Solid Starting Point: 1966 Chevrolet Caprice Sport 396

Finding a solid project car that runs and drives is never a bad thing, and this 1966 Chevrolet Caprice Sport certainly appears to meet these criteria. Rust issues seem to be minimal, and it is a car that could be driven and enjoyed as it currently stands. Located in Des Plaines, Illinois, you will find the Caprice listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN price of $7,900, but the option is also available to make an offer.

Looking at this shot of the trunk reveals what looks like the worst of the rust in the car. The Caprice has no carpets, so we do get a pretty good look at the floors, and they look good, while the owner states that the frame is also solid. The owner believes that the passenger side quarter panel may have been repaired at some point, but that the rest of the car is clean. The car has a cracked windshield which will need to be replaced, but the photos tend back the owner’s claim that the external chrome and trim are in good condition.

The interior will require full restoration, but apart from some aftermarket gauges hanging under the dash, and an old-school radio/cassette player fitted in place of the original radio, it does appear to be complete. We don’t get a look at the rear seat or the headliner, but when it comes to what is going to be required to whip the interior into shape, the pictures really do speak for themselves.

With a 396ci V8 pumping out 325hp, the Caprice should have enough power available to keep most people happy. This power is fed to the rear wheels via a 3-speed Hydramatic transmission. The brakes are manual drums all around, but you won’t need to muscle the car thanks to the inclusion of power steering. The owner says that the Caprice runs and drives, and has recently been fitted with a new dual exhaust, along with new tires on those wider steel rims. As I said before, this looks like a car that has the potential to be driven and enjoyed while the restoration is undertaken at the new owner’s own pace.

This 1966 Chevrolet Caprice sport is a car that possesses clean and aggressive styling and has enough power to back those looks. It looks to be a car that represents a fairly straightforward restoration project, and the end product should be an extremely nice vehicle that would certainly turn a few heads. Knowing how knowledgeable and enthusiastic our Barn Finds readers are, it would be fantastic to see one of our readers take this one on.


  1. Bob S

    I am not certain concerning the 66 big blocks, but in 1967, the 325 hp engines had painted valve covers, and the 350 and 375 hp engines had the chrome valve covers. It is easy to change valve covers, but the big difference between the 325 and 350 hp engines, was that the 350 hp engine had slightly higher compression and also used a forged crank.
    I doubt that it would be the 375 hp engine, because the owner would probably be yelling about it from the treetops.
    I like these cars for their lines, and hope it gets restored.

    Like 11
    • CCFisher

      The 325-hp version was the only 396 cataloged for full-sized Chevys.

      Like 10
      • Bob S

        Yep, I checked the listing of available engines after I posted, and was going to edit my comment before your reply.
        That still doesn’t explain the chrome valve covers, when nothing else appears to have been done to the engine.


        Like 1
      • T J Murray

        The carburetor shown is incorrect as well, should be a Quadrajet.

        Like 2
  2. TJohnson

    Drivers front fender appears to be different color. Further inspection would probably be necessary. Other than that looks like a nice car.

    Like 2
  3. PaulG

    Never heard of a Caprice “Sport”, but I guess it’s not quite Super…

    Like 6
  4. Troy s

    “The locals figure it’s souped.” ..haha, everytime I see a ’66 Chevy I think of that dumb old movie Dirty Mary Crazy Larry.
    Love that color, and those black wheels really give it a bad vibe. Nice big Chevy with adequate sized big block…this thing will turn a lot heads in its current state, sure caught my attention. Nice ride.

    Like 11
  5. Tom

    Rebuild the drivetrain keep the engine patina put a decent interior in it and go street racing.

    Like 3
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      What he said except for the street racing part. Substitute cruising and I’m happy with it.

      Like 8
  6. NotSure

    Love the look of this car! Would it be a requirement to get a couple dogs to justify the hubcaps?

  7. Terry J

    A pal bought a beautiful ’66 Caprice 396 4 speed car, white on turquoise, back in ’68. I told him what he had, he didn’t know or really care (not being a car guy). It was just a car to him.To me, it is still lodged in my memory album as something special. :-) Terry J

    Like 4
  8. Bill Hall

    When I was in high school many centuries ago I used to walk by a nice 67 Caprice coupe like this for sale as a repo at a Finance Co. I really wanted it and have been looking ever since as I didn’t have $$$ of my own at the time.

    Like 4
  9. Vince

    It will do for my bucket list to have a big block Chevy. At least I could afford it.

    Like 2
  10. DRV

    I never saw a Caprice without a vinyl top. This hardtop is a Chevy favorite of mine.

    Like 3
  11. Pete Phillips

    I have a 1966 Caprice 2-dr. hardtop similar to this one, but mine has a 283 4-barrel, 3-speed on the column, and factory overdrive! An old man in town ordered it that way because his ’58 Impala had the same drive train. Would love to see a race between this 396 automatic and my car, which is surprisingly quick.

    Like 2
    • Bob S

      Because of your rear end ratio, you would possibly have the advantage on the launch, but the torque and the horsepower advantage of the 396 would be too much for the 283 to overcome.

      Like 1
  12. Jay M

    When I think back to being a teenager in the 80’s, I have lots of pictures of us pulling big blocks out of Impala’s and Caprices and dropping them in Camaros, pickups and Blazers. Even parted out a couple 68 and 69 SS cars, since we only paid a couple hundred dollars for them. We used to cruise down back lanes looking for them.

  13. Del

    Nice car.

    Probably get it for 5 gees

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