Big Block 4 Speed: 1966 Corvette Convertible

Brian BirknerBy Brian Birkner

C2 Corvettes are handsome machines often packing big block power, and a drop top like this 1966 model. Factory equipped with a 427 and a 4 speed, it doesn’t get much better than this. After 28 years of storage this stalled restoration definitely has some promise. Needing a total restoration, and parts to complete the car, this drop top project is currently bid up to $15,988.88 with no reserve. Check it out here on ebay out of White haven, Pennsylvania.

While there is a 427 under the hood, unfortunately this engine is from a 1968, hence not being a numbers matching car. While this will affect the value, this car is still a worthy restoration candidate. The engine was a runner 28 years ago before being stored in a damp warehouse, so I question the current condition of the engine. The factory 4 speed is still in place, as is the rear axle. A couple of cool factory options are side pipes for cool looks and great sounds, and power steering to make this ‘Vette an easy and enjoyable experience. Inspecting the engine bay reveals that there is rust, corrosion, wires astray, and a few missing components that may very well be included with the car.  Stated confidently by the seller, the side pipe covers, radiator, bumpers, and a passenger rear quarter are needed to complete the restoration. Despite the missing parts, the seller also claims to have most of the parts needed to complete the car.

With nothing other than the dash and steering wheel, the interior of this ‘Vette is quite bare. The dash and its components appear in fair shape, but makes you wonder how much of the interior remains? The seller mentions that new white seat covers have been purchased, but not yet installed. Also the soft top is white and reported to be in nice shape as well.

“Professionally” stripped, you can clearly see the body work of this fiberglass classic. The rear quarter has been completely cut out where I suspect the car took an impact. From what can be seen in the photos, the rest of the body appears in fair shape with no other noticeable damage.  Originally Milano Maroon, it is easy to imagine what a beautiful machine this once was with its white top, big block V8, and manual transmission. The frame and various suspension components are covered in surface rust where I agree with the seller when he says a frame off restoration should be performed on this sweet classic. A great starting package with a long road to completion this ‘Vette seems worth the effort, but would you dedicate the time and money needed even with a non-original engine?

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Comments

  1. JW

    While cool only a younger man than me with the skills to do most of the work himself or the $$$ to get it done but yes it would be worth it.

    6+
  2. slickb

    It would be worth it but wont be easy. great find

    3+
  3. TriPowerVette

    My wife gave me a 1965 396 convertible for our wedding in 1988. I had it up until the economic downturn of 2006. Be nice to have it back, but it’s been restored, and now I wouldn’t be able to afford it.

    7+
    • glen

      I like her! You should buy her flowers, DAILY!

      6+
      • TriPowerVette

        +glen – She says flowers die and are therefore a waster of money. But she is taken care of in many other ways. It’s been a good 35 years. Would like a few more.

        11+
    • Jimbosidecar

      HA! My (ex) wife took my numbers matching 1967 427-435 convertible with a 4 speed and side pipes in our divorce. Then sold it quickly. Oh well.

      4+
  4. Mountainwoodie

    What a mess……….

    3+
  5. F Magaro

    Great for DIY. Much expense for professional restoration

    0
  6. gbvette62

    It looks little rough, but if it can be had for $15,000-$20,000, it might be a pretty good project for someone.

    As far as it being a big block, sellers can claim anything they want, but without the original engine, it’s really no longer a 66 big block. The 5500 rpm redline tach was used with the 66 427/390, but it also came with the 66 327/300. There are other clues to a true big block, but none that can’t be added.

    As a buyer, I’d question if it was an original side pipe car. When the factory installed side pipes, they removed the fender tabs from behind the front tire, and from in front of the rear tire. That car still has it’s fender tabs in place. The fronts may be there, because it looks like it may have had a nose hung on it, but the left rear quarter looks to be original to the car.

    4+
    • Steve

      Isnt there also something different with the rear valance on side pipe cars? It seems not side pipe cars had cut out for tail pipes that a side pipe car would obviously not need.

      0
      • TriPowerVette

        +Steve – Also; something VERY FEW people who are trying to fake an original side-pipe car ever take care of, is the little rubber cushions between the body and chassis (not the body mounts) on non-side-pipe cars. Side-pipe equipped cars didn’t have them. If they are there, and you have side-pipes, you know they were added.

        2+
  7. Maestro1

    This is tough. These Corvettes were handsome cars, and although there is some upside potential here, I doubt that the thing can be brought back to life for anything but a very large number, even if you do the work yourself. Having said that, if you intend to keep it, by all means buy it and enjoy the project as well as the conclusion. But not for $15 plus.

    1+
    • John

      Some folk have $$$$ to throw around . Have you seen Mekum & Barret auctions on TV lately ?
      Literally obscene!

      1+
  8. dave

    Hey gbvette62,
    Please explain fender tabs. I love this kinda sleuthing…

    2+
  9. MARK BOYCE

    Those 2 toggle switches next to clock are where the A/C controls usually go, unless he drilled out dash ,,,, My Auto A/C 67 with my handcontrols back in the day…

    1+
  10. LAWRENCE

    A 396 Vette is differently rare….remember a 396 coupe – so many moon’s ago – at it’s coming out – from long term storage….yep pretty rare TriPower….

    2+
    • TriPowerVette

      +LAWRENCE – …And it is odd that my friend, my brother and I all had them (they both still have theirs); my friend’s is, and mine was, a convertible, and my brother’s is a coupe. We also knew where several more were in Phoenix. Rare? Absolutely. But our little cadre seem to attract the rare and odd.

      One time we were trying to buy a Superbird from a guy. We had friends with a couple of them and one with a Daytona. As we drove up to the guy’s house, we were joking around that we should get all of them over there.

      Then, while we were outside talking about the car, and the owner trying to jack the price because it’s so ‘rare’, have each of the winged warriors randomly drive by the intersection, pull in and get gas at the station, pull out of the store parking lot, etc… Then we could say, “What do you mean. RARE? They’re EVERYWHERE!”

      That was a fun memory. Thanks.

      1+
  11. GROUCHO-YEAR1985

    Everyday I wait util 6pm to scroll this site, and I’m amazed at the concentration of body, all of these automobiles, of all pedigree; mishapen and incorrect, or pristine in exemplary birth, can be stripped, misconstrued, and have the misfortune of being dissected by the means of men who supposedly cherish this pastime. An engine, a chassis, a will, and the belief that any man can have the merry of a 4 speed and a straight-a-away is the reason this site exists.

    0
  12. Rich

    I have a nice427-450HP motor out of 66 vette if interested

    0
    • Jeff

      Rich, does the pad have any numbers on it? Been looking for mine for 15 years.

      0
  13. justbob

    somebody need to ask about the frame, damp wet storage doesn’t bode well.

    0
  14. leiniedude

    Winning bid:US $19,100.00
    [ 28 bids ]

    0
  15. Robert Johnson

    I have a complete rolling chassis with 427-450 hp engine 4 speed,disc brakes,side pipes, knock off with red lines would make this a nice car. This thing is complete with gas tank, radiator the complete unit. It came from a Bloomington gold car with around 2,000 miles. Looks like new. Only $20,000. You won’t be disappointed

    0

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