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Family Project: 1966 Corvette 427 Coupe

1966 Corvette 427 Coupe

We have always loved the Corvette, but they seem so common place here in the states that we often overlook them when they are parked next to say a British Roadster. It’s not that they aren’t great cars, but they don’t fascinate us the way a foreign car might. We hadn’t really stopped to think about how we might feel about them if we lived anywhere else in the world though. That was until Nicki T sent us photos of her father’s Corvette. There weren’t many Vettes sent overseas, so finding one anywhere outside this continent can be tough. Nicki’s father had always dreamt of owning one, but living in the UK meant finding one he could afford would be rather difficult…

Corvette 427 in the UK

One day her dad’s best friend caught wind of a Corvette hiding in a barn just 15 miles from their home and tipped him off to it. They went to take a look and this is the car they found parked in the barn. It was the car of his dreams, a 1966 Corvette Coupe with the 427 cui V8 and 4 speed manual! He knew he had to have it, but getting it wasn’t going to be easy. It took Nicki’s dad over a year to track down the owner, who was an American that had imported the car while living in the UK. When the time came to move home, rather than export it back to the States they decided to just leave it in the barn. After finally striking a deal, Nicki’s dad was able to drag his Corvette home. He quickly had it up and running again. Amazingly it passed its MOT test straight from the barn and he was able to license it for road use.

Family Project Corvette

After driving it for 2 years, Nicki’s dad decided it was time to restore it. It took 7 years to finish, with a fair amount of time spent tracking down parts, and became a family project. Today the car looks as good as it did when it rolled out the factory and has become the pride and joy of the entire family. It has won a number of shows and recently placed in the top 5 at the Super Car Sunday at Gaydon. Nicki thought her dad would be pleasantly surprised to see his Vette featured on the site, so she secretly sent photos of it to us. He should feel very proud and not just of his Corvette, but of his family as well! It sounds like the whole family takes pride in the finished product of all their hard work. We want to congratulate them for a job well done and we wish them all the best!


  1. Michael Brown

    It IS a beautiful car and does appear to be a ’66. However, the louvered hood appears to have been ‘borrowed’ from a big block ’67. That hood was unique to that year only.

    Like 0
    • Mark E

      Thank you, that’s my reaction also. Though I’m not a Corvette enthusiast I have a picture of some of the NASA astronauts with their ’67 Vettes which appear to have hoods like this one…

      Like 2
    • William van Riet

      Look at the picture in the barn then look at the picture restored you see much difference? NO its all the same

      Like 0
  2. Gerardo.

    Amazing. Wish I could find one ol’ good american steel muscle car parked like that to restore -modify too- and then drive the hell out of it. I’m in México and is a lot more difficult to find cars in good shape. And the money. :P
    Great ‘Vette, great colour combination. My question is: Isn’t the 427 Corvette came until ’67?
    Congratulations to Nicki’s dad and family!

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    • Rolly

      The 1965 Corvette offered the first big block engine, and it was the 396 cu in, 425 hp. Option number RPO L78. In 1966, the all cast-iron 427 cu in engines were available, with either 390 or 425 hp single four barrel carburettor. In 1967, the big engines were also offered with 3×2 barrel carb settups.

      Like 0
  3. Edward Munday

    All I Can Say Is, We Need More Barns.

    Like 0
  4. Danger Dan

    Now if you’re gonna have just one good car…..
    & raise your glass to best friends everywhere!
    Great job on the resto!

    Like 0
  5. FRED

    great job done by all. i am curious to know what he paid for it right outta the barn. does anybody know ? i found my 78 pace car in a barn covered with plumbing and heating supplies. thank god i bought the whole barns contents or i would have missed it.the guys widow said he told her he sold it but he didn’t and put it in the back corner and covered it

    Like 1
  6. jim s

    great family project, story and what a nice car. and they are driving it. that is what the sport is about.

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  7. Dolphin Member

    This is just a wild guess, but I’m thinking this bit of ‘Merican muscle would stand out just a little bit on those narrow Brit country roads. Might even clear those roads……

    It must have been in top nick to pass that tough British MOT test at the first go.

    Very well done, Nicki’s dad.

    Like 1
  8. Nicki Thornton

    Thanks for all the lovely comments guys..my dad (Roger) bought the car £4500, we love it and I hope you guys like it too. Can’t wait to show my dad this he will love it.

    Like 1
    • Bruce Troxell

      Great job by the whole family, Nicki! I would like to know when your dad found the car, when he bought it and how long the restoration took. What trophy did you win at Supercar Sunday and what year was it. Sorry for all of the questions, but you have a great story – I would just like to fill in some details.

      Thanks for sharing the story with us and enjoy the Vette!

      Like 0
  9. Glen

    You are almost correct. The 427 appeared in the 66 Corvette…..the 65’s had the 396.

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    • Jeff V.

      The 396/425hp option is the one to find, awesome!

      Like 0
  10. jean lecointe

    Bravo Nicki,
    Un grand salut d’un français pour ce merveilleux travail en famille.

    Like 0
  11. sunbeamdon

    Nicki and dad: Well done; based on what we are seeing at the various auctions and factoring in the purchase price and a guess at the cost to restore you are likely miles (and smiles) ahead.

    Have fun – we need to see a tire shredding burn-out just for old times’ sake!

    Like 0
  12. Ed MacVaugh

    I had a similar experience in Scotland in 1975, where I had taken my 1972 Mustang over with me during my Navy Service, but found a Porsche 914/6 that I wanted to bring home to the States. The rule at the time was that you could only sell to another serviceman and not to a UK citizen. No serviceman wanted the car because of its fuel consumption, so I “stored” it with a mechanic from the base Auto Hobby Shop until I was back home and no longer subject to the regulations.

    Like 1
  13. Moparman Elliott Member

    That finished picture just TOOK MY BREATH AWAY! I’m a fool for blue and this is just PERFECT! Great job and Best Wishes for future driving!! :-)

    Like 1
  14. Clay Bryant

    Nice job to the whole family.And say “Hi” to Bernie Chodosh in the UK.He is heavy in the Corvette circles in the country and him and I are responsible for 2-3 Corvettes being imported there for the Brits to enjoy too.Handshake to a great restoration.

    Like 0
  15. geomechs geomechs Member

    A person is lucky to have something like this come by in a lifetime. I’m glad the family was able to track the owner down and get it. So often a car languishes in a garage or barn while people try vainly to find the owner. Or else it ends up going to someone who ruins it. Glad to see this one with a happy ending. Congratulations to the new family! May you enjoy many miles of cruising.

    Like 1
  16. Nicki Thornton

    We have had the car in our family for 20 years.. long time haha and the restoration took 7 years. Super car Sunday was an amazing show, was about 3 years ago now, but it was one of the biggest shows in the UK and that day had 1500 cars that where there. My dads car got noticed after what we like to call a “Rev off competition” see how loud the engine can go. The crowd round the car was amazing, then the next thing we knew we were having to park in the winners circle along side a jaguar xj220, tvr sigaris, auburn speedster and a c6 corvette pace car it was crazy haha. We also have a huge show at Billing Auqadrome where dad won a prize, which was where he was asked to have a feature done in a magazine called Classic American which was featured in February’s issue of this year.

    Thanks for the positive feedback, dad was thrilled :)

    Like 3
  17. Alan

    What a beautiful car.
    Great story too!
    Congratulations to all in the family who get to drive and show this fine Corvette.

    Like 1
  18. Han Kamp

    Awesome! One of my dream cars. I have always lusted after one. You guys did a great job on the restoration.

    Like 0
  19. 363SS

    Beautiful,Nicki, any idea what the paint code is ?

    Like 0

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