1966 Chevrolet Corvette
8-cyl. 427cid/390hp 4bbl L36
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
The big news for the 1966 Corvette Sting Ray was the new 427 cid big-block V-8 engine. It replaced the one-year-only 396 cid big-block from 1965 and was available in 390 bhp and 425 bhp tune under a power bulge hood. Sales were split evenly between 5116 390 bhp engines and 5258 425 bhp powerplants.
The base engine was now the 327 cid V-8 in 300 bhp form while the 350 bhp option was the first step up. Corvette sales set a record at 27,720 units, now overwhelmingly convertibles (17,762) with only 9958 coupes. The coupes lost their roof vents and rocker panels were now ribbed. Side exhausts sold to 3617 buyers for $131.65 and 1194 buyers stepped up for five centerlock mag wheels for $316. Only 3,520 buyers opted for air conditioning. Reverse lights were included for the first time and headrests made optional.
Most Corvettes sold with 4-speed manuals, with 10,837 sold with a wide ratio and 13,903 with a close ratio. Only 15 were close-ratio and heavy duty. Powerglide 2-speed automatic transmission sales stayed steady at 2401.
Chevrolet offered 10 exterior colors on the 1966 Corvette, and Nassau Blue was the favorite with 6100 buyers. Milano Maroon, Rally Red, Silver Pearl, Sunfire Yellow, Mosport Green, Ermine White, Laguna Blue, Trophy Blue, and Tuxedo Black rounded out the palette. Interior vinyl colors included two shades of blue, blue and white, green, silver, brown, black, and red. Leather was available for $79 extra. Convertibles tops could be black, tan or white.