The more things change, the more they stay the same. Chevrolet’s 2014 showroom will be populated by a world class sports car, an egocentric muscle car and a top dog Super Sport. Likewise, Chevrolet’s 1966 showroom was populated with a world class sports car, an egocentric pony car and a top dog Chevelle Super Sport. Steadfast, distinguished and great to look at, this real-deal SS396 carries the trademark combination of classic looks and rugged versatility that’s built the bowtie brigade into one of the largest brands in the world. The car’s no-nonsense nature and big performance was a huge hit with 60s gearheads; and given the recent shift to more traditional hot rodding, a continued rise in popularity is only natural. If you’re looking to ride in style, you simply can’t go wrong with GM’s second generation A-Body. And when you factor in this Chevelle’s date-correct big block, fresh restoration and killer color combination, you realize what an incredible car it truly is!
As Chevrolet enthusiasts, we all know it can be very hard to prove GM provenance. Fortunately, the folks at USA-1 had the foresight to equip 1966 Chevelles with Super Sport check digits. Here’s a detailed look at the car’s SS-specific VIN.
* 1 – Chevrolet
* 38 – SS396
* 17 – 2-door sport coupe
* 6 – 1966 model year
* Z – Assembled in Fremont, California
* 128957 – Sequential production number
The beneficiary of a professional, body-off restoration, this super cool Super Sport is a perfect blend of expert craftsmanship and fine attention to detail. With its solid, rust-free body present and accounted for, the car was carefully massaged into better-than-new condition. Once that highly detailed metal work transitioned from the garage bay to the paint booth, classic 60s panels were covered in stunning Madeira Maroon enamel. When that pigment dried, it was sealed in clear and buffed to a brilliant shine. And today, officially unleashed as the epitome of old school American style, this Chevy is one seriously sweet head turner that’s ready to drop jaws and win trophies!
Thanks to its unique trim levels and classy appearance, the Chevelle mid-size did an excellent job slotting between Chevrolet''s working class Nova and upper class Impala. At the front of this coupe, a correct black grille centers a familiar “SS396” emblem between a finned Super Sport hood, bright halogen headlights and fresh chrome bumper that’s complete with small, amber parking lamps. At the sides of those lamps, cross-flag fender emblems and “Super Sport” quarter scripts hint at a sporty personality, while traditional door handles and straight wheel trim perfectly complement textured rocker guards. Opposite those rockers, like-new glass is traced in bright stainless, cleared by satin wipers and reflected in a chrome bowtie mirror. And behind that mirror, “C H E V E L L E SS396” scripts ride between curved tail lights, a second chrome bumper and large stainless exhaust tips.
If you wanted a top-of-the-line Chevelle in 1966, you had one option: 396 cubic inches of big block Detroit iron! Rolling out of the restoration shop with a fresh .060 overbore, 325 horsepower and a massive 410 lb./ft. of torque, this Super Sport’s date-correct L35 is clean, mean and ready to roar! At the top of the big engine, oxygen is forced through a correctly decaled, single-snorkel air cleaner into a rebuilt, 1969 carburetor and date-correct intake manifold. At the sides of that intake, spotless chrome valve covers reflect fresh AC Delco Premium wires above date-correct heads and fully restored exhaust manifolds. At the back of those valve covers, a date-correct distributor rides between a new coil, a rebuilt wiper motor and a fresh brake booster. And, opposite that distributor, a heavy duty radiator sends coolant around a shrouded fan via pliable GM hoses and familiar tower clamps. Naturally, the car’s glossy engine bay, which consists of black fenders and a Madeira Maroon firewall, is 100% detailed and looks great. Its Chevy Orange block features the usual array of stainless lines and chrome ancillary pieces. And everything from the car’s optional power steering to its rebuilt air conditioning system displays the kind of excellent attention to detail that ensures both big points and great performance.
Logging mere test miles since its 2013 rebirth, this ‘better-than-new’ Chevy marries Madeira Maroon floors to a super clean chassis. The massaged big block twists power to a rebuilt 12-bolt rear end via an aluminum Powerglide transmission. That killer drivetrain is held off the ground by a glossy black suspension that’s been completely restored to factory specifications. Optional power steering combines with rebuilt power front disc and rear drum brakes to provide greatly improved turns and modern car stops. At the center of the floors, the big engine’s restored manifolds dump spent gases into an aluminized, true-dual exhaust system that’s complete with welded, dual-chamber mufflers. At the corners of the floors, Madeira Maroon wheels spin 225/70R15 BF Goodrich Silvertown Radials around classy Chevrolet hub caps. And naturally, the bottom of this first class Chevelle is as pristine as it is spotless; with everything from the car’s fresh stainless fuel tank to its Chevy Orange oil pan completely detailed for both show and go!
Open the freshly finished doors and you’ll find factory grade vinyl that’s simple yet sporty. Front and center, a duo of firm bench seats feature lightly pleated covers and correct Fisher lap belts. In front of those seats, a slick, maroon dash hangs brand new gauges and a direct-fit radio between a warp-free pad and large Pioneer kick speakers. On the floors, stain-free carpet anchors thick rubber floor mats between stainless Fisher sills. Opposite that carpet, a tight headliner founds a fully functional dome lamp behind new visors and a bright chrome mirror. At the sides of the car, new door panels center new chrome handles and modernist stainless trim below body-matched frames. In front of the driver, a color-keyed steering wheel spins a subtle horn ring around a polished and “CHEVELLE” branded hub. And behind the passengers, a fully restored trunk features a new mat, new decals, a correct jack and a full-size spare tire.
The sale of this sinister coupe includes a stack of restoration receipts.
Fully restored and professionally sorted, this stunning Chevelle is a top notch classic that’s ready for years of shows and miles of smiles. It’s one of the last great no-nonsense, no-frills designs to come out of Detroit; and it’s the kind of car your family can enjoy for generations. Whether your interest lies in killer cruisers, classic good looks or vintage Mo-town style, this Chevy has it all!