1966 Chevrolet Chevelle 300
8-cyl. 283cid/195hp 2bbl L32
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After just two years on the market, the Chevrolet Chevelle was redesigned. The 1966 Chevelle moved away from the more rigid “three-box” design, and more toward the “coke-bottle” styling that was in vogue at this time for American cars. For many, the ’66 and ’67 Chevrolet Chevelle represent the sweet spot of the model’s styling between the original design and the larger cars that would follow.
The ’66 Chevelle was available as the 300, 300 Deluxe, and Malibu. It was offered in two- and four-door sedan variants, as well as a sport coupe, convertible and wagon. The 300 and 300 Deluxe were pretty spartan compared to the Chevelle Malibu, but these lesser trims did feature updated interior styling for ’66. The Malibu could be had in a hardtop sedan variant that had the pillar-less look of a coupe, but with four doors.
The base six cylinder engines continued to be offered, but the 283 and 327 cid V-8s were increasingly popular options. The Malibu Super Sport was now simplified to SS 396, and now included two simulated hood scoops. Beneath that hood, the big block V-8 made 325 hp or 360 hp. There was also the L78 version of the 396. A mid-year release, it offered the 396 with an impressive 375 hp.
The 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle could be had with options like dual exhaust, mag wheel covers, upgraded brakes, four-way power sears, cruise control, and even a tissue dispenser. More than 447,000 Chevelles were built for the 1966 model year. Of them, more than 66,000 were the Sport Coupe SS 396. Just 5,429 SS396 convertibles were produced, but only 100 Chevelles were produced with the L78, making them highly desirable.