Corvette 327 V8! 1966 Chevrolet Nova SS

After selling more than one million Chevy IIs in 1962-65, Chevrolet redesigned the compact for 1966. The styling was crisper and more angular, looking like a shrunken version of the larger Chevies. Sales would increase by more than 50,000 units, so the buying public liked what they saw. One of the coolest of the lot was the Nova Super Sport equipped with the L79 327 cubic inch V8. It was essentially a Corvette engine in a compact automobile, making for a very potent machine. The seller’s car is one of them, treated to a rotisserie restoration four years ago. Painted a rather sedate Saddle Mist Gold, this Chevy is in Crestline, Ohio, and available here on eBay. The bidding has already reached $53,099 and the reserve is still toying with us.

For this who are into statistics, Chevrolet sold 20,986 Super Sport Nova’s in 1966, regardless of the drivetrain (you could get it with an I-6 if you wanted). Just 3,547 buyers were bold enough to order the L79 327 that produced a whopping 350 horses. If you wanted the street sleeper look, you could get the L79 in the base 100 series 2-door sedan, of which just 200 were built. Only 605 folks ordered a Chevy II or Nova with a vinyl roof that year (RPO COB), of which this car also appears to be one (but we can’t tell for sure). Given the attrition that should gave occurred over the past 56 years, how many L79 Nova SS models could still be around, in any condition?

The seller acquired this car from the original owner after all the heavy lifting of a restoration had been done. It has 13,000 documented miles, which suggests the reason for the extreme makeover was the effects of time and Mother Nature, not the car being worn out. The 327 is paired with a Muncie M20 4-speed manual transmission, a set-up that could do no worse than 15 seconds in the quarter-mile right off the showroom floor.

This car’s two-tone paint is rather subtle and blends in with a matching interior which includes factory bucket seats, console, and floor shifter. To sweeten the pot, this is also a matching numbers car that has traveled only 235 miles since the rotisserie was done in 2018. The only noted departure from stock is the inclusion of a Flowmaster dual exhaust system. The auto has only been to a few car shows since it was reborn.

The term “Holy Grail” is overused, but could that apply to one of these cars? If you’re a fan of the second-generation Chevy IIs of 1966-67, how could you top the L79 Super Sport? And one in the kind of condition this machine has been brought to?

Comments

  1. Joe Haska

    No doubt these cars are very desireable and the market keeps on going UP!. However when I saw bidding was over $50,000 , I was absolutley shocked. At least I know now I will not be having one anytime soon.

    Like 21
  2. rbig18

    I am one of the folks that consider these cars the Holy Grail of the muscle car era. I have 67 SS, but an original L79. If this can be fully documents I can see this going as high 70-80K. They very rarely ever come up for sale (real ones anyway). Love it

    Like 14
    • Michael Garner

      Just what from I have seen market wise, I suspect you are right, and maybe even a little light. Examples like this don’t show up on the market often. People that have them dang near want to be buried in them! :)

      Like 5
    • BigBlocksRock

      I had an original L-79, 4-sp. 68 Chevy II in the late 70’s. Paid $1800 for it. Like so many other things, if I only knew then what I know now. That car was so much fun.

      Like 5
  3. Michael Garner

    I affectionately call these Nova’s a Shoe Box. I would love to grace the pedals of this shoe box with my size 11.5s. Love these cars and this is a shining example.

    Like 4
    • Joe Bru

      Michael: In 66 when my grandfather bought a Nova Hardtop, people were telling him how they liked the sloping rear roof pillars & glass on his car & saying these looked so much better than the ’65 shoebox nova’s. First time I heard that moniker. Then when the ’68 Nova’s came out some folks called his a shoebox which he took umbrage to & would point out the side slopes in the front fenders & the upkick & slight outward bulges in the rear quarter panels. I have to say I agree with Grand-dad when people call my ’66 Hardtop that & I say “the 65 & older is the shoebox!” but the 66 2 door Sedan with the middle post does have a boxier roof profile…

  4. 86_Vette_Convertible

    If it’s legit, it’s wicked fast and potentially squirrely due to the insane power potential of that engine. Back in my school days, one of my classmates borrowed his BIL’s the night of our senior prom, same car just red with black interior. We did the right stuff while he and a couple of classmates spent the night drinking and burning up the tires. He did that all night right up to the point he lost control and put it into a massive maple tree (he was alone in the car at the time). Remnants of the engine was sitting where the firewall had been. After being cut out of it, he spent months in the hospital. He passed not long after that, I suspect to residual leftover from the injuries.
    I was impressed prior to it being cracked up, but I came to giving it a lot of respect for its potential (good and bad)

    Like 7
    • Euromoto Member

      Red Asphalt

      Like 1
    • Joe Bru

      With the extra weight with a V-8 these nova’s handled very poorly, especially with the power steering option. Fortunately today there are several companies who sell suspension upgrades & rack/pinion set-ups. Going with aluminum heads & intake gets the weight close to a 6 cyl!

      • moosie moosie

        440 POUNDS FOR THE 250 CID VERSUS 530 POUNDS FOR THE 327. I don’t think too many people bought a L-79 Nova for canyon racing. But I’d imagine with the chassis upgrades and a aluminum set of heads, ETC, it’d be a force to be reckoned with.

      • Ron Jordan

        You could not turn it or stop it and you damn well better have it pointed straight when you jumped on it.
        It was a fun car that I am lucky I did not kill myself in. I could not take off like a normal person unless I was surrounded by traffic or the police.

  5. BigBlocksRock

    I had an original L-79, 4-sp. 68 Chevy II in the late 70’s. Paid $1800 for it. Like so many other things, if I only knew then what I know now. That car was so much fun.

    Like 2
    • BigBlocksRock

      Not sure why my comments get posted twice sometimes.

      Like 2
  6. Joseph Buechele

    66′ L79 Nova HAD to be quicker in the 1/4 than 15’s………..those cars were little rocket ships………headers, 4:88’s, slicks, traction bars & good shocks………low 12’s……..

    Like 7
    • moosie moosie

      Bill Jenkins ran a ’66 L-79 Nova in A/Stock against Chrysler Corp. B bodys that had Hemi motors, beating them regularly . I’m pretty sure he was a N.H.R.A.national record holder.I remember these from my way back street racing days and how feared they were . This Nova is nice and would be a welcome addition to someones collection. I hope it doesnt get parked someplace and not used.

      Like 6
  7. Ron Jordan

    I bought one in 66 with the 275 hp motor and it was even crazy fast. I did 13.7 at Fremont Drag Strip with Grand Auto slicks. 4sp, posi, SS, 3k out the door in Alameda, CA.

    Like 1
  8. chrlsful

    the 1st 2 gens really made it for me (not the nova, so much) and after the break – the NUMMI (Toy’s manufacturing process) ie the 5th gen. It’s all opinion/style/look based so just a 2Ḉ thang. Not really a gm guy.
    Course the Co got my attention ina compact (pre ’66) sz w/a 327’n 4 speed. @ that time I spent less that 25hun’red$ on a new ’65 Dart wagon’n only hada 170 (2.8L) motor ina waggy. Got 300K from it but the slanty could never compared to the CSB. Love to see the above in full SCCA livery canyon carvin or slalom at the cones. A 351/5.8 falcon or ’60/3 ‘chero would be even better (sleeper style w/R&P, disc, shelby drop, sub frame connectors, sway brs, lowered, etc). Now I like the ThriftPower motors (all 6, ’60 – ’96) along w/the 2 slanties and any other i6 (well…the i8 is supreme, how many them we get to play w/?) import or merican.
    I DO no the shoe box fords (a good deal earlier) as that’s what they looked like
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/what-is-a-shoebox-and-why.814306/
    and
    one of the 4 or 5 hallmarks of a ‘classic’ is – standard length of ownership (they R much longer, often remaining w/in 1 family several generations).

    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      What?

      Like 8
      • BrianT BrianT Member

        Same here.

        Like 5
    • moosie moosie

      HUH ?

      Like 5
  9. Paul R.

    Never liked the ’66-’67 body style as much as the earlier, or indeed later configurations.
    They look heavier and slab sided to me, the ’62-65 were a cleaner design and the ’68 on were a different kettle of fish entirely.
    Of course, I owned a ’62 and then a ’71.

  10. John W Kriegshauser

    I think the 66-67 Nova SS is a classic clean design. Of course, I am biased as I own a 66 Nova SS 327 275HP 4 speed.

    Like 4
  11. Gary

    It should have beat a B body Hemi car as it was approximately 2740 lbs compared to a Hemi B bodies approximately 3900lb weight. Lot of difference in a compact and a mid sized car. It changed in 68 when Chrysler put Hemis in Cudas and Darts at approximately 2700lbs. Kings of S/S racing.

    Like 2
    • Donnie L Sears

      I think it would have had a hard time out running the Dodge Darts with the 340’s. Those cars were wicked fast. Turning 6500 RPMS from the factory made them faster than most big blocks.

      Like 1
  12. Jack Pruett

    Motor Trend tested a stock 67 with the 275 HP engine with automatic transmission. I was dispointed with the ET it turned, and that one didn’t seem to be crazy fast. Maybe someone still has that issue.

    Like 1
  13. Glen

    I’m a little concerned about the new rivets in the cowl tag.

    Like 1

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