Needs Finishing: 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS Convertible

It appears as though the owner of this 1966 Chevelle SS Convertible commenced the restoration project, but it has stalled for some reason. Still, their loss will be the next owner’s gain, because virtually all of the rust issues in the vehicle have now been addressed. Apart from that, the other good news is that with the restoration at this point, it means that the next owner has the opportunity to put their own stamp on the finished car. There are plenty of people who would be keen on such a prospect, and if you are one of those individuals, you will find the Chevelle located in Manchester, Georgia. It has been listed for sale here on eBay, and with bidding sitting at $7,500, the reserve hasn’t been met.

When it comes to rust repairs, it appears as though the current owner has already done the majority of the heavy lifting. He says that everything rear of the firewall has been fixed, and the only rust that he now identifies is some spots in the lower front fenders. The photos aren’t the greatest, but apart from those spots, the rest of the panels look to be really good. There are a couple of photos of the floors, and if they are indicative of the rest of the car, then it is all very encouraging. Having said that, there is some corrosion peeking through the primer in a couple of spots, so I would personally be very tempted to strip these sections again to address that properly. The last thing that you want is to have to redo all of that hard work a few years down the track. I can also glimpse some surface corrosion on the frame in a few spots, so I’d also fix that before it gets a chance to deteriorate further. The owner also says that he has the majority of the parts that have been removed from the car, but it doesn’t sound like he has everything. That can be one of the down sides of a project like this because some of the missing items won’t become apparent until the time comes that they need to be attached once again. Still, I guess that we can’t have it all.

This photo demonstrates what I was saying earlier about the surface corrosion that is visible in some areas. The state of the floors seems to be quite consistent, but with the corrosion that is visible, I really think that it would be a pretty smart move to get on top of it straight away, rather than allowing it to deteriorate further. The owner provides no engine photos, but we do know that the manual transmission and 12-bolt rear end are what the owner refers to as “correct.” Whether that indicates that these are the original items isn’t clear, and it also isn’t clear whether the transmission is a 3-speed or a 4-speed unit. The engine that comes with the Chevelle isn’t original, but it is a 1965-coded 396ci V8. The owner provides no information on the relative health of these components, so they will undoubtedly require a check. The owner also states that the Chevelle is fitted with power steering, which, when coupled to the sort of power that the 396 is capable of producing, should make for some pretty effortless cruising.

The interior is incomplete, but it has the potential to be a pretty nice place to spend some time once it has been restored. It looks like all of the seats are present, and even though the dash has been dismantled, it would appear as though items such as the gauges are present. The owner indicates that there are other boxes of parts that are included with the car, so it might be that many of the parts that we can’t see will be in those boxes. The SS also features a power top, and most of the components are present for the air conditioning system.

There are people out there who would hesitate at the prospect of tackling a half-finished project like this simply because of the unknown factor surrounding potential missing parts. However, it is worth remembering that nothing in life is free, and the frustrations that the next owner could possibly face in this area would need to be weighed-up against the potential value and desirability of the finished project. Maybe this isn’t a car for everyone, but I will guarantee that there will be plenty of people who will consider those factors, and one of those individuals is likely to eventually vote with their wallet.


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  1. Steve R

    It looks like the work was done a long time ago and has been sitting ever since. I’m not sure I’d trust what has already been done if I were doing a higher end restoration.

    He’s liquidating a lot of cars, this is the third listed on this site over the last few weeks, the first was a red 66 Fairlane convertible, the second was a black 1972 AMX and now this. All look really rough or were abandoned projects.

    Steve R

    Like 13
  2. Camaro Joe

    I’m guessing Steve is right, and it’s been apart for a while. If the parts weren’t “Bagged and tagged”, just thrown in a box 10 or 20 years ago and maybe lost, this one could be a problem to put back together.

    I’ve done two “Take everything apart” restorations, both were cars that you couldn’t get parts from a catalog for at the time. I about went broke buying Zip Lok Baggies, but it paid off in the end.

    Don’t ever assume that convertibles are just a coupe with the top cut off. I got into a 63 Impala in 1991 and found out the hard way that there are a TON of “Convertible specific” parts. For instance the windshield and side windows for the 2 door parts car do not fit a convertible. Even the sun visors are not the same. I got lucky and found the parts I needed for a decent price, but it could have been a blood bath. There are a lot more Chevelle parts available now, but they’re also a lot more expensive than they were in the 1990’s. I was young enough and/or stupid enough to do it in those days.

    Like 8
  3. Arthell64 Member

    Seller doesn’t say it’s a 138 car. That needs to be clear. May be selling someone’s estate either way the seller saves a lot of boat load of money by selling over restoring.

    Like 1
    • PaulG

      Call’s out 138 in the ad. I thought the same thing looking at the front fenders…

      Like 4
      • 86_Vette_Convertible

        And did you notice this regarding the title:
        Rebuilt, Rebuildable & Reconstructed
        I’m wondering if it was totaled due to front end damage and the current front end is a picked up replacement. Personally I wouldn’t give a 2d thought on this one without a very extensive examination.
        Besides that, the ad is closed down.

  4. Johnny Demonic

    Needs finishing? Looks like it needs everything.

    Like 4
  5. Will Irby

    Hmm, the two pictures taken from the front don’t include the junk piled on above the trunk and convertible top well, but I guess he thought the rear view looked better with the “junk on the trunk”.

    Like 1

    Classic basket case with no instruction manual. Someone else’s headache, no thank you

    Like 1
  7. Larry M.

    Doubt it’s a 138 car. Malibu grill, 283 badges, no holes in rear quarters for Super Sport emblems and no holes in tail light valance for SS 396 emblem. Hood appears to be an aftermarket piece.

    Like 1
  8. Terrylee86

    Just finished a total restoration on the same car, 66 SS convertible. Bought it with the indication it only needed a paint job. I have so much money into the PAINT JOB I can never sell it. I would never buy a car on eBay again. The guy lied about every detail on the car, new upholstery, dyed vinyl one blue, one red dyed black. New convertible top, dyed vinyl tan old top, dyed black. Used Dynamat and rhino liner to cover all the rust holes. Said top worked, no hydraulic lines. It is rarely worth it to restore a car, I could have bought my car for 30K less totally restored and mine had a new 383 stroker and 700r4 tranny. Don’t touch this POS it will never be cost effective.

    Like 2
    • Johnny

      I know a guy who paid alot for a Comaro–that WAS supposed to have been completely restored. The buyer took the salers word and bought it.Had it transported to W.Va. A couple of days later he took it to this restore shop .To get a couple of small things taken care of. They put it on the rack and found news papers stuffed under the fenders and bondo really bad. The car now is getting a full restoration. It is a felony if anyone does this to you. Report them. Its a serious crime and now the FEDS take it serious. Just receiving the money transfer under false pretense can get a person in alot of trouble. Don,t be taken –learn the laws and protect yourself.

      Like 3
      • Terrylee86

        I know exactly what you are saying. My shop waited too long for me to qualify for the eBay warranty. The scam artist was from NJ and I tracked him down having 7 address changes in 5 years. I wonder if he scams for a living.

        Like 1
      • Jimbosidecar

        I too have an E-Bay horror story. I bought a 1950 Ford F-1 that was supposedlu a daily driver. So, I flew into Ohio thinking I could drive it back to Nevada. No brakes, no working radiator, broken transmission, king pins just about broken, and on and on. And the seller knew I was planning on flying in and driving it home.

    • Spence

      Where did you source your parts? I have a bunch of spare chrome for a 65 or 66 convertable SS, rear lights, hubcaps, badges, dash trim, etcetera. Not sure where the best place is to list these items.

  9. art

    Project, indeed. Is it sitting on a dirt floor? Ding! Ding! Ding!…my alarm bells going off, if it is.
    I’m guessing unless one is a Chevelle aficionado, it might be wise to have a spare assembled Chevelle to use as a reference for reassembly. Lotsa work.

    Like 1
  10. jimmy the orphan

    Needs finishing ? maybe he means he needs someone to fly down there and hit it with a hammer one more time to finish if off. But really I. agree with Camaro Joe. I don’t think this is a SS396. What no eng. pics ? Maybe the parts are in a box somewhere ? Looks like somebody got pissed taking the dash apart and just kicked it until it popped open. Leaving a car in primer just helps the rust along. Larry M. is right as well. I learned my lesion as well many yrs. ago on a 57 chev. After that I made it a rule not to get into a half baked project. Anyone who doesn’t mark every part and have them in see through bags and know where the boxes and bags are at is just yanking your chain. bottom line unless you just need parts for your project DON’T buy this car. listen to the guys above too. This is a junk parts car. 1k -1.5k with eng. Later JIMMY.

    Like 3
  11. TimM

    What use to nickel and dime you to death on projects like this now fifty and hundreds you to death!!! A car in a box!!!!

    Like 2
  12. Chebby Staff

    Heheh the tools he used are hanging on the back wall of the garage.

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