Big Block! 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396

Classic muscle cars took a while to catch their second wind, and many parked or left to rot before the late ’80s were just “old cars” to many owners. This 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 in Los Angeles, California may well have sat unused since the 20th Century, either given up on or awaiting a restoration that never happened. Now it seeks a new owner on Facebook Marketplace where $16,000 would satisfy the seller and a an equal or higher additional investment might yield a $45,000 to $55,000 car, according to ConceptCarz.

Despite the rust and missing seats, the SS retains the desirable center console with beefy automatic shifter. The original air conditioning equipment is a plus even if none of it works. The seller includes a few pictures of the crunchy but salvageable undercarriage, and describes the floors as needing patches.

The nondescript engine looks like a proper big block, and the original lent its name to the Super Sport package which Chevy brochures called “SS 396.” Three engines of that displacement made 325, 360, and 375 HP, any of which would have been stout. That’s either a plastic bad covering the carburetor, or a rag taking up the place previously occupied by a carburetor. Either way the buyer should plan to replace nearly everything mechanical. Just having an air conditional compressor may be a good sign, as many were jettisoned upon the first sign of malfunction. Single-circuit manual brakes can work fine when properly adjusted, but anyone planning to drive many miles may well consider an upgrade.

A trunk full of trim may include some of the bright work for the rear. Embarking on body work then leaving water-soluble or self-etching primer on a car without painting it can spell bad news. The half-done body rusts quickly when parked outside before gaining a top coat. Note how the C-pillars give the Chevelle fastback styling with a more upright window to help shade the car’s interior. The buyer will no-doubt wish he or she found this car instead of paying the “finder’s fee” to the current seller. That’s all part of the game, though. Would you go $16,000 on this mixed-bag SS?

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  1. Steve Clinton

    “Attack of the Patina Monster” opening soon at a theater near you.

    Like 3
  2. PaulG

    Funny, having owned several 66-67’s I cringe at the ask…waaaay overpriced even if this was a 200 parts car 25 years ago.
    BTW, center console & shifter shown isn’t original to this model.

    Like 14
  3. George Mattar

    I bid 16 cents. I had one of these for my first car in 1973. Paid $400 for it. Convertible. How times have changed.

    Like 3
  4. Steve R

    The console and shifter are from a 68-72. The correct early front bucket and rear seat cores plus a reproduction console and shifter are going to add $1,500 to the budget.

    I’m curious why the seller showed the VIN that was stamped in the frame rather than the typical shot of the trim tag or VIN tag on the door jamb. At this price, I’d make sure the seller has current registration numbers in their hand before handing over payment.

    Steve R

    Like 5
  5. Superdessucke

    Another Chevelle, wow. Thank God. I was getting nervous and about to switch sites!

    Like 2
    • Mikey P

      Sorry would you have been more pleased with a 1970 Charger with NO motor NO trans and rusted to absolute trash for $200,000???

      Like 2
  6. Rustytech Member

    $1600.00 maybe? Then at least you might get some useful parts.

    Like 6
  7. John

    This is a well optioned car with A/C, PS, wood wheel, knee knocker tac and gauges, bucket seat and console car (though originals are missing), 12 bolt posi rear. I would have liked pictures of the undercarriage and trunk for rust. If rust is minimal and if this is a true 138 car, I would put a $10,000 price on it.

  8. Gray Wolf

    RIDICULOUS PRICE!! Fish, fish, fishing! How can you justify that amount for a chicken coop??

    Like 2
    • John

      If you notice that there is no rust through on any panel. The original floor boards show very minor rust through.

      It appears to be a rust free car short of the surface. That can be sanded off.
      It’s cheaper in the long run to have a car like this.

  9. John

    It appears to be a high option car with A/C, PS, bucket seat/console (missing right now), factory knee knocker tac/gauges, factory wood wheel, 12 bolt posi.
    If it is a true 138 car, matching 396 with either 325 or 360 hp and looks like there is no rust thru on any panel plus a marina blue color which is one of my favorites, I would put a $10,000 price tag on it.

  10. Doug

    Good god ridiculous this is a 3500 dollar car at best and that’s being charitable

    Like 1
    • John

      Show me another $3,500 ‘66 SS. The only 66 Chevelles I see for about that price are not SS’s, have no motors or trans, and have rusted out floors among other issues. Go on eBay to see.

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