Original 396: 1966 Chevrolet Impala SS

This 1966 Impala SS might look tired, but it has some important positive attributes to consider if a project build is on your radar. It appears to be a complete classic whose engine bay still houses its original big-block V8. The owner acknowledges its weaknesses but provides some parts to help get the restoration show on the road. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder rex m for once again spotting an excellent classic for us. The seller is located in Peoria, Arizona, and has listed the SS for sale here on Craigslist. He doesn’t indicate the vehicle’s location but has set the price at $9,750.

There’s a bit to consider with this Ermine White Impala. It has been sitting for a while, and it will need some work if the buyer plans to return it to its former glory. There is visible rust and damage in both rear quarter panels, but the seller supplies a pair of new replacements in the sale. It looks like there may also be some appearing in both lower front fenders, plus there is a wide assortment of minor dings and dents that will require attention. The underside of this Impala is a mystery because we receive no photos or information on the state of the floors or frame. However, the owner refers to it as an easy restoration, suggesting that there are no significant issues with the underside. All of the trim is present, although some items appear to be beyond salvation. The glass is pretty dirty, but it looks to be okay.

The Impala’s drivetrain should offer its next owner power to burn once the car returns to our roads. Lifting the hood reveals a 396ci big-block that would have produced 325hp in its glory days. The rest of the drivetrain includes a Hydramatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. At around 4,200lbs, this is not what you would classify as the lightest car on the planet, but that made the 16-second ¼-mile ET look pretty impressive. A word of warning because I’m about to use an expression that will have some of you grinding your teeth. The owner says that the Impala ran when parked. However, that was fifteen years ago, and the car hasn’t fired a shot in anger since. Coaxing it back to life may not be difficult, but the buyer can virtually guarantee that the process will include a fluid change and flushing the fuel system before hitting the key. There will undoubtedly be other items that will require attention, including the brakes and some of the perishable items. If the buyer can revive the engine, returning the SS to a roadworthy state might not take much work.

The jury is out on the Impala’s interior because the owner describes it as “amazing for a survivor.” He admits that the front seats need new covers, and I think you can add foam to the list. The carpet has also seen better days, so a carpet set will also be needed. It seems that the rest of the interior might be okay with a deep clean. I’ll qualify that by saying that it will depend on the buyer’s standard for the restoration. If they seek perfection, it may not be up to scratch. The owner says that this is a factory A/C car, but items like the compressor are missing from the engine bay. Other desirable optional extras that remain intact include the console with its factory gauge cluster and the pushbutton AM radio.

The fate of this 1966 Impala SS will rest within the buyer’s hands. These remain a desirable car, particularly in big-block form. A basic restoration where that owner attends to its panel, paint, and interior issues would see it capable of commanding a value of around $30,000. If the buyer pushes out the boat and achieves perfection, that number would quickly jump beyond $50,000. That process would involve dismantling the SS to the last nut-and-bolt and would take a lot of time and effort. However, if the next owner is willing to disassemble and reassemble it themselves, it should remain financially viable. It’s a tough call to make, and it will be interesting to see which path our readers would choose.


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  1. Chevrolet baby

    Why the 63 VIN plate if advertising a 66? Just my own curiosity at work.

    Like 2
    • Steve Douglas

      There’s a 63 Impala project car in the Craigslist ad too. Probably just downloaded the wrong pic from that ad to this 66 impala Barn Finds mention.

      Like 1
      • Mike

        The ad mentions the ’63 for $5k. Also the Hudson in the background is the same one featured on BF yesterday. Looks like they washed off the valuable dust, so now it’s impossible to prove that it has been sitting for years.

        Like 2
  2. Dennis

    Sorry it’s not worth the price. Its going to take a ton off money to restore it.

    Like 3
  3. Sam Shive

    Clear Coat The Patina, Pull The BIG Block and Do A LS Swap. Call it a RestoRat Rod. Sell the 396 to someone making a Chevelle or Camaro clone and call it a day. JMHO

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