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Picked Apart: 1966 Chevrolet Corvette L72


When people started picking parts from this 1966 Corvette Sting Ray, they likely had no idea of how much it would eventually be worth. If the seller’s claims are true, this is a highly desirable 425 horsepower Sting Ray. Sadly, the engine and drivetrain were pulled years ago. The seller rescued it from a barn it had been parked in for 25 years and has listed it here on eBay. It still has a few of the parts specific to a 425 hp Corvette, but we can’t help but wonder whether it really is a L72.


Since the engine is missing, it’s difficult to know for sure if it really had a 425 horsepower 427 V8.  With some research, one should be able to determine if it is a true L72 car though, and if it is, it is worth some serious money. The most obvious difference between the L36 and the L72 was obviously the engine and a 6,500 rpm tachometer.


Not only were many parts stripped off, but the body also had junk piled on top and around it. The body has some damage as a result and will need extensive repairs. The frame looks solid, but is showing some rust so an in-person inspection is recommended before bidding.


The seller has some of the parts that were removed from the car and is including them in the sale, but it is still missing a lot. The value of big block Corvettes has gone down considerably in the past few years, but they are still very sought after. If this one turns out to be a true L72, it deserves to be saved. Do you think this is the real deal?


  1. paul

    Hey Jesse, What happened to the tax day page? I found a really cool Saab 900, a Volvo, A Spitfire & an MG.

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  2. paul

    As for this Vette, they probably want 100 g, I’ll take the Saab 900 with 11,000 miles on it.

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  3. Jeff

    It has the stinger hood. Wasnt the Corvette 396/425hp engine option the same year? More rare?

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  4. Mr. Moe

    The 396/425 HP Turbo Jet was the top engine option for 1965 and 1965 only. In 1996, the big block moved up to the 427 Turbo Jet and came in 390 HP and 425 HP. Again, the 425 HP engine was a 1966-only option. In 1967, the 427 came in 390, 400 and 435 HP. One other 427 was available in 1967-1969 and that was the L-88 427 and it was rated at 430 HP, but was really more like 500+ HP. VERY few of those cars were built and the ’67 was the rarest of all. They were made for racing and came with radio and heater delete, no AC and hardly any options.

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    • Zoo Barthelme

      Mr. Moe to clarify things you meant 1966, not 1996, right?

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  5. Matt

    I see big block 65-67 big blocks advertised under $70K all the time now. To be worth more than that, you’ll have to have a tank sticker, window sticker, dealer sales order, build sheet and/or other documentation to prove that it came with one in the first place… and then, you’ll need a matching VIN stamp on a block properly numbered and dated… and even then, someone will challenge that it’s been restamped. And from what I’ve seen recently, the early ones were rated at 450HP. And if it hasn’t had a frame off restoration, or isn’t a low mile clean and shiny “survivor”… good luck getting more than $70K out of it. So good luck with all that :-)

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  6. Dolphin Member

    Lots of downsides here, unfortunately: lack of documentation….missing or wrong drivetrain components (as the seller indicates)…..problems in the ‘glass body….lots of missing parts…., all of which means that the person who buys this should know a lot about these midyear cars, and should preferably have a stash of parts to draw from to help complete the car.

    Yes, it’s predictable: Pay more now for the best driver you can find and enjoy it sooner rather than later.

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  7. rancho bella

    Even though……(don’t hate me) these are heavy and not good handling cars, I want a sunflower yellow “small block” coupe with a manual (’63 thru ’67).

    It is, the only car left on my bucket list.

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    • rancho bella

      I left out black interior

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      • scot

        ~ only? somehow i’m not absolutely certain you mean that. ;)

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  8. Mr. Moe

    You got me! Yep; typo there – – – 1966 NOT 1996.
    I remembered another 427 for 1966. At the beginning of the model year, the 427 option came with 390 HP and 450 HP. Shortly thereafter, the 450 HP rating was lowered to 425 HP and remained for the rest of the model year. The 450 HP rating was probably correct, but due to some big wigs at GM and insurance premiums getting bigger and bigger, the 450 HP rating was dropped to 425 HP. The sticker on the air cleaner actually had 450 HP on it in the beginning of the year model.
    Mr. Moe

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  9. stanleystalvey

    Those who are “in the know” can tell you that the 427ci engine spoken of here put out well over 500 horsepower.. They say that tuned headers adds up to 30% percent more power. Headers and exhaust are usually the first thing I go after on a power build..

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