Big Block & A 4-Speed: 1966 Corvette

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Jamie PalmerBy Jamie Palmer

How do you feel about modified Corvettes? It seems there are two distinctive sides to this question; folks that are fanatical about keeping things as they left the factory, and those that say the sky’s the limit. It appears the 47-year previous owner of this big block 1966 convertible was of the latter opinion, and I wonder how much it may have hurt the value of the car. It’s right near where I’m heading in a few weeks in Kansas City, Missouri, and is listed for sale here on eBay with hot and heavy no reserve bidding having just broken $50,000.

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Let’s hit it head on–I for one don’t care for the fender flares, nor the elevated stance of the suspension. Perhaps the latter is due to the wheels and tires, but the former will take major surgery to return to stock. Don’t get me wrong, there are some fender flares I really like–but the squareish profile of these versus the very curvy Stingray body just don’t work for me. However, as with all things fiberglass, you could return these to stock.

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I’m not a fan of the wheels, either, nor the incorrect hood, although again, both can be replaced. I do, however, like the neat removable hardtop; I have heard those seal very well and reduce a lot of the NVH (noise, vibration & harshness) present in a typical C2 convertible. Any Barn Finds readers out there with personal experience they can share?

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The interior is where this car really shines, with the only issues I can see being the incorrect steering wheel center and shift boot–not things I’d worry about unless I were showing the car. As you can see, it’s a manual transmission and that’s a plus both to me and to the value of the car. The seller says the 35,000 miles are original and that this is the interior it left the factory with. Do you agree?

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The seller tells us this is the 390 horsepower version of the 427 cubic inch V8. It’s been fitted with aftermarket valve covers and carburetor, and we really don’t know much else as the seller doesn’t go into details. What do you think about this big block Corvette? Would you drive it as is, or try to return it to stock?

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Comments

  1. CapNemo

    I’m drooling over this car! I’d leave it just as is! Too rich for my blood tho.




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    • Bill Gaulin

      I’m with CapNemo Love it As is!!!!!!!!!




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  2. Nova Scotian

    Interesting find…there’s an ass for every seat. Pass. Not that I’d let it sit hidden in my garage,…cause it does look like a bit of a wild ride, so there is that challenge. But for $50 large?…




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  3. Jeff V

    Drive drive drive! That looks like pure clean fun!




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  4. racer417

    I can only imagine how badly this car must handle and ride with that suspension. At least you won’t need a lift for most undercar maintenance 🙂 Back to stock for me.
    The hardtop is a nice addition for colder climes.
    The steering wheel center is correct if the car has the telescopic column.




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    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thanks for the correction on the steering column! Several of you noted that.




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  5. Rustytech

    Nice find, BUT value was destroyed with those stupid looking fender flares and off set aftermarket wheels & fat tires, then again even real “hot wheels” cars have some value.




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  6. SeaKnight

    Pass…..




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  7. sir mike

    Is it 4WD???




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  8. Alan (Michigan)

    Also not a fan of the raised suspension, but the flares don’t bother me all that much. The wheel/tires combination are not thrillers either. I have never thought positive things about the “roller skate” look.

    Pros could give a look at the car and decode originality of the interior and drivetrain. To me, unless there is something really rare and valuable about the car, returning it to a factory original specification would not be of interest. Unfortunately, that kind of work generally leads to turning a car into a trailer or showroom/collection/museum queen. Yea, then miles driven per decade become minuscule.

    If I had the keys, it would be brought back down from the sky, receive a different set of wheels and tires, a thorough going-over mechanically, and then….
    Add my vote to what Jeff V says. DRIVE!




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  9. Eddie

    Love That Vette Very Well Kept Car Very Nice Wish I Could Own It !!!




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  10. Greg

    A.It’s a 1966
    B.The steering center is correct for the telescopic whee option.
    Other than those items it’s what was done in the era and thought to be very cool!




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  11. macvaugh

    no link to the auction?




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    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Sorry, it’s there now.




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  12. steve

    Probably worth it if the numbers match. What has been done can be undone. (after a few burnouts haha)




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  13. Jim

    Personally I’m a fan of modifying a car to my personal tastes. There’s enough Vettes in museums to satisfy the purists although I know a few who think modifying a car is worse than murder. What’s been done to this vette can be undone easily enough, although if you aren’t proficient at fiberglass you’ll make a royal mess of it. It looks basically sound, what’s more fun than a big block vette?




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  14. gbvette62

    As Greg pointed out, the “steering wheel center” is the correct for a 66 Corvette. The car has the optional telescoping steering column, and the tall collar with the tabs on it, under the button, is how you loosen the column to adjust it.

    The boot and shifter are wrong, but the rest of the interior looks pretty stock and may be original. From looking at the ad, the trim tag shows it to be a real red/red car, and it may be the original engine too.

    As a matching numbers 66 390 horse, in that condition, low to mid 50’s is probably a fair price. I’d want to see a better picture of the stamp pad, before bidding on it though.




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  15. Steven C

    Crank up Deep Purple “Highway Star” and go with it




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  16. Ron

    Are you going to give us a “live” link to this eBay auction? Thanks, Ron




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  17. rustylink

    Meh – the fender flares, cheapo paint and mags…that’s a lot of scratch for a big block.




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    • Addiction

      Seriously? A lot of scratch for a big block? Not sure what that means but ok. The fender flares most definitely hurt it but $50k for that mileage and condition is pretty good these days. I just sold one no where near this clean for $43,500.




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  18. Glen

    Those tires look ridiculous to me. The rest looks great. All original would look the best.




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  19. Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff
  20. RicK

    I especially like the triple taillights, even though its not original. That was a common mod you’d see back in the 60s, always thought it looked really cool. Although was never a fan of flared fenders on any Corvette, and can’t understand why anybody would want to have one lifted, either. With the money big block C2s fetch nowadays, I agree that if the numbers match a guy could buy this and put it back to stock (as long as you didnt get too carried away) and still be okay in terms of $$ if it doesn’t go too far past $50K




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  21. john

    add a set of Slicks, narrower front tires and you’ve got a 60’s street racer…Very Cool!




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  22. David Montanbeau

    drive drive drive!!!




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    • Jeff V

      Now that’s “wheelie city”!




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  23. Tim W

    From what I have read of Duntov’s opinion, he thought they should be driven, and driven hard!




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  24. Car Guy

    Drop it back down. Install some repro Halibrand knock offs, replace the 70’s flares with C2 Grand Sport flares and call it a day. Hood and tailights don’t bother me at all.




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  25. Ck

    Love the car hate the flares love the wheels all in all kool car .




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  26. Joe Howell

    Looks like a “Hot Wheels ” car. What a way to ruin a Corvette, jacking it up makes as much sense as slamming my 4WD Silverado down to the ground. The flares I could live with to save repainting but the wheels and tires would have to go along with the lift kit.




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  27. ckc

    TNot into the period correct thing especially for Corvette’s

    Get that thing lowered back down with a handling suspension
    and the correct wheels and tires that fit

    not original is fine, just not 60s Drag racer boy.




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