Corvette History Through Ads: No Replacement for Displacement
by Rick Tavel
It remains true even today, ?With 427 cubic inches, who needs adjectives?? I thought it only appropriate to look at another 1966 Corvette ad to follow up on last week’s ?error ad.? Last week the advertisement stated that the Corvette had a 427 cubic inch engine and that engine required a different hood than the base 327 hood pictured in the ad. When the ad was shot the photographer was unaware and the ad agency did not specify the engine size, so GM supplied a 327 car without the new 427 hood style. That is the error in last week’s ad, either the hood pictured or the engine is incorrect.
Moving on however, 1966 was an important year for Corvette for several reasons, mostly performance related. It was the first year for the vaunted 427 cubic inch engine, a $312 option. This engine was originally listed as having 450 HP and then relisted as having 425 HP. Reportedly, this was done to help allay insurance concerns. This was also the first year for the venerable M22 Muncie ?rock crusher? four speed as a regular production option. Even though the ?rock crusher? heavy-duty, close ratio transmission cost a whopping $53 more than the base four speed, amazingly, only fifteen customers chose this option while 5528 customers chose the big engine. Looking back, I am sure most customers would gladly have paid the $53 to have the venerable M22.
This was also the first year for controversy concerning the tail lights on a Corvette. In 1966, reverse lights became standard and the designers decided to change the two inboard brake lights to clear back-up lights. Customer uproar over this move caused designers to move the reverse lights above the license plate indention in the rear fascia and bring back the four red tail lamps, in 1967. You might have thought that today’s designers would have learned a lesson from that controversy.
Congratulations to the first five to correctly identify the error in last week’s advertisement. In order they are: 1.Tally Ho 2.KyBilt 3. Ty O’Neal 4. WSAugenstein 5. Orange Crush’r