rear quarters, rear wheelhouses, trunk & frame, seeing engine numbers, seeing it turn completely around in both directions & holding water, they may wind up underwater when resto done.

      Like 4
  5. Bill W.

    I keep thinking about this one. I wonder if they will show the serial number? Is it a real 138 car, or a 136 car, which would explain the hood………….

    Like 3
  6. Sarge

    I’m suprised they didn’t grab the badging when they grabed the hood, seats and anything else SS. I don’t know if I want to see a pic of the engine as if it was connected to anything. So he wants half the price of a decent driver for a parts roller. Yikes.

    Like 4
  7. Jamie Broome

    Love to see the 66-67 Chevelles saved and have rescued several myself. This one looks like you would put $20,000 in it after purchasing, to have a decent $30,000 car. Cut the asking price and give someone the chance to rescue her.

    Like 4
  8. Gregory Tarizzo

    The tail lights look like a 1968?

    • bone

      Totally different body style ; 68s wont fit

  9. george mattar

    Times have surely changed. I bought my first car in 1973, a 66 Marina Blue Chevelle convertible for $400 with original everything. Nobody was worried about matching numbers and other nonsense. I think I threw the Protect-O-Plate in the trash not knowing what it was as a 17 year old kid. This pile of junk is worth $4,000 maybe. So much work, time, money. You will be further under water than the Titanic.

    Like 1
  10. dogwater

    Looks like great project for a hands on guy price is fair

  11. Jack Barley

    I’m not sure where some of you see matching number, restored 66-67 Chevelles going for $30-$35,000? Have you check the sold prices of 66-67 true 138 Chevelles on Bring a Trailer website. Generally twice the price you are suggesting and more than a ‘69 383 chargers.

    • Joe Bru

      Mr. Barley: In my car club, there’s only 1 or 2 guys who care about matching numbers, most people I know don’t care about that & most buyers don’t either, seems to be more of a seller’s thing. The large resto-mod scene is proof of this. I’ve seen red clone coupes with buckets & 5 speeds sell for more than white, matching number bench-seat cars. I averaged from dozens of Ebay sold listings of 66 coupes. Though I have to say, prices are up a bit this spring, but I hope not permanent. I didn’t check all these ads to see if they were matching numbers, but they had big blocks in them. I have to say that there are many “Completed” (ended), un-sold ads on Ebay at prices you mentioned. Ebay is the largest seller of used cars online. I don’t work for Ebay. My car club has a bunch of middle-income people, & we’ve looked at cars in the past on Bat & other high priced, low sales-volume sites. We don’t look at these sites anymore due to the overpriced sellers on them, though we know some rich guys who do. I do know a flipper that buys on Ebay & sells on BAT. My son just checked 66 138 #s match coupes on BAT on his laptop, said only 4 in the last 3 months.

      Like 1
      • Jack Barley

        There are thousands of car clubs nationwide and no single one like yours represent the hobby. The car guys/gals I enjoy the hobby with prefer original cars with at least the original matching number motors. None of us have show cars. They are all drivers. We all try to keep our cars/trucks original. My/Our view is that a car with original drive line has been well cared for and not abused. As a result a matching number car with same equipment and condition as a same non-matching car is worth more.
        There is nothing wrong with a non-matching number car and we do not look down on a car like that. I have owned non-matching cars. We just prefer an original car. I know we don’t like tribute cars. We would rather have a real Malibu than a fake SS. Too many “tribute” cars out there and obviously not as valuable as a real car. No offense to those that like them, its not what we prefer.
        Redstomods is another new aspect of the hobby and restomods are generally performed on cars that no longer have their original drivelines as those cars are generally cheaper to start the restomod project.
        I love restomods. I couldn’t afford to build or buy one but still appreciate them.
        BaT is the fastest growing on line and can’t measure their success off of one car model.

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