66 Chevelle Information
On the left you will find links to information related to the 1966 Chevelle Malibu and Super Sport. Some of the information presented here is General Information which was aquired online, other information presented here was discovered during the restoration of my own 66 SS Chevelle. The information here is presented as reference only and your may wish to check other sources prior to using the information presented on these pages.
History of the Chevy Chevelle
1964 marked the first year for the Chevelle. It was a mid-size car to fill the gap between the Chevy II / Nova and the much larger full size Impala. The Chevelle dubuted with many modles to choose from. Models included an SS, Malibu, a 300, a convertable and two and four door station wagons. These were full perimeter frame vehicles with 115" wheelbase. Engine options consisted of six and eight cylinders. The six cylinder engines were a 194 and 230 cubic inch inline engine. Two different 283 cubic inch V8 engines as well as three different 327 cubic inch V8 engines were available. The 327 engines came in a 250 or 300 horsepower version.
The Chevelle body remained basically the same for the 1965 model year. Slight changes in grill, nose, and tail lights comprise the noticable differences. 1965 also featured the introduction of the 396 Big Block. L37 was the Regular Production Option code for this 375 horsepower rat motor. However, the only way to get this engine was to order the Z16 Option Package. In addition, the same six cylinder engines were available. The small block 327 had a 250 and 300 horsepower version. The most horsepower available was 350. That engine did not appear until late in the model year.
Many changes to the body including roof, fenders, grill, lights and others lend the longer, stouter look of the 1966 Chevelle. Rear window treatment now used a window that was set "in", giving the rear roof pillar a more aerodynamic appearance. The same engines were offered and the big block was available in 325, 360, and 375 horsepower versions. Also in 1966, all Chevelle Super Sports had a big block engine. No small block was available with the SS package.
1967 remained mostly unchanged with only minor differences to the front and rear end styling. Engine choices now include a 230 cubic inch and 250 cubic inch inline six cylinder, a 283 cubic inch V8, and a 275 and 325 horsepower 327 cubic inch V8. The big block now came in a 325, 350, or 375 horsepower version.
A major restyling was in the works for the 1968 model year. The body nolonger had the square, boxy look of the earlier Chevelles. The body was now rounded and used a long hood, short deck layout. The wheel base was reduced to 112" for the two doors and was 116" for the four doors. A change in VIN location made it visible on the dash through the lower left corner of the windshield for the first time. Engine choices included the same six cylinders and the same big blocks, but, the small blocks were slightly different. The 327 choices remained unchanged but the 283 was replaced by the 200 horsepower 307 cubic inch small block.
1969 shared the same body style as teh prior year with only front and rear changes to bumpers and lighting. Six cylinder engines again remained as well as the 307 V8. The 350 cubic inch V8 was available in two horsepower versions: 250 and 300. The difference was due to two and four barrel carburetors. The big block was available in 325, 350, and 375 horsepower versions. Although the big block was still namned 396, displacement was actually increased late in the model year to 402 cubic inches. Chevrolet spent large sums of money in the 1960"s to promote and advertise the 396 and because of this, it opted to retain the 396 name.
1970 marked some changes that made this vehicle the most unique among Chevelles. The 1964 and 1965 body styles were similar as well as there respective front and rear ends. The same held true for 1966 and 1967, 1968 and 1969, and 1971 and 1972. 1970, however, was teh only vehicle that had four headlights, two on each side, and a straight vertical grill that did not have a rearward sloping angle. Tail light treatment was unique in that the lights were square and mounted in the bumper. Previous years were mounted in the body panels and succeeding years were mounted in the bumper but used two round lenses. Small block and big block engine choices remained similar. However, the 325 horsepower version 396 was no longer available and now the 350 horsepower was standard in the SS. In addition, there was the newest Mark IV, one of the most respected and revered engines of all times. The legendary LS6! It was a 454 cubic inch big block V8 that utilized a Holly carburetor, aluminum high-rise intake, solid lifter camshaft, and a compression ratio of 11.25:1. This ground pounding big block put out 450 horsepower and an unruly 500 lb./ ft. torque. According to test runs by Car Craft Magazine in that era, the best quarter mile e.t.'s they ran in an LS6 '70 Chevelle was 13.12 seconds at 107 + miles per hour. Only about 4,475 LS6 equipped Chevelles were produced for 1970.
In 1971, minor changes were done to the front and rear lighting. Headlights went from the four light system to only two lights, concealing the high / low beams into one glass bulb. Tail lights were also changed from two square lenses in the bumber to four rounded lenses in the bumper. Engines included a 250 cubic inch inline six cylinder, a 307 cubic inch small block V8, two 350 small blocks, and three big blocks. The smallest of the big blocks was the LS3, a 300 horsepower 402 cubic inch engine. 454 big blocks included the LS5 which was 365 horsepower and the LS6 which was detuned to 425 horsepower. Introduction of the youth oriented "Heavy Chevy" brought about a coupe which could be ordered with any V8 except the 454. Special badging marked this vehicle on the two front fenders, deck lid, and hood, as well as a stripe running the length of the vehicle. Decals were available in black or white only. The SS packege could now, for the first time, be ordered with a small block V8 power plant.
Again, only minimal change differentiate the 1972 Chevelle from the 1971. Front end changes include grill and turn signals. 1972 finalized production of the short, round body that started in 1968. Engine choices changed quite significantly due to various reasons, mainly being that of emissions and fuel economy requirements. The same six cylinder was available. Horsepower ratings for the small block V8 engines decreased. The 402's horsepower went down to 240 and the 454 was only available in one version, the LS5 which put out 270 horsepower. In general, 1972 is considered by most the last year of the true muscle car.
Chevelle Production Numbers
"If the competition had one like this one, we'd have a lot more competition"