Original 396 and 4-Speed Included: 1966 Chevrolet Impala Convertible

The owner of this Regal Red 1966 Impala Convertible says that it has solid bones and that its rust issues are only minor. The supplied photos tend to support this claim, which means that it could be a great candidate for restoration. Barn Finder Pat L referred the Impala to us, so thank you for that Pat. The Impala is located in Creston, Ohio, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist. The price has been set at $9,500, and it appears that the owner is pretty firm on this.

At first glance, the Impala does look to be nice and clean. The fact that it has always been kept in a garage will certainly have helped its cause. There is rust to be dealt with, but none of it seems to be too bad. The majority of it seems to be confined to the passenger side of the car, with a small spot in the lower fender, and an area around the rear wheel arch on the same side. The rest of it looks pretty reasonable, and the single photo of the trunk floor indicates that this is also solid. The soft-top looks to be in pretty decent condition, and the addition of a new motor means that it raises and lowers properly.

The interior also doesn’t look too bad, with the seats and dash looking quite good. There are a few things that will need to be looked at. The carpet looks like it would benefit from a good clean, while the vinyl on the tops of the door trims looks to be quite discolored. The factory radio is also missing, while the shifter definitely isn’t original. Combine that fact with a clutch pedal that is sitting on the floor indicates that there is a bit of a story to be told from a mechanical viewpoint.

Would you believe that this is a 396ci V8? No? Well, I don’t really blame you for that. Up until 1990, the engine bay was crammed full of V8, but this was removed and replaced with a six-cylinder engine due to rising gas prices. I’m sure that this probably seemed like a good idea at the time. There is no need to fret though. The 396 that was in there was a factory replacement unit from 1968. It hasn’t disappeared, and it will be included in the sale. Further good news surrounds that clutch pedal. The automatic transmission that is currently fitted also isn’t original. What you had was a Muncie 4-speed transmission, and this will also come with the Impala. Drop those back into the car and you will be able to recapture this giant’s former performance glory.

I have to admit that when I saw the engine that is currently fitted to this Impala, my heart sank. The fact that the original engine and transmission are still kicking around was a revelation, and with the rust addressed and the original drive-train installed, this will be quite a car and will be one that the next owner can be rightly proud of.

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Comments

  1. Ramone Member

    Interesting Impala. Four speed with bench seat. Big block, but not optioned out much. Looks good, but the rust is surely more of an issue than it seems. Seller is showing us the potential rust problems, but under car shots on a lift would help.

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  2. dirtyharry

    My dad had a similar model with the 396. He would actually let me and my brother, take it to the drags for amateur night. We ran an auto shop, he said, “bring back some customers.” Anyway, it was the fastest thing we had run, consistently getting 15 second quarter mile times on slicks, we brought in the trunk. We got our hands on a 1967 Mustang 390, 4-speed, which never sounded as good, but would do 14’s on the same slicks. Seemed like rocket technology then and 14’s today, are within reach of a Camry (I saw a 2017 Camry XSE run a 14.3). Hard to imagine, but it will take the 396 and likely a blower, slicks to take down a Camry.

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    • Angrymike

      Yup, the 14’s seemed a world away in my 73 340 Road Runner. But it was a consistent at 15.6, until the 488’s joined the rear. Never ran it after the gear change but I was never beat out of the hole and had a ball with that old bird !

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    • Joe Howell

      My cool Dad had 65 Impala with 396/325HP, four speed, posi-trac rear and bench seat. Never told me to take it to the Drag Strip but when I did now and then it would run 14.9 on 8:25×14 whitewalls. Dad’s gone but I have great memories of him and the 396.

  3. Gaspumpchas

    As Ramone said, many rust problems underneath for sure, would need a good look at the frame and underbelly. Like a lot of 60’s cars, the frames rotted out on these early in life, ironworms finally got my 66 impala. Good luck to the new owner, looker over good.

    Cheers
    GPC

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  4. Del

    Nope

  5. Bluetec320 Member

    At least it wasn’t watered down with the garden hose prior to taking the pictures like the red 66 Caprice that was recently featured.

  6. moosie moosie Member

    Very surprised it isn’t listed as a “survivor”. What I cant seem to understand is how it could be the original engine when its stated as being installed in 1968 as a replacement ?

  7. TimM

    The 65-66 impalas are my favorites!!! This is an iconic ride!! I hope it’s salvaged!!

  8. JOHN

    It may be an intensive resto, but I basically like the car…full size big block 4 speed convertible, what’s not to like?

  9. Miguel Member

    This looks like a lot of work to undue for that kind of money.

    Basically you are buying a body and a title for $9500.00

  10. Mike s

    My first was a 69 chevelle ss w a 396,and my buddy Paul had a torino,w a Cleveland! I only beat that car once! Just under 15. What a ripper!.

  11. James Turner

    I believe most cars and pickup trucks etc., Used cheap import steel in the 60,s and 70,s. My mother bought a new 1965 Chevy Impala with the 327 and automatic. Turquoise with a black vinyl top. Within three years the roof rusted underneath the vinyl and the trunk and taillights were rusted badly.I remember she had the top vinyl stripped off and then painted the roof gloss black. I can see this Chevy convertible is a bondo king. Its everywhere. I can only imagine what the underneath looks like especially if it was not undercoated when new. What good is a 396 engine and a 4 speed tranny when the body looks like it will fall off the frame.

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