Original Survivor! 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

The person who buys this 1966 Corvette Convertible will have some choices to make. This car has undergone a comprehensive mechanical rebuild and is ready to hit the road. Its interior is original, but the paint is looking tired. The dilemma is whether to treat it to a refresh or to drive it as an original survivor. While you’re pondering that question, you might want to take a look at its listing here on eBay. The Corvette is located in Galion, Ohio, and while the bidding has reached $38,100, the reserve hasn’t been met.

The Corvette is finished in Milano Maroon, and there is no denying that the paint is looking tired. The seller does say that the body is good and that it has never had a hit to his knowledge. Encouragingly, the frame is also said to be in good order. It appears that there are no rust issues to contend with, and the car is structurally sound. The Corvette comes complete with a white convertible top, which is said to be in excellent condition. The trim and chrome are in acceptable condition for a driver-quality car, and while it isn’t fitted, the original factory chrome luggage rack is included in the sale. If the buyer is seeking a spotless presentation, some of the chrome could stand a trip to the platers. However, if an original survivor is the goal, then it all looks fine to me. The headlight motors have been rebuilt, and these operate as they should. Finally, the glass is in excellent condition for this age vehicle, with no signs of any flaws or scratches.

It is looking below the skin that reveals a mountain of good news about this Corvette. This is a full numbers-matching classic. Everything is original, right down to the carburetor, distributor, and alternator. What we find occupying the engine bay is the L79 version of the 327ci V8, which is hooked to a 4-speed manual transmission. This beauty would produce 350hp, which is enough to propel the Corvette through the ¼ mile in an impressive 14.2 seconds. While the paint might need some work, the buyer isn’t going to need to spend one red cent on this Corvette’s drivetrain. Both the engine and transmission have been fully rebuilt, and a new clutch was installed at that time. The braking system has been fully overhauled, and all of the fuel lines have been replaced. The seller says that this has all been completed to the highest standard. Every hose and clamp is correct for this car because the intention was to submit it for NCRS judging. The looks aren’t deceiving because the seller says that the little 327 sounds sweet. He also says that it runs and drives very well. For those who might question these mechanical claims, the seller has a folder full of verifying receipts and paperwork. All of this is included in the sale.

When I first looked at this photo of the interior, my reaction was that this was an interior that had been restored at some point. Apparently, I’m wrong on that one. The seller states that this interior is original. If this is true, then it has survived in remarkable condition. I can’t see any significant issues with the upholstery. There is some slight stretching on the driver’s seat, but I believe that you would struggle to see an improvement even if you replaced the cover. The dash appears to be perfect, while the same is true of the teakwood wheel. The only area that I would place a question mark over would be the carpet. I’m not sure if it might have been replaced at some point or whether it has been out of the car. I only raise this because the fit in the passenger-side footwell isn’t as neat as I would have expected. There are no aftermarket additions, and the original radio is present.

I will readily admit that this ’66 Corvette Convertible is a car that leaves me torn. This is not because it is a bad car, because nothing could be further from the truth. It is the condition of the paint that is causing this internal turmoil. I can see where the owner was going with this classic. The attention to detail when it comes to the mechanical restoration tells me that he was trying to make it a car that was as close to the original as possible. I do not doubt that if he had progressed as far as tackling the panels and paint, the results would have been mighty impressive. Part of me would want to complete the process and to finish the journey that this man started. However, part of me would like to leave the exterior largely untouched. I can see nothing wrong with a vehicle like this wearing its automotive heart on its sleeve. It is an original and unmolested survivor, albeit one with a meticulously restored drivetrain. It wears that badge proudly, and a cosmetic restoration is not essential. I can’t decide what I would do if I were to buy it. Can you?


  1. alphasud Member

    Nice car. Enjoy it as it is because as they say it’s only original once. I do find it hard to believe the seats have not been reupholstered in its lifetime. That vinyl would be hard as a rock by now and if it were leather there would be patina.

    Like 3
  2. Chuck

    Paint it; originality is overated IMO.

    Like 2
  3. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Adjust the hood so it closes correctly, throw a coat of wax on this beauty and enjoy.

    Like 5
  4. John smart

    I like a good original car. But with other areas freshened and very nice interior, I wouldn’t fault an owner for painting it.

    Like 4
  5. ruxvette

    And the seller says “This Vette is a factory luggage rack car”. And just what would the RPO be for that option? The interior “looks” all original, as in it has been redone with original style items.
    Corvettes are getting expensive again. I would expect to see this one go for $55-ish.

  6. jokacz

    No big deal, but that steering wheel sure looks plastic to me. Not crazy about all the holes for that “factory” luggage rack.

  7. Dale Strubank

    I have a 1966 that is all original seats look as good if not better than this one .
    mine has 41,000 on it . So it could be original .

    Like 3
  8. 1-MAC

    327-350 may be the best combination. Plenty fast and not nose heavy o prone to overheat like the bigblock. Iiwould leave it alne and enjoy it. Why spend another 50k,then you are afraid to drive it at all.

    Like 3
  9. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    This, together with the 2020 Vette he also has for sale means he has over $140K worth of Vette on EBay right now.

  10. mike

    PAINT IT? he left out one of the most expensive things to do to this car.. extremely nice paint jobs.. will start at 20 grand or so… take it off the frame.. work on it for a couple months.. if you are lucky.. you will have it back in a year or so…

  11. John

    I would definitely repaint it, right after I completed a four corners tour of the country and perhaps a follow-up run through Canada. This is the kind of car that should be driven. The paint looks almost perfect if you are looking down the hood. I can almost feel the “snick, snick” of the shifter. I would send the whitewalls away. Maybe power steering. Maybe.

    My favorite Vette.

    Like 2
  12. George Mattar

    Luggage rack was never an RPO. Dealer installed just like a fire extinguisher. Do not paint. A good detailer could make that paint presentable. I would lightly buff with polish first to feed the paint essential oils. Then follow up with a good 3M compound light cut. Then use black foam pad and glaze. Wax and you are done. Life is short. Drive and enjoy. Trailer queens totally useless.

  13. Ronald Bakeman

    do you still have the luggage rack? Interested. Ron

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