Drop Top 4-Speed: 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle

The term “drop top” conjures up images of cruising by the beach, at least for me! While that may be hard to imagine in this forlorn looking 1966 Chevelle, bear with me for a moment. Though this car needs a lot of work, look at those sleek body lines. It is very easy to imagine this car parked outside an ice cream shop by the ocean, or lighting up the tires on the main drag on a hot summer night. Some assembly is required, but this is an actual 4-speed car which means restored value will be higher than a swapped car. This car can be found here on eBay in New Jersey with bidding at $6,600 an no reserve. 

Under the hood is, well, nothing at the moment. The original engine was a 283 cubic inch Chevrolet V8, and while plenty of fun could be had with that setup and the Saginaw 4-speed, I would prefer a big block. Having owned a 4-speed, big block, convertible 1967 Chevelle myself, I can vouch that these are incredibly fun cars to drive! Fortunately, the seller is including a 1969 427 big block with the car. The seller received this along with the rest of the car from the original owner, which suggests that perhaps the 283 went missing in lieu of a 427 swap that was never completed.

Much like the engine, the interior is missing. According to the seller, this car sat in a garage for 30 years before it was brought out to light and during that time some of the interior components turned up stolen. Originally, it was a bucket seat and console equipped car. These are very desirable in Chevelles, and somewhat hard to find, which would explain why somebody spent the time to remove them. They can be sourced for this car, but will not be cheap!

There is a lot of potential in this old Chevelle. They have a large fan base, and are ideal cruising cars that comfortably seat four people without feeling like enormous cars. Considering there is no reserve and there are 9 bids, I have no doubt that this car will find a new home. With only a couple of bad rust areas, and no frame rust, this car has the makings of a good project. It will be worth the money it takes to fix it once it is restored, but even if it weren’t those that love these cars really love them!

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Comments

  1. jw454

    No doubt this one will see road use again. It needs a lot of work and dollars invested but, I think the market for them will support it being restored.

  2. 86 Vette Convertible

    I’d forget the BBC and put in a 283 or even a 327, having owned a 67 Malibu myself. It would take too much to get the suspension up to handle the weight of a 427 IMO, and with it as sits it would likely drive like a pig on ice if a BBC got stuck in there.

    Rust was an issue on the quarter panels and the bottom of the front fenders.

    Could be a fun car though, I won’t go too far off factory on this one.

    Note: does it look to anyone else in that one picture like the windshield is cracked? Trunk and floorboards not looking too good either.

    • jw454

      Yes 86, I think the windshield is cracked at the bottom just left of center.

    • BRAKTRCR

      Big block is only roughly 100 lbs more than a small block. Will handle fine. Not like your Vette, but will drive great with a big block

  3. Rustytech Member

    If one decided to go with the big block, you’d also want to swap out that Saginaw for a Muncy. Personally I’d go either with a period correct 327, or a late model fuel injected crate motor. I had a 67 with the 396, it was great on a straight road, but if you saw any deviation you better be on the brake quick! Speaking of brakes, I’d also upgrade to dual circuit power assisted brakes. May even go for disc brakes up front. There’s a lot of work needed here, so I don’t think a driver quality refurbishment is going to be possible, so be prepared to dig very deep into your wallet. The ultimate value will be somewhat limited because it’s not a true SS. Still I don’t think it’s a bad deal if it stays under $10k.

  4. Trisha VanDerMeer

    My estimate would be a 2-3 year project and about $45-50K…. you can buy a REALLY NICE Chevelle convertible for $50-60K so, as they say… “You pays your money and you takes your choice”

  5. Loco Mikado

    A friend of mine had a ’64 2dr hardtop with a 327 365 hp and an M21 4 spd in the early 70’s. It was faster than a lot of BB cars and could actually get 20 mpg highway cruising if you kept your foot out of the gas pedal. Plus as Rustytech mentioned a lot better handling than a BB.

  6. BRAKTRCR

    Had a very similar car in 1971. 327 with 275 horse and a 4 speed. It looks like it’s Aztec Bronze. Pretty sure that’s a one year only color. I raced the car at now long gone Oswego Drag Raceway, 1 pass and trophied. Have wanted something like this car for 30 years. Will never happen, but fun to dream. I believe only Muncie trannies came in these

  7. mike

    I want this! I have a 351C 4V, looking for a home

    • BRAKTRCR

      A Ford engine in a Chevrolet… interesting. It’s often the other way around, so, okay, why not?

  8. John T

    Was watching the last few minutes of the auction as a spectator … With half an hour to go at 6PM MST (8PM EST) today (Thursday, December 14) the bidding had reached $7100. With one (1) minute to go, somebody banged in a bid of $7200 and ended up buying the car … SOLD for $7200.

  9. Rob

    Well Guys I bought the car and it is in great shape now, currently putting a new top on her and she went teal with white interior clone to a custom SS with the SS hood and all new sheet metal, cheaper when you can do it yourself, Ridler wheels 20×10 rear and 20 x 8.5 front and it works well with 285/30R and 245/35F. I put in a small block 383 stroker that I built and was sitting in my garage with a M22 Muncie 4speed. If you would like to see it give me a text at 912-492-1314 – She is now in Georgia and will not see NEW JERSEY AGAIN!

    Like 1

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