1966 Chevrolet Impala Reviews

1966 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe 283ci 4bbl from North America

Model year1966
Year of manufacture1966
First year of ownership1977
Most recent year of ownership1984
Engine and transmission 283ci 4bbl Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired65000 miles
Most recent distance135000 miles

Summary:

Great car, I hope to have another one some day!

Faults:

Idler arm needed replacing when I first obtained it.

General Comments:

This was a family car bought new by my Grandmother in 1966. She wanted the "highest horsepower engine" because of all the new freeways, and was afraid of driving on them with the '59 Impala with the 6 cylinder. My Uncle and her brother-in-law talked her out of the 427/425hp engine, and got her the 283/220hp engine with the powerglide. So I knew it was taken great care of its whole history.

When I bought the car from her in 1977, my Mom had run over an old mattress at the junkyard, and the springs wrapped around the transmission and drive line, but none of it needed to be replaced. I bought the car for $300, and my Grandma bought a new 1977 Impala. The only other problem after I started driving it was the steering was loose. A bad idler arm replacement, new shocks and tires, and the car ran like new!

I wanted to go quicker (it was my first car I drag raced too) and added an Edelbrock intake and Holley carb, and headers. The Holley carb needed rebuilding every 3500 miles, so I put the Rochester back on, and it ran perfectly for the rest of the time I had it. I did get rid of the Powerglide for a TH-350, and was glad I did. It was no drag racer, but a lot of fun to cruise around in, especially on long road trips. I'd average about 15 mpg, and up to 20 on the long roadies.

The only other complaint I'd have were those interiors they had with the mesh/vinyl combo. The cloth mesh only lasted a couple of years, then was ripped. My Grandma had it all covered in vinyl to cover it all up.

I kept it as a daily driver until a crash in 1984. I was hoping to restore it, but the neighbors complained, and I had to get rid of it. It had about 135,000 miles on it by then. No problems with it at all, other than the usual rust spots (front fenders right in front of the doors at the bottom, and rear bottom quarters). Also, the brakes were starting to fade, and felt so unsafe, that I was going to switch over to the discs on all four wheels.

But it was a great car overall, and hopefully I can get another one some day. It seems like you can still get a good car and parts for a lot cheaper than other more 'popular' models.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd May, 2012

1966 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport 327 from North America

Year of manufacture1966
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 327 Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.8 / 10
Distance when acquired76000 miles
Most recent distance82000 miles
Previous carPontiac GTO

Summary:

The forgotten sixties muscle car

Faults:

Spun a Rod Bearing on the number 2 cylinder at 82,000 miles.

Rust in the Rear Quarter panels and Trunk

Poor paint.

General Comments:

Although almost indistinguishable from the 1965 when viewed from the front the 1966 Impala Super Sport possesses many distinguishable features. For instance the Grill, Fenders, Bumpers and Hood are not interchangeable from the previous year.

The '66 Impala seem to be a little more refined with smoother lines and softened edges, this with the integrated square tail lights instead of the trade mark "six round lights" gives the 1966 a more "Muscle Car" look.

My 1966 Impala is a factory Super Sport with the correct L30 327-cubic inch 275-horse power Small Block Chevy. It came with the original Thermo-Quad Carburetor, Stock Air Cleaner and Valve Covers.

The rest of the drive train consists of the original 2 Speed Powerglide Transmission and 10-bolt (8.2 inch ring gear) Positraction rear differential. The car even sports the original Super Sport hubcaps.

Upon closer examination the car was originally Yellow, currently repainted red, with a Parchment (White) interior, and as with all SS models it had the bucket interior with a console mounted shifter, the rare bench SS vehicles do exist as special order.

Outside of the paint the only other non-original item I can find are the seats. The seats currently in the car are from a 1965 SS Impala, this seems to be a common conversion the 65 seat are a slightly wider than stock 66 and this is not the first time I have seen this replacement. I have been on the hunt for a usable set of 66 seats.

I have been very pleased with the power and drivability on the stock power train and the factory power steering keeps the steering light to the touch even at slow speed. The brakes are 4-wheel drum non-power assisted, but seem to do the job well enough. The 2 Speed Powerglide Transmission and the factory 3.08:1 rear ratio seem a bit sluggish off the line, but the "curse ability" is unmatched for the era.

As I stated in the "What things have gone wrong with the car?" section the 327ci engine spun a number 2 rod bearing. The damage to the crankshaft is unrepairable so it may be time for an upgrade. I have a 1968 Corvette L68 427-cubic inch 400-horse power Big Block Chevy that I think will look very good under the hood. I have access to a 1969 Impala station wagon with Power Disk Brakes, Turbo 400 Transmission and 12-bolt (8.75 inch ring gear) rear differential that should transfer over to the 1966 chassis. Little known fact is the 427 was available in the Corvette and full size models beginning in the 1966 model year.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th February, 2003

1st Mar 2008, 21:06

I have one, but it's currently sitting under a tarp at the farm, and when I get the money I will restore, but until then it's saving every loose penny I have, and if the frame is bad (a common problem with them), I may just put the motor into something else while I work on the body and frame.

Average review marks: 7.2 / 10, based on 5 reviews