1966 Chevrolet Impala SS
8-cyl. 427cid/390hp 4bbl L36
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
Chevrolet redesigned the Chevelle line for 1966 while the big models (Biscayne, Bel Air, Impala and Super Sport) were lightly facelifted. One big change affected the Caprice option, however, as it now became a separate line aimed at the Ford LTD. There was a formal roof Coupe, four-door Hardtop Sedan and six- and nine-passenger Station Wagons, which had exclusive wood applique on the sides.
Chevrolet sales dropped slightly to 2,215,979 units, of which 1,499,676 were full-size cars and 181,000 of these were Caprice models, not counting the station wagons. The full-size Chevrolets received a new grille and headlight bezels, forward thrusting fenders and square horizontal taillights, replacing the signature round ones. The Super Sport continued as a separate line with a Coupe and Convertible and 119,300 were sold, of which only 900 had 6-cylinder engines.
Base engines were a 155 bhp six and 195 bhp 283 cid V-8. There were seven engines offered and options included a 220 bhp L77 V-8 ($37), 275 bhp, 327 cid L30 V-8 ($93), 325 bhp, 396 cid L35 V-8 ($158), 390 bhp 427 cid L36 V-8 ($181) and a 425 bhp 427 cid L72 V-8 ($312).
The 396 V-8 evolved into the 427 by November of 1965 and that was the engine sought by Impala Super Sport performance fans. The 390 bhp L36 engine had 10.25:1 compression, a four-barrel carburetor and hydraulic lifters, while the L72 sported 11:1 compression and solid lifters. Only 3,287 full-size Chevy buyers plunked down $181 for the L36 and a mere 1,858 bought the L72 engine. Fitted with a 390 bhp 427 cid V-8, a ’66 Chevy Impala Super Sport hardtop turned 0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds and a quarter in in 15.5 seconds at around 96 mph.
A heavy-duty floor shift 3-speed was the base gearbox for the big-block cars and floor shifts came with bucket seats. The Powerglide automatic transmission cost $195 with the 283, 327 and 396 V-8s. The 3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic was available with the 396 and 390 bhp 427 engines and cost $226. A 4-speed manual gearbox cost $184, and a close-ratio M22 version was available with the 396 and 427 V-8s for $237.
Conventional luxury options included air conditioning ($364), special instrumentation ($79), tinted glass ($37), power brakes ($42), power steering ($95), power windows ($100), and four-way power seat ($70). AM/FM stereo cost $239, a tachometer was $48 with a V-8, and a vinyl roof cost $79.
The Chevrolet Impala was offered in 15 exterior colors and eight two-tones. They were Tuxedo Black (AA), Ermine White (CC), Mist Blue (DD), Danube Blue (EE), Marina Blue (FF), Willow Green (HH), Artesian Turquoise (KK), Tropic Turquoise (LL), Aztec Bronze (MM), Madeira Maroon (NN), Regal Red (RR), Sandalwood Tan (TT), Cameo Beige (VV), Chateau Slate (WW), Lemonwood Yellow (YY).
Two-tone color combinations included (top color first) Ermine White/Mist Blue, Ermine White/Willow Green, Ermine White/Artesian Turquoise, Tuxedo Black/Madeira Maroon, Tuxedo Black/Chateau Slate, Danube Blue/Mist Blue, Cameo Beige/Sandalwood, Tan Artesian Turquoise/Ermine White.
Interior colors were Black, White, Blue, Green, Red, Fawn, Aqua, and Gold. Impala and Super Sport convertible tops were normally black or white, and color keyed interiors were a mix of cloth and vinyl, or vinyl in the case of Super Sports and Impala hardtops. Vinyl roofs were typically Black, White, Green or Tan.