Only Original Once: 1966 Chevrolet Impala SS

We’ve all heard the saying “It’s only original once.” That is certainly the case with this “one-owner” (although it’s being sold by someone else) fully-loaded 1-paint job-from-new 1966 Chevrolet Impala SS that is offered for sale here on eBay. Apparently a lot of potential buyers agree as 38 bids have driven the price up to over $21,000 and there’s still time left. The car is located in Prosper, Texas.

The 1966 Impala was very popular with over 650,000 being built. It was a development of the new-for-1965 cars that had all-new perimeter frames and “coke-bottle” fastback styling and sales reflected how excited buyers were. Very few Impalas left the factory as well-equipped as this SS, which features working air conditioning, power windows, a power driver’s side bucket seat and a 427 cubic-inch engine that was originally rated at 390 horsepower! The red paint even looks original although the car has been repainted once.

The seller details a few rust issues (both rear quarter panels and the bottom of the passenger side front fender) but the fact that the car is still used daily and that everything is working apart from the wipers is fantastic.

The seats actually look great and belie the 99,000 original miles. Carpet is another story but at least the floors are said to be solid underneath it.

While not pristine, I’m enthused by this engine compartment. To begin with, you can tell the engine was running as the alternator fan blades are a blur. Almost all of the wiring looks original and it’s nice to see an original air cleaner assembly for once. I can’t see any reason not to recommend this survivor, can you?

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Comments

  1. Steve R

    It’s a very nicely optioned car that would have turned heads when new.

    There is more visible rust in the pictures than mentioned in the write up, I think it was parked outside on dirt for a period of time. It is savable but will need a full restoration. I’d carefully check the frame before purchase.

    Steve R

    8
  2. Gaspumpchas

    Steve R is correct, even tho this one is in TX, these had a lot of problems with rotten frames. With Rotten quarters, even more suspect. up to 21 large?? Seems high but the 427 must make the difference. looker over good. could have come from outside TX. Nice car but again, like Steve says will need full resto. Caveat Emptor. Good luck,
    Cheers
    GPC

    8
    • Terry

      I’m in the minority, but I’d rather have the 327 Turbo-Jet motor..they had a lot of beans and were a lot lighter. Also, the ’66 isn’t one of the nicest Chevies of the 60s, nearly all others of those years looked a little less “plain”.

      7
      • local_sheriff

        I’m with you Terry – if I had the choice between a SB 4spd Impala and an identical BB auto car at same price, well I’d without hesitation go for the SB. You save a lot of weight, cheap parts and a 327 can be quite a peppy performer for street use. I also agree the ’66 is a too ‘neutral’ design
        Just a detail though – a 327 would be called Turbo Fire, Turbo Jet was a nomenclature solely used on BBs

        3
      • Buffalo Bob

        Even tho my first registered car was a 66 Impala SS, (Sandalwood with black top & interior, 327 PG), my favorite has always been the 65. My own 65 was an SS ‘vert, Colonial Cream with double white. Loved that car. Steered like a hog with the big W block in her, but loved kicking it in the tail…

        4
  3. Troy s

    Definitely a sharp car in its day, whoever ordered this car had good taste.
    427 will move it on down the road just fine.

    11
  4. Jeffschevelle

    The driver’s side head and valve cover in the picture are 1968 or later, with the hole for a temp sender in the middle of the outboard side of the head above the exhaust manifold (has a screw in plug in it in the pic), and the clip for temp sender wire on the outside of the valve cover. 65-67 did not have that. So at least that head has been changed, if not the entire engine. So the bidders need to be asking for pics of the deck stamp and casting number to verify the engine.

    Also could not get a rear antenna with FM radio, and a multiplex in a 66 SS with gauges would be in the console, not mounted under the dash.

    Carpet has been replaced long ago, and front seats recovered (the welting along the inserts is too fat).

    I could be wrong, but this looks like a car that was “restored” in the late 70’s or early 80’s with some options added, then allowed to deteriorate for some reason.

    15
    • Terry

      For 21k it’s always good to request as many pictures as you want. If they won’t provide them, move on. It’s surprising how many “barn finds” come with so few pictures…yet the sellers (flippers) want an arm and a leg for the cars.

      8
    • Tom Member

      Awesome comments Jeffschevelle !! Thanks for sharing your knowledge !!

      I always say that my biggest enemy is “I don’t know, what I don’t know”. Nobody’s fault but not knowing something is what will kick your butt every time!!

      4
      • Troy s

        In a VERY odd way I learned a lesson from the old Mike Douglas movie Wall Street that has stuck with me for years…the value of information. Knowing not guessing. But really, there is such a vast amount to know out there when it comes to cars, more important now than ever considering the big amounts of money changing hands…

        1
  5. Beyfon

    Never quite understood the “repainted just once” argument. If it is repainted, it is repainted regardless of how many times so why is that supposed to be a sales argument? Anyone who has a suggestion?

    18
    • jamie Jamie Palmer Staff

      Please see my comment to Jim below.

      3
    • Del

      You nailed it . Its a repaint so not original.

      3
  6. JOHN

    It definitely needs a thorough inspection, but man, the options on this car! This could be an awesome car restored.

    5
  7. Clutchartist

    Wheel covers are frrom a 65, not 66. Someone correct me if I’m wrong

    3
    • Jimmy

      The caps are 66 units. Though they look the same there is a difference between the 65 and 66 SS caps. The 65 center section is deeper whereas the 66 is more shallow. This car has the shallow centers so they are correct for a 66

      3
  8. Jim Smith

    I agree with Beyfon.
    I am so darned sick of cars being called “original”, or being called “survivors”, when the actual descriptions detail that they have been repainted, partially repainted, or carry non-original engines, or any other completely clear indication that they are not all original or true survivors.
    Those who write for BF know this, so just stop it. You do yourselves a very strong disservice, and lose credibility with we who know far better.

    8
    • jamie Jamie Palmer Staff

      Jim, the first two sentences were written partially tongue-in-cheek. I guess I wasn’t obvious enough.

      7
    • Gaspumpchas

      Jim, go easy on the BF folks, they are doing a great job keeping this site going for all of us gear heads. If you do really don’t like the language, go elsewhere. This is supposed to be fun. Thanks.
      Gaspumpchas

      18
      • Michael Leyshon

        Totally agree Gaspumpchas… It is so fun to peruse this site a couple hours and take everything in. Great escape from the stress of my daily grind! Don’t shoot the messenger.

        11
    • Daveyboy

      That’s unfair to the BF guys who do a fantastic job of bringing these finds to the genuine PETROLHEADS! I am in England and welcome seeing proper cars on these pages. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

  9. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Many different ways to approach ownership of this car, but all of those would include the potential to outdrive the brakes! When I saw the flags emblem on the fender, I expected 396 in the box underneath. OK, I was wrong!

    Is the market there to support a total “as original” restoration? I can see some great modifications (Big Disc Brake conversion for all four corners) being reasonable, and maybe an EFI setup on the 427 to extract better fuel economy along with even more output.

    This car is awesome, and will turn heads, no matter which way it is taken.

    7
  10. FordGuy1972

    I’m surprised no one has made the “too bad it’s not a 4-speed” comment yet. This was about as good as it got in ’66 for a full-size Chevy with that big 427 and it being so well optioned. Still needs money thrown at it after you get it home; rust repair, a re-paint and some freshening up here and there. The interior looks pretty tired, especially the dash and the door panels. As has already been mentioned, check out the frame for rust along with the floors, trunk pan and the drop offs. A great Chevy for sure but if you want this car to look it’s best, a restoration won’t be cheap.

    3
  11. local_sheriff

    Well, here it comes – too bad it’s not a 4spd! It’s a nicely optioned SS and the 427 definately drags up the price though a 4spd would add even more value, however I really don’t see it worth current bid. I’ll agree it’s not a crappy field find, but in current condition it’s still a PROJECT CAR and at 21k I’d expect a lot more

    8
  12. art

    I wonder where this car resided all of its’ life? Lots of rust. Note the rear window appears to have been taped over..they were notorious for rusting under the moldings and leaking into the rear package shelf and into the trunk. This one has a very warped rear package shelf. The seller shows no open trunk pictures nor underside pictures, a concern. Both rear quarters are basically flapping in the wind.
    This is a loaded option car and it’s too bad it is in such rough condition.

    4
  13. Karlos

    Could it be a Powerglide slush-box or hopefully a TH400? Not stated and I can’t remember if the TH was available back then. Too many years and too many beers.

    3
    • Carkenny

      All big block B bodys had TH 400 behind them.

      5
    • local_sheriff

      If you zoom in on one of the interior pics you’ll see there’s an L and L2 at the shifter, plus seller points out at the bottom of the ad it’s a TH400. Chevy introduced it midyear ’65

      4
  14. 71Boss351

    It’s okay. It’s a TH400 automatic not the powerglide 2 speed. Required for big blocks in 1966.

    For 23K, this one would need to be seen in person. It still needs a good bit of work.

    1
    • local_sheriff

      Don’t be so sure about that – Chevelle SS396s could still be ordered with the PG and I think the TH400 wasn’t available on Chevelles until ’67. Back in the W-engine 409 days the PG was the only available slush box so it’s able to take some abuse

      • ACZ

        TH400 made it’s debut in the 64 Riviera and 1965 across all divisions. Some sub-models got it gradually.

  15. Michael Leyshon

    Totally agree Gaspumpchas… It is so fun to peruse this site a couple hours and take everything in. Great escape from the stress of my daily grind! Don’t shoot the messenger.

    4
  16. Pops
  17. Del

    Special car with that 427.

    It has issues.

    As noted I would not bid or buy without a frame inspection.

    Also from good comments, may be a replcement engine

    2
  18. ACZ

    A tilt & telescopic steering column. Now, that’s rare.

    4
  19. Del

    If the engine has been replaced and is not a 427 then the car is not worth half what bids are at

    • Tom Member

      Well said Del. Jeffschevelle’s comments were awesome. Great knowledge. With that said Del, I now question if the car was born a 427. Far from “original” with all the noted changes from being painted once and the other inconsistencies.

      For this kind of money and the $80K in restoration plus I would need to see a build sheet to see how it was born. At this point, I would void the originality and put a 4 speed in it.

      I get the 327 guys, totally agree, but the 427 really does kind of say “Bad Ass” car. Good color IF originally red.

  20. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Funny – bidder 40 has been bidding it up – looks like they have a big “0” next to their bidder #……….Seller should show the protect -o- plate or any other documentation….

  21. Roger

    I had the same car. The only difference is mine was white. I bought it in 1967 from a friend and had only 8,000 miles on it when I bought it. It was a great powerful luxury cruiser.

    1
  22. Jack Pruett Member

    A nice car and I like the color too. It has many options, but no mention of power steering which may not have been standard equipment then. The 427-390HP is what makes this car. This 427 was an excellent street engine similar to the 454 LS5. It had a good idle at about 650 RPM and outstanding torque. Having a replacement engine and the automatic might knock off some of that bid price for four speed people.

  23. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $24,200.

    2
  24. Daveyboy

    Hey Mr Jim Smith that’s unfair to the BF guys who do a fantastic job of bringing these finds to the genuine PETROLHEADS! I am in England and welcome seeing proper cars on these pages.

    2
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Great Comment, Daveyboy!

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