Garage Find: 1966 Chevelle SS 396 Convertible

Going down the same path as the Pontiac GTO and the Oldsmobile 4-4-2, Chevrolet’s big-block entrant in the mid-size muscle car field was the Chevelle SS 396. Based on the Chevelle Malibu, the SS 396 became its own series in 1966. And in doing do, it saw production of just over 5,400 units as a convertible that year. This restored 1966 SS 396 has been pampered in recent years and is ready to find a new home. It’s offered in Birdseye, Indiana and available here on Facebook Marketing for $35,000 or best offer.

The Chevelle joined the Chevy roster in 1964, a car of mid-size proportions slotted between the Impala/Bel Air/Biscayne and the Nova/Chevy II. The Malibu would become the most popular offering in the series and would eventually become the nameplate of choice for these cars. From the start, the Chevelle would have a Super Sport option available to buyers, which at first was largely a trim package with a 327 V-8. By 1966, the 396 would find its way under the hood and be sold as its own model. To accommodate the more powerful motor, the Malibu it was based upon would have a reinforced frame and beefed up front suspension. Chevy would go on to build 447,364 Chevelle’s for 1966, with 66.843 being SS 396 hardtops and another 5,429 SS 396 convertibles. Judos to Chevelle Stuff for the numbers.

The seller’s 1966 SS 396 ragtop is an older restoration which we’re told has seen little use since and has held up well. It may have spent the last several years in the garage where the photos were taken and there’s evidence it was covered while in there. We assume it runs well enough for a local jaunt as the sellers says he “wouldn’t be scared to jump in it and take it for a 50-mile cruise.” I’d feel more comfortable if he’d said to take it on a road trip.

A 396 cubic inch V-8 is there (we don’t know if it’s numbers-matching), which could have been good for up to 375 hp, and it comes with a 4-speed manual and posi-traction at the rear wheels. The interior looks especially nice with some custom touches like the contrasting dash pad. The paint looks nice as does the convertible top, but the photos and description are few and limiting. The Rally wheels are a nice touch, but they are not period correct as we understand they weren’t offered until 1968. The seller has priced his car in the correct territory, assuming it’s everything it’s said to be.

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Comments

  1. Steve R

    The seller of any 68 and earlier “SS” should include the first 5 digits of the VIN, that will prove or disprove their claim.

    The write up suggests SS’s had reinforced frames, that is not accurate. All convertibles had reinforced, boxed frames, regardless of the model or engine within the entire Chevelle/Malibu lineup.

    Steve R

    Like 4
    • Doug from MD.

      I totally agree Steve . If its real you got nothing to hide unfortunately there is more to hide than tell. Sad days for classic car collectors. But do your homework on these cars and it will pay off in the end. Very good point Steve R.

      Like 1
      • Steve R

        I don’t think private sellers are necessarily trying to hide things, though many are, what they omit is often, for the lack of a better word, due to ignorance. Many simply don’t know or realize the importance of such information. The answer is often an email away. Their response tells the story, a reply including a picture says one thing, an evasive response says something entirely different.

        Steve R

        Like 6
  2. Milr

    Seller states: “Wouldn’t be scared to jump in it and take it for a 50 mile cruise.” Well, how about you pull it out of the garage for pictures? Oh, while you’re at it, how about taking the cover off? Why is this such a chore?

  3. Goatsnvairs

    If that car is worth $35k, I have a GTO worth $100k……

    Like 3
  4. Leadfoot

    The steering wheel is also not correct. It’s off a ’67…..

  5. Steve Bush Member

    Agree with the others, provide proof of what you say it is. And while you’re at it, seller Rick, if you want $35k, move the car out of the garage and take some decent pics.

  6. Paul L Windish

    I bought a ’67 Chevelle SS 396 from a fellow college student in late ’68/early ’69 and drove it for 4 years. I’ve always thought the ’67 design was much better than the ’66. Rally wheel center hubs for the ’67 did not protrude as much and were a simpler more classic style than the ’68 and later style on this car. My ’67 was 325 hp with the close ratio 4 speed ran very well until some thieves in St Louis decided they needed it worse than me and stole while I was working in downtown St Louis. It was found in East St Louis the next day minus engine, transmission, wheels and trunk contents. Insurance company totaled it and I bought it back, having it put back together with a 327. It just wasn’t the same car after that.

    Like 2
  7. john hugh

    restored ?? lol 20 k tops

  8. Ross

    I agree with the Proof. I know some guys are out there cloning these cars like the KFC does chicken. You really got to do your Homework when it comes to buying the SS’s. They are tagging now like there’s no tomorrow. And they even have false paperwork. So find out before you buy a restoration.

  9. 1-MAC

    Grille should be black

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