SS 396 Tribute: 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle

Turning a base model Chevelle into an SS tribute car isn’t all that difficult if all you care about are the looks. Just slap an SS badge on the car and you are good to go, but if you want your SS tribute to actually perform like the real deal, it takes a lot more work than that. Take this 1966 Chevelle that has been built into a very convincing SS 396. It has all the right badges, the right hood, the correct interior, and even the right 396 V8! Heck, if the seller didn’t tell you that it’s a tribute car, you’d never know without checking the numbers. You can take a closer look at this tribute here on eBay in Lumberton, North Carolina with a BIN of $25,995.

As great as this clone is, I’m super curious as to what the story is with the other cars here. It appears to be sharing this shop inside of a shop with a number of other GM muscle cars. I’d love to have the Pace Car Camaro and they have it listed on eBay as well, but with a $54k asking price! That seems a bit steep to me and makes this Chevelle look like a steal of a deal.

So, let’s get back to this SS wannabe. As you can see, someone went to great lengths to make this as close to the real thing as possible. The big 396 V8 is said to have covered just 2k miles since being installed. I assume it was rebuilt prior to being installed, but the seller doesn’t state if that’s the case or not. It’s looking dusty and a bit greasy, so perhaps that’s just 2k miles in this car, but an unknown amount in its previous home? Who knows? Speaking of its previous home, there’s also no word on what vehicle this engine came out of. This engine was offered from 1965 to 1972 with a wide range of power ratings. In 1966, they ranged from 325 to 375 horsepower in SS form but output dropped as low as 210 horsepower in the final year of 396 production.

The interior has the proper bucket seats with a center console and the SS badged steering wheel. It’s dusty, but in good shape overall. The wood rim steering wheel isn’t correct, but I’ve seen plenty of real SS cars that had their original steering wheels swapped out for a custom wood one like this. A good detailing would go a long way to making this a nicer driver, but that can be done once the car arrives at its new home.

While a real deal SS 396 would be worth considerably more than this clone, if you are going to drive the car the way they were meant to be, it would probably be better to have this one. You can drive it hard and not have to worry so much about value and originality. So, what do you think of this SS 396 tribute? Would you drive it as is or would you customize it more?

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Comments

  1. NotSure

    I like it! I’d drive it too! My big concern is that at some point a future buyer is told that it’s a tribute. At anytime is it Buyer Beware because you didn’t do your homework and verify by “checking the numbers “? I’m all for the mechanical upgrades but when you start changing the badges then I get very uncomfortable.

    Like 8
    • NotSure

      Meant to say “isn’t told”

      Like 3
      • brettucks

        Would you say once they start changing badges that you are ‘NotSure’?

        Like 7
    • Sandy Claws

      The more clones the better. If enough people get swindled by clones, it could break the back of this insane pricing market and maybe more sane prices will return for the rest of us.

      Like 5
      • Midwest Jeff

        I like the way you are thinking. Not the “swindled” part, just the clones part. More clones for the masses!

    • TJohnson

      If anybody’s going to spend any real money on this car in the future, and does not take the time to learn the third digit in the VIN is a 6, meaning it’s a Malibu, and not an 8, for Super Sport, has to take some of the blame for being stupid. I could never sleep at night again if I did that to somebody, but that information could be found in less than 30 seconds just by googling it.

      With that being said, I love this car! If this car were mine it would see some very hard miles! I have a 66 Malibu that I’ve had since 1994. It was my high-school car, so these cars are near and dear to my heart. I wish they told us if they upgraded the rear diff to a 12-bolt or not.

      Like 9
  2. Angrymike

    The 66 SS came with what I think is one of the most beautiful steering wheels, a sexy 2 spoke design, I think they also came on the 65 Malibu SS. If I can buy a real 138 car for the same price as this, I don’t know why I’d buy this. I loved my real 67 SS, but I put a 427 in it. Came with a wicked small block.

    Like 13
  3. Troy s

    I like the car, its got all the good stuff in it that made them pretty quick cars. Edelbrock intake manifold works well and since it’s a fake anyways no originality is being lost.
    The clone idea is cool and all, but I’d like to have seen a 427 in it like angrymikes as a clone of what Chevy could’ve built had it not been for corporate red tape. Buy it and have a blast!

    Like 2
  4. RH Factor

    If i’m going to advertise a car for $25,000 plus, I sure as heck would spend a good amount of time cleaning and detaiing every inch of the car. I just do not get it.

    Like 1

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