1966 Corvette Stingray Overview
By 1966, the Corvette “Stingray” became a major player in the American performance car market. The influx of high performance muscle cars began to affect the Corvette’s sales, so in 1966, Chevy brought out the 427 Corvette to replace the 396 cubic inch big block offered in 1965. Using a 427 cubic inch big block engine, the 1966 Corvette offered an advertised 390 (L36) or 425 (L72) horsepower depending on the package chosen. The base model engine was a 327ci making 300 horsepower and another 327 with 350 horsepower was optional.
The 427-equipped Corvettes in 1966 offered a unique bulging hood to make room for the massive engine; a feature that would continue into 1967 and the 427 hood has become a well recognized feature of the big block Corvettes.
There were 27,720 Corvettes sold in 1966 and the base price was $4,084 (this can vary depending on location). The 350 horsepower variant of the 327 raised the price $105.35 where the 427 options cost $181.20 and $312.85. It doesn’t seem like a big price increase, but by today’s standards that would be in the area of a four thousand dollar engine option.
There were very few cosmetic changes for the 1966 Corvette inside and out but the 1966 Corvette was the first to come with standard headrests. Other than that, 1966 was a very calm year as it was intended to be the final year for the C2 generation of the model.