1966 Chevrolet Impala: Forgotten Classic Swaps Original Big-Block for an Upgrade

1965 was a historic year for the Impala, as its sales went through the roof, becoming the first car in the US to sell over 1 million units in one year.

Naturally, everybody expected the Impala to sell strongly in the remainder of the decade, especially as Chevrolet was committed to delivering worthy yearly refreshes.
And it did, with the 1966 model year still seeing solid sales despite the Impala failing to beat the previous year’s record. Substantial changes in the lineup, such as the Caprice gaining series status and therefore eating up Impala’s sales, led to lower figures for the year.
A 1966 Impala convertible sitting for decades is here to prove that this model year was still worth your love and money. It’s been a part of the same family since the early ’80s, with the owner claiming it “hasn’t been touched since then.”

The vehicle has also spent approximately two decades in storage. It was initially parked in a garage for over 15 years, but the owner moved it under a carport, where it spent six more years.

Unsurprisingly, it comes with rust in all the usual places, including the floors. However, seller mrdonkey2u says the trunk is solid, and you’ll find two holes in the front floorboards.
I won’t comment too much on what the eyes can see, especially as the Impala convertible is still solid and doesn’t seem to lack anything important, so let’s focus on what’s under the hood.
The Impala rolled off the assembly lines with a 396 big-block unit under the hood, but the original engine is long gone. It’s probably when most people would walk away, but the car now comes with something even better, as the owner installed a 454 big-block V8 to offer an even more thrilling ride. Unfortunately, it’s unclear if the engine starts and runs, but I think it does, mainly because it’s an engine swap, and the car’s condition is good.
The Impala retains the original 396 tags, so if you want to restore it to factory specifications, you must first find the correct engine because everything else is there.

The selling price is a mystery, as the owner listed the car on eBay as part of a reserve auction. The digital battle begins at $8,000, but they also enabled a reserve, so the selling price is likely much higher. However, with less than a day remaining until the auction ends, the Impala will likely fail to find a new home this time, likely due to the ambitious price. The 454 is a massive upgrade, but the car is still a project, and dealing with all issues costs money.

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