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Unrestored 1966 Chevrolet Impala SS396!

There is no denying the collectability of a 1966 Chevrolet Impala SS, especially one equipped with a big block engine like this one found for sale in Kennewick, Washington and for sale here on Classic Cars for $14,000 OBO. I know a thing or two about ’66 Impalas as I owned a SS convertible for about seven years and did a lot of restoration work on it. The ’66 and it’s very similar predecessor, the ’65, are among the most collectible of Chevy’s big cars and a lot of it has to do with the clean, Coke bottle styling and the simplicity of design. While internet-based restoration businesses can deliver practically any part you would need for this ’66, your local auto parts store still carries most of the mechanical components. This ’66 appears to be pretty original but will need some level of restoration. As to how much, it’s hard to say as the owner doesn’t go into much detail regarding this car’s strengths and weaknesses.

One curious item is the engine. It is clearly a big-block Mark IV but the owner makes no mention or reference to it, peculiar. I can tell from the fender badge that it is a 396 CI motor which was rated at 325 horsepower as opposed to either of the 427 CI big-block engines that were available, one rated at 390 HP and the rather rare L72 which pumped out 425 HP. The owner does mention, however, that this Impala does have a Turbo Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission, a 3.73:1 twelve bolt, and a limited-slip differential. The owner states that this Impala is driveable but does not elaborate in any detail.

Moving on to the interior, it actually looks pretty good other than the front driver’s seat upholstery but no worries, that’s easily replaceable. The carpet and dash appear to only need a thorough cleaning. The weatherstripping is pretty well cooked but that is easily replaceable. There is no reference to the structural condition of this Impala. These models had perimeter frames and they are usually pretty hardy unless they have been exposed to consistent salty conditions – not the same issue with the floors, however. They really should be thoroughly checked as they are not as hardy, again, either owing to salty conditions or interior leaks due to rotted conditions under the rear window molding. The listing does indicate that this SS has 272,000 miles – no mention as to whether any major components have been replaced or rebuilt during that quarter-million-mile journey. These cars are basically, infinitely rebuildable but it would be nice to know what major components, if any, have been on board for the entire trek and not rebuilt or replaced.

Cosmetically, this SS needs some attention. There is some missing trim and it’s finished in primer; the body looks pretty straight but there is no indication of body integrity. So what do you think? A price point of $14,000 seems a bit strong for this model in this condition, even equipped the way it is. Admittedly, there is solid upside potential. It’s going to take some investment and sweat equity to get there however.


  1. local_sheriff

    Not the biggest fan of the ’66 as I find it too anonymous compared to any other Impalas. However I’ll admit it has a nice semi-fastback roofline shared with the previous model year.

    Lots of potential here, nicely optioned and a true SS will never be wrong. Seems to need some straightening in the rear bumper/ RH taillight section though. As it stands it’s definately a restoration project so I’d really expect asking to be negotiable

    Like 5
  2. Don Diego

    Front bumper, driver’s side seems to be a few inches forward. No biggy.

    Like 4
  3. 68custom

    has the rarely seen tilt/telescoping steering column. rarely seen when new much less today, cool ride!

    Like 7
    • 427Turbojet 427Turbojet Member

      Years ago before salvage yards got picked over, I was on a mission to get any optional equipment I could find, especially for ’60s GM cars. Bought lots of tilt columns, factory gauge dashes, AM/FM radios, including a few multiplex stereo adapters. I found 3 ’66 Chevy B body tilt and teles, 2 with column shift and 1 floor shift. I put a column shift tilt and tele in a ’66 ElCamino, same color (red) and worn/ patinaed to match the original interior. Lots of Chevelle people still look at it and scratch their heads. Most of the stuff has been sold over the years, but I’ve kept enough that if the just right candidate comes along, I can really dress it up.

      Like 5
      • Chris M.


        Like 2
      • Del

        Hey. great stuff.

        I need an original 1976
        Chevy Caprice radio/8 track that will fit in the dash.

        Got one ?

        Like 0
  4. Robert White

    This car is a major BIG time classic with all the optioned goodies too. It’s straight, solid, and pretty much complete. Nice prospect for ground up rebuild to spec. 68custom is right about the rarity of the tilt steering. Even the gas peddle chrome is stock optioned stuff.

    Base case is that this car is a classic muscle GM 68 optioned well indeed. And the best part is that it looks solid & rust free.

    Notice the lack of real interest on BF?

    This car has somehow slipped by all the numbers matching specification fanatics on BF too.

    A sleeper classic IMHO.


    Like 4
  5. Ralph

    The ad on Classic Cars says the engine has been replaced. Not numbers matching then.

    Like 1
  6. ACZ

    As usual, nice project but overpriced. Some folks need to realize that rust and gold are not the same thing.

    Like 2
    • Ralph

      Everyone starts high. You have to start high. Every buyer wants to negotiate. A serious buyer will make the call and start to dicker. What’s bad?

      Like 1
  7. Joseph Howell

    Reminds me of Dad’s car. Dad was pretty cool, he had a 65 Impala Sport Coupe, Ermine white over black with a 396/325HP with a bench seat, 4 speed and Posi-Traction. God bless him he turned me loose in it when I was 16 (1967). I miss Dad every day.

    Like 0
    • Robert White

      Heck, I miss your dad too. My dad gave me a 1971 Ford Maverick inline 6 with God forsaken four doors to add insult to injury of my ego as a 16 year old trying to date chicks in the hood.

      I’ll take a pretty cool dad over a nerd dad any day of the week when it comes to anything mechanical engineering.

      My father had to go to a Mechanic when he had to change his license plates every year. Very embarrassing as a kid witnessing a nerd father attempting to change license plates every year back in the day when they did not renew stickers instead.


      Like 0
  8. stillrunners

    What ACZ said…..still a little on the high side with the info posted……

    Like 0
  9. TimM

    Needs some work for sure hard to tell what color it was originally but it needs paint anyway!! Really like when these come around!! Big boaty American muscle!!!

    Like 2
  10. Del

    Not worth the asking but make an offer ?

    And he was honor and offer all night

    Like 0

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