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Original 396: 1966 Chevrolet Impala Station Wagon

Just because you have a growing family, why should you miss out on everything a high-performance classic offers? That’s where this 1966 Impala Wagon step in to fill the void. It has enough space to accommodate eight people, while the big-block under the hood delivers power to burn. It is a rock-solid classic needing a new home. The owner has listed it here on eBay in Phoenix, Arizona. Spirited bidding has pushed the price to $16,700, which is short of the reserve.

Chevrolet launched their Fourth Generation Impala for the 1965 model year and immediately found themselves with a runaway sales success. Figures tapered for 1966, but there were still 654,900 buyers willing to hand over their cash to park one in their driveway. Our feature Wagon is from that second year of production and makes a stunning visual statement. Its original Marina Blue paint has the dry and baked appearance you might expect from a car that has spent its life in the dry Arizona climate. It sports a scattered coating of surface corrosion, but the seller applied a clear coat to prevent further deterioration. Some enthusiasts may consider hitting the panels with a fresh coat of Blue, but I would wager that an equal number would leave the Impala unchanged. While the climate has taken a toll on the paint, it has preserved the steel beautifully. The panels are clean, and although the underside shots are blurred, they indicate the floors and frame are rock-solid. The panels sport a few dings and bruises, but I feel these add to the vehicle’s character. The chrome and glass are excellent, while the Rally wheels add a sense of purpose to the exterior.

When I reached the point of examining the Impala’s interior, I was pleasantly surprised. Given the exterior appearance, I expected to find acres of burnt upholstery. The opposite is true, with the Black vinyl looking excellent. The seats exhibit no wear, the dash and pad are equally impressive, and the carpet is faultless. A retro-style stereo occupies the spot where the factory radio once resided, but there are no other apparent upgrades. The original owner ordered this Wagon with a factory tachometer, which is unusual in a vehicle of this type. Catering for a growing family could be this Impala’s trump card, thanks to the original owner ordering it with a third-row seat. That makes this a genuine seven-seater, although that figure could grow to eight if someone is willing to cope with the shifter for the car’s four-speed. As a finishing touch, ice-cold air conditioning should make life on the road a pleasant experience.

We’ve reached the point where this Impala stands out from other similar wagons. Buyers in 1966 could order their shiny new toy with a 250ci six-cylinder engine under the hood that provided 155hp and adequate performance to satisfy most families. However, who can’t use more power? The original owner of this Wagon subscribed to that philosophy, choosing to forego the six in favor of a 396ci big-block that churned out 325hp. Adding to its performance credentials are a four-speed manual transmission and power front disc brakes. The extra power transforms the Impala Wagon because while the six could cover the ¼ mile in 19.8 seconds, this one should slash that figure to 16 seconds. The top speed jumps from 95mph to 122mph. That’s rapid family transport! The seller indicates that the Wagon had been sitting for years when they located it. They rebuilt or replaced everything in the drivetrain, and the engine bay presents in as-new condition. It doesn’t flatter to deceive because it runs and drives perfectly. It is ready to help its new owner and their family embark on a holiday adventure.

This 1966 Impala Wagon has much to offer the performance enthusiast, and its versatile seating makes it the ideal weapon for carting the entire clan cross-country. It isn’t perfect, but its aged appearance guarantees it will attract attention. Lifting its presentation to a factory-fresh state would not be difficult, and many potential buyers might consider that option. If I found it in my garage, I would find it hard to change a vehicle dripping with so much character. Do you agree?


  1. KC John Member

    Swap in a five or six speed and hit Powertour with my girlfriend, grandkids and the dogs.

    Like 6
    • Rw

      What 4 speed not allowed??

      Like 4
  2. Big_Fun Member

    We have participated in two Power Tours with a ’66 Chevrolet Wagon. The extra room is a wagon is a great – gives the others traveling with you some benefits. Especially the guy in the ’62 Corvette that doesn’t have the room. Just make sure HE has his sunscreen on board! I believe “Lobster Boy” became a Tour nickname. Ouch!

    Like 4
  3. 8banger 8banger Member

    396/4spd, AC, power brakes….yum.

    Like 21
  4. RMac

    Wow love this big block 4 speed ac factory tach just wow wish I had the cash I would snap it up in a second

    Like 12
  5. Tracy

    This would be an awesome power tour car!

    Like 4
  6. Fred W

    Normally I would look at a car like this and say, “The original purchaser wasn’t necessarily a hot rodder, he just ordered it this way for trailer towing”. Not so in this case. The factory tach and 4 speed say he was looking for performance.

    Like 9
  7. Uncle Leo

    Mom and Dad ordered a new ’66 Bel-Air with the 250 six,three on the tree,and a limited slip rear. No a/c,no power steering or brakes. Had the third row seat (4 kids). Dad’s intent was to someday tow a boat although that never happened. One problem that it had was the shifter would jam between first and second, especially if you drove it hard,then you had to take a screwdriver and pry the linkages apart. When the car was passed down to me, I converted to a Hurst floor shift. Quarter mile mile was in the high 17s. Cracked the block when the radiator failed and replaced it with a 283 from a ’62 Corvette. Raised my times to the 15s. Great car. Fill the rear seat well with ice and “beverages”. Seats folded down for those special”dates “. Many fond memories in that car. Nudged it to 100 mph coming down the NYS thruway as the odometer rolled over 100,000 miles. Miss that car,but I still have the transmission.

    Like 8
  8. Troy

    My granddaughter is pregnant with her first child and she has been talking about getting rid of the 2006 Hyundai Tiburon we gave her a few years ago and getting something more family friendly, wonder how she would like this

    Like 9
  9. Jay McCarthy

    It’s just below 21K reserve still not met, but what a sweet car

    Like 2
  10. 19sixty5 Member

    What is not to love about this wagon?

    Like 4
  11. Mountainwoodie

    So…given the toasted nature of the paint I have to think the interior has been redone. Did I miss that?

    That said…….this is wonderful! All it needs is paint. The P word is the BS word. :)

    Wish I could buy it.

    Like 1
  12. GCS Member

    Nice. That would be so fun to cruise with the 4spd and big block.

    Like 1
  13. jwaltb

    My parents ordered a ‘66 wagon new and let me help with the specs. 327 (I think), 4 barrel, heavy duty suspension, sintered metallic brakes, same blue as this. That was an awesome wagon!

    Like 1

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