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All-Original Barn Find: 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Hides Tons of Surprises

A 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle described by the owner as an "all-original barn find" needs a new home and a complete restoration.
1966 Chevelle barn find 24 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Craigslist
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The 1966 Chevelle production included nearly 450K units, with the SS 396 production also increasing to 72K cars.

These figures show that finding a 1966 Chevelle (or the missing parts for a project) shouldn't be too difficult, making a restoration more convenient.

However, the 1966 Chevelle that landed on Craigslist earlier this week promises the perfect restoration package, as the car doesn't exhibit any concerning problems. It checks most boxes for an easy restoration candidate, coming with all original parts and zero rust problems.

The photos confirm that the Chevelle still sports a solid body, with the floors seemingly clean. It's hard to tell if it has already received metalwork, but you should put the car on a lift and ask more questions. The body is straight, still wearing the original paint, though collectors would want a full respray if their goal is a perfect ten condition.

The engine under the hood is a 283 V8, and the owner explains that the transmission slips in reverse. No other specifics were shared, but considering it's an all-original Chevelle, we should assume the mill is the one installed by Chevrolet before the car left the assembly plant.

The 1966 Chevelle could be had with a choice of two Turbo-Thrift six-cylinder units. The laziest configuration was a 194ci unit with 120 horsepower, but most Chevelle customers who didn't want a V8 engine picked the 230ci with 140 horsepower. The 283 was offered in two versions: 195 and 220 horsepower.

The 327 small-block unit was rated at 275 horsepower and offered a well-balanced mix of performance, economy, and costs. However, the icing on the Chevelle cake was the SS396 engine lineup, which included the L35, the L34, and the L78. The top option was the L78 with 375 horsepower.

All signs suggest this Chevelle could become a fancy daily driver with the right restoration. However, the next buyer could also turn it into a collectible if the focus is on retaining the factory specifications. Considering everything is still original, this objective is doable, as finding an unrestored Malibu doesn't happen daily.

The price makes sense, given all of the above. The owner believes $22K is a fair price, and it could be if everything is as advertised. However, the best way to determine if the Chevelle is the real deal is to check it out in person or order a third-party inspection. You can find the car in Vacaville, but it's unclear if you can drive it home on its wheel or need a trailer. The latter option is the better choice, as the car doesn't seem prepared for a long trip.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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