Vintage Glory: An Unaltered 1966 Chevrolet Impala SS, an Iconic Model Striving to Preserve Its All-Original Status

1965 was a fantastic year for Chevrolet Impala. Seven years after its official launch and nine years after it smiled in front of the audience as a concept, Chevrolet Impala became the best-selling model in the United States with record sales.

The GM brand sold over 1 million Impala units in the United States, becoming the first nameplate to go that high after World War II.

The achievement made perfect sense for diehard Chevy fans. Since the first model in 1958, when Impala debuted as a Bel Air version, the car received significant changes yearly. Chevrolet tried to keep the Impala fresh and modern with every new launch while focusing more on the performance side of the car.

The debut of the SS in 1961 helped Impala increase its customer appeal, especially for customers interested in a sportier experience.

In 1963, Chevrolet reached another historic achievement. The company produced its 50 millionth vehicle, and to celebrate the moment, it invited New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller to drive an Impala SS out of the factory.

1966 Chevrolet Impala SS

The sales record achieved in 1965 generated new expectations that Impala failed to reach.

1966 already produced the first decline, and one of the reasons was a questionable strategy regarding Caprice. Chevrolet tried to make the Caprice a superstar using the same approach it used for the Impala. The car launched in 1965 as an Impala version, and one year later, it promoted the nameplate to a standalone series.

Things didn’t go exactly as planned. Impala took everybody by surprise in 1958 when it debuted as a Bel Air version, so when it graduated to a full series a year later, its sales went through the roof. Caprice had a different fate. Not only it failed to meet expectations, but it also produced a sales drop in the Impala lineup.

Chevrolet wanted the 1966 Impala to stick with the engine lineup that brought home the bacon in the previous years. The base unit was a 250 six-cylinder developing 155 horsepower, while the V8 lineup started with a 283 (4.7-liter) unit rated at 195 horsepower. The 327 (5.3-liter) and the 396 V8s served as more powerful upgrades, while the 427 (7.0-liter) was Chevrolet’s big surprise for this model year.

With a maximum power rating of 425 horsepower, the 427 was the icing on the cake, especially on an SS.

This 1966 Impala SS is a bit more boring regarding the engine under the hood, as it doesn’t feature this almighty V8. On the other hand, the original 327 in the car is still potent enough to get you from where you are to where you want to be without experiencing the lazy six-cylinder vibe.

1966 Chevrolet Impala SS

eBay seller twotonboxer does not provide too many specifics on the engine, but I wouldn’t expect it to work. The car looks like a project that’s been sitting for many years, likely under a cover, so the engine is unlikely to come in tip-top shape.

The whole car aligns with this general condition, as it seems to require the typical work for a 60-year-old classic car. The body doesn’t look that bad, though, and despite the patina, the rust doesn’t seem like it managed to go through the surface. A repaint is needed, especially if the new owner wants to return the Impala to factory specifications.

The blue-on-blue convertible still flexes a nice-looking interior, though serious work is needed in this case too.

The undersides require particular attention, but this isn’t a surprise. Cars sitting for years typically exhibit major rust problems, and the undersides are among the first parts to become a victim. The seller says the floors and the trunk need work, but it’s unclear if regular patches are enough or if the owner will have to get new panels.

1966 Chevrolet Impala SS

This 1966 Impala SS is a solid example of a classic car that collectors typically drool after. Finding a ’66 Impala isn’t hard, but a model in solid condition with an original engine isn’t that common. Unsurprisingly, the top on this Impala SS is already wrecked, but considering the car’s overall shape, this makes perfect sense.

The seller posted the car on eBay for auction, and the starting price is $13,000. The price makes perfect sense, given that this is an Impala SS with an original engine, but the car has yet to receive any bids. The no-reserve auction will expire in approximately six days, and as per the rules, whoever sends the top bid can take the vehicle home.

As always, I strongly recommend interested buyers see the Impala in person, as this is the only way to correctly determine its condition and figure out how much work it needs for a complete restoration. You’ll find this convertible in Modesto, California, and the owner says they have all parts to turn it into a daily driver

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