Story of a Field Find: Two Classic Chevrolets

Unlike so many reports here on Barn Finds, this is not a critique of a car for sale but the story of two cars that were rescued, with one of them currently undergoing a complete restoration. First is a 1966 Chevelle SS396, which has an interesting background, and second a 1971 Malibu which has already moved on to another home. The story of these cars, which were found in Bradshaw, West Virginia, is available here on HotRod.com. Thanks, Larry D, for bringing this story of this find to our attention.

Fortunately for us and old cars, forgotten automobiles still pop up all the time. In barns, fields and junkyards, they are discovered after years and sometimes decades of hibernation, hopefully before Mother Nature hasn’t completely consumed them. A car enthusiast named Cody Belcher had his eyes set on a 1966 Chevelle that had been sitting idle for many years. As we understand it, the Chevy was owned by a gentleman who was involved in a serious crime and went to prison after his conviction.  The Chevy was fairly new then and was left to languish after the police picked him up. For years, Cody attempted to get the owner’s brother to sell him the car, but to no avail.

Persistence sometimes pays off and after about eight years of asking, the brother finally gave in and sold him the Chevelle, which turned out to be quite the find. It’s a numbers-matching Super Sport with the 396 cubic inch engine that produced 365 hp. It has a 3:31 posi-traction rear end with factory air conditioning. A bonus came with the SS in the form of a 1971 Malibu that had a small-block V8 under the hood with a 4-speed but was not a Super Sport

Both cars were in rough condition, but who doesn’t like a good challenge? Cody ended up flipping the ’71 car to provide funding for restoring the ’66. We’re told its currently undergoing a frame-off restoration which will include putting in a period-correct 4-speed tranny.  The SS will be painted in Butternut Yellow (which may be its original color under the current old orange or primer) with a black vinyl top and black interior. Given the dolly required in the rear of the SS, it looks as though the rear-end was removed at some point.

The ’66 was one of maybe 66,000 cars built that year (the SS was its own series by then) where the ’71 saw much wider production in the neighborhood of 196,000. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for a reveal later on that enables us to see how the Super Sport turned out. There’s a lot of satisfaction in bringing one of these forgotten old cars back to life. And, with some luck, even two!

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Comments

  1. Folsen Prison Blues

    Are you sure this one didn’t get the needle as it looks DOA.

    I hope it gets restored.

    This a good Chevelle year look.

    Is their a title?

    Like 1
    • Steve Clinton

      Yes, the title is “How NOT To Photograph Your Car For Sale”.

      Like 2
    • Gus Fring

      *Folsom
      *there

      I’m having trouble deciphering the rest…”This a good Chevelle year look”???

  2. Chevy Guy

    Wow…they might want to fix the bed of their truck first !

    Like 7
  3. Jaye

    Hard to imagine these ever seeing the road again.

    Like 3
  4. Comet

    Someone better get after that pick up truck tow rig’s rust before it gets out of hand.

  5. Greg Williams

    365 Horsepower???? In 1966 if you ordered the S.S it only came with a 396 that offered 3 different Horsepower levels. 325 or 360 ( which wasnt much better) and then the monster L-78 375 HP. That motor was similer to a 390 HP 427. The keys being the big rectangular port heads and solid lifters. So unless this was a Malibu with a 327 in could not have been a 365 HP I believe You could order a 327 with 365 HP but I think it was only in the corvette with Fuel injection. Is that correct??

    • MLM

      There was no fuel injected Vettes in ’66.The 427 made its debut in ’66.

      • Gus Fring

        *were

    • B.A. Schoen

      365hp Corvette 327. Was dual quads. Fuelie 327 was allegedly 375.
      I doubt anyone could tell the difference driving it.

  6. Kevin

    Parts cars as far as I’m concerned, and the 365 hp engine was a Corvette only solid lifter 327.

  7. MLM

    Gus I think he got my point.

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