Solid Starting Point: 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Project

The Chevrolet Chevelle was introduced on September 26, 1963, as a 1964 model and slotted nicely in the lineup between the smaller Chevy II and the full-size Impala. The mid-size market was heating up and the Chevelle faced tough competition from Ford and Mopar, as well as in-house with GM’s own Pontiac GTO, Oldsmobile 442, and Buick Skylark. After 2 years of strong sales, 1966 brought an updated Chevelle with a new grille, bumper treatment, curved side windows, and flared, muscular rear fender lines that were just beginning to show up on performance cars of the time and would later become known as Coke bottle styling. Our feature vehicle, found here on eBay, is in the beginning stages of restoration but has already had a substantial amount of bodywork completed.

Engine options for 1966 included two six-cylinders, either a 120hp 194ci or a 140hp 230ci as well as a variety of v8s ranging from the 195hp 283ci to the 275hp 327ci. Buyers who wanted even more power could step up to the Chevelle SS with a big-block 396ci boasting up to 375hp. Transmission offerings included a standard three-speed Saginaw, an optional two-speed Powerglide automatic, or a Muncie four-speed in either M20, M21, or M22 form. The engine bay of our feature vehicle currently sits empty, but the seller is including a rebuildable 350ci engine, as well as a rebuilt Muncie M21 close-ratio four-speed. Also included are a fan shroud and a radiator.

A front bench seat was standard for the 1966 Chevelle, but bucket seats were optional, as was a center console. The seller states that this car was originally ordered with a bench, but will come with a pair of bucket seats and tracks, as well as the rear seat. Also included are the original four-speed pedals and the correct steering column for a floor-shift model. The floor pans appear to be mostly solid, but the seller states that there are pinholes in the passenger floorboard. However, a patch panel will be included in the sale.

Completed bodywork includes new rear quarter panels, trunk pan, rear taillight panel, front fenders, and package tray. The body was media blasted to remove old paint and rust, the major bodywork was performed and then all panels were sprayed with DP40 epoxy and black primer. The seller states that the body still needs minor work and blocking before the final paint can be applied.

In its current state, this Chevelle could seem intimidating to a potential buyer. However, with a good portion of major work already completed and most of the parts present and accounted for, it offers a great starting point and a blank slate to finish however you want. Would you restore it to stock, make it a restomod, or take the full-custom route, maybe even turning it into a 60’s style gasser?


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  1. daniel wright

    What is going on with that photo? Why is the car floating? Is that image photo chopped or ??

  2. cameron barta

    i think they jacked up the suspension

  3. jerry z

    No weight in the car is reason for 4X4 stance. My ’66 Chevelle did the same thing when I restored it. What a basketcase though.

    Like 1
  4. A.G.

    Be leery of this car. The seller is misrepresenting this car as no Chevelle rolled off the line with leather trim. The cowl tag indicates black imitation leather trim and a bench seat (761-A). A major concern is the removal of the VIN and cowl tags from the car. The shifter opening in the transmission tunnel looks factory. The cowl tag indicates the car was optioned with a Powerglide transmission (2M) along with a tinted windshield (W). A bench seat with a floor-shifted automatic transmission never happened. Do the tags really belong to this car?

    Like 3
    • Pnix

      It should not have an S in the VIN. No Chevelle should have an S in the VIN.

      • A.G.

        Other glancing at the image of the tag I paid no attention to the VIN. It decodes to a 1966 Bel Air 2 door sedan. I guess that answers my question.

        Like 1
      • Pnix

        The S in the VIN for the 1966 Bel Air 2 door sedan indicates it was built at the St. Louis plant.

  5. t-bone BOB

    Located in:
    Aberdeen, Washington

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