A modernized Chevelle body appeared for 1966 with hints of the trendy “Coke-bottle” shape that would emerge full-force two years later. The coupe's “tunneled” rear glass was truly fresh, a styling trick that also blossomed in the Corvette ranks in 1968. The 300, Malibu and El Camino pecking order rolled over, as did most mechanicals, but the two-door station wagon variant did not return. Six-cylinder and V-8 lines also remained in place, with the latter again consisting of either 283- or 327-cid small-blocks.
The garden-variety Chevelle SS fitted with either six-cylinder or small-block power didn't return either, but that wasn't bad news. Beginning in 1966, it was big-block or no block for Super Sport lovers as the SS 396 Chevelle went from limited-edition showboat to mass-market muscle car. Cutting back in standard frills lowered the SS 396's price by roughly $1,500, surging production to more than 72,000. Optional front disc brakes and familiar Rally wheels appeared in 1967.