Image credits: © Chevrolet. GM Corp

1966 Chevrolet Impala Series

The Chevrolet Impala was introduced in 1958 and, with the exception of a brief interlude in the late 1980s, is still one of General Motors' flagship cars. It was named after the South African animal that can leap more than ten feet in a single bound, and combined both glamour and performance as Chevrolet's full-size car. The versatile vehicle was available as a sedan, hard top, convertible, and even a wagon. Several V-8 engine options were also available and, despite its large size, the Impala had surprising performance. For many years, the Impala was distinguished by its symmetrical triple taillights.

Chevrolet augmented its small block V8 models with a new big block, the 'W series' 348 cubic inch engine in 1958. Offered in three different stages of tune, the most powerful 'Turbo-Thrust' configuration offered 315 horsepower with 11.0 to 1 compression when fed by three dual-venturi carburetors. A few years later, in 1961, it was enlarged to 409 cubic-inches, immortalized by the Beach Boys in their hit record of that name. In 1963, a 427 cubic-inch version was created for drag racing, but production was very limited. Around this time, work had begun on a 'mystery motor.' It was released for production in mid-1965 as a modified version of the 'W' engine, named the 'Mark IV' but referred to in sales literature as 'Turbo-Jet.' The smallest Mark IV was the 366 cubic-inch version found in the trucks. A 396 cubic inch version was introduced in Chevelles and Corvettes, and later offered in full-size Chevys, Novas, Camaros and the Monte Carlo. It grew even larger for 1966, its displacement reaching 427 cubic-inches, and offered in full-size cars and Corvettes. Designated as option code L36, it made 390 bhp with a four-barrel and 10.25 to 1 compression. With solid lifters, a more aggressive cam and 11.0 to 1 compression it was labeled L72 and developed 425 bhp. The L72 was available only with a manual transmission.

The fourth generation was built from 1965 through 1970. It received a total redesign which resulted in all-time industry annual sales record of more than 1 million units in the U.S., which has never been bettered. All new full-size Chevys eschewed the 'X' frame for a full-width perimeter frame. The new body design featured curved, frameless side glass (for pillarless models), sharper angled windshield with newly reshaped vent windows, and redesigned full-coil suspension. The new 1965 model designs had been done in secret by Chief Designer Irv Rybicki, whose concept was approved despite the fact that GM's board of directors had already given the green light to a previous design. It featured forward-leaning front-end treatment, prominent rear-fender rise, curved side glass and sharp wraparound character line that proved very popular, resulting in only minor revisions for 1966.

The Super Sport was once again a separate Impala model offered in convertible and two-door coupe form. The signature Super Sport logo was relocated to the front fenders and distinctive SS badges were added to the grille and trunk lid. There was an exterior belt-line trim strip, and 3-bar spinner full wheel covers. Super Sport interiors were well appointed with thin-shell Strato bucket seats, a full-length console and an SS badge on the glovebox door. The Super Sport option was available on all V-8-powered Impalas, but they are rare since many of the Chevrolet performance-minded buyers were opting for intermediate-sized muscle cars like the Chevelle SS396 or the sports-car Corvette 427.

The Caprice was introduced as a top-line Impala Sport Sedan for the 1965 model year becoming a separate series positioned above the Impala in 1966, which itself remained above the Bel Air and Biscayne. Caprices received unique tufted upholstery, wood grained accents on the dashboard and specialty pulls on the insides of the doors.

The Impala was Chevrolet's most popular model in 1966, with more than 650,000 sold. Most had small-block V8 engines. The Impala continued as Chevrolet's most popular full-size model through the mid-1980s.


by Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2019

Related Reading : Chevrolet Impala History

Noted as one of Chevrolets most historic vehicles, the Impala has been an American legend for decades. Setting a standard in comfort and value, the Impala seemed to set the bar for the American muscle car. A full-size sedan built by the Chevrolet division of General Motors, the Impala was introduced for the 1958 model year. The Impala was Chevrolets priciest passenger model through 1965 and became....
Continue Reading >>

Related Reading : Chevrolet Impala History

Considered to be ‘the best selling full-size car in the U.S., in 1960 the Chevy Impala was designed and built by the Chevrolet division of General Motors. Originating as a sports coupe, the Impala began as a dreamcar for the 1956 General Motors Motorama. The name Impala originated from a southern African antelope known for its speed and prowess. Introduced in 1958, the Impala was developed by....
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1966 Vehicle Profiles

1966 Chevrolet Impala Series vehicle information

Super Sport Series 68 V8 Convertible

The Chevrolet Impala, introduced in 1958, became one of the most popular and recognized nameplates in history, and America's best-selling automobile. It was called the 'prestige car within the reach of the average American citizen by Chevrolet Chief ....[continue reading]

1966 Chevrolet Impala Series vehicle information

Series 64 V8 Convertible

Chassis Num: 164676Y224385

This 1966 Chevrolet Impala wears an older frame-up restoration with a freshly rebuilt 327 cubic-inch V8 engine mated to an automatic transmission. It has a new black convertible top, new dual exhaust, new custom chrome wheels and tires, and an upgrad....[continue reading]

Super Sport Series 68 V8 Convertible
 
Series 64 V8 Convertible
Chassis #: 164676Y224385 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1966 Impala Series
$3,200-$31,400
1966 Chevrolet Impala Series Price Range: $2,700 - $3,200

$2,480 - $2,950

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Chevrolet
1971Ford (2,054,351)Chevrolet (1,830,319)Volkswagen (1,128,784)1,830,319
1970Ford (2,096,184)Chevrolet (1,451,305)Volkswagen (1,193,853)1,451,305
1969Chevrolet (2,092,947)Ford (1,826,777)Volkswagen (1,241,580)2,092,947
1968Chevrolet (2,139,290)Ford (1,753,334)Volkswagen (1,191,854)2,139,290
1967Chevrolet (2,206,639)Ford (1,730,224)Toyota (1,068,321)2,206,639
1966Ford (2,212,415)Chevrolet (2,206,639)Volkswagen (1,168,146)2,206,639
1965Chevrolet (2,375,118)Ford (2,170,795)Volkswagen (1,174,687)2,375,118
1964Chevrolet (2,318,619)Ford (1,594,053)Toyota (1,068,321)2,318,619
1963Chevrolet (2,237,201)Ford (1,525,404)Fiat (957,941)2,237,201
1962Chevrolet (2,061,677)Ford (1,476,031)Fiat (957,941)2,061,677
1961Ford (1,338,790)Chevrolet (1,318,014)Volkswagen (807,488)1,318,014

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