1966 Corvette


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Powerful big-block V-8s made the 1966 Corvette a hit with buyers. See more sports car pictures.

For the 1966 Corvette, the big-block V-8 came in two forms: 390 bhp on 10.25:1 compression, and 425 bhp via 11:1 compression, larger intake valves, a bigger Holley four-barrel carburetor on an aluminum manifold, mechanical lifters, and four- instead of two-hole main bearing caps. Though it had no more horsepower than the previous high-compression 396, the 427 packed a lot more torque -- 460 pound/feet vs. 415. Of course, engine outputs were sometimes deliberately understated in the Sixties so as not to arouse the ire (and, subsequently the rates) of insurance companies. Here, 420 and 450 bhp would be closer to the truth.

Ordering a 427 Corvette meant you had to take it with Positraction and the close-ratio Muncie four-speed; there was no other choice. You also got an upgraded suspension, basically the same as the 396 package, as well as stouter, shot-peened halfshafts and U-joints and a higher-capacity radiator and sump.

Regardless of which axle ratio it turned, the 427 Sting Ray was an astonishing executor. With the short 4.11:1 gearing, 0-60 mph times were recorded in a nearly unbelievable 4.8 seconds, and 0-100 mph in 11.2 seconds, with a blistering top speed of 140 mph. The modest 3.36:1 ratio made things only a bit less sensational: Car and Driver reported 0-60 in 5.4 seconds and a standing quarter of 12.8 seconds at 112 mph.

With big-block V-8s being the order of the day, there was less demand for the 327, so small-block offerings were cut from five to two for 1966, and only the basic 300- and 350-bhp versions were retained. Arguably, these were still the best all-around engines. Both required premium fuel on compression ratios well over 10.0:1, and they didn't have the rocket-like thrust of the 427s, but their performance was impressive all the same. As before, both could be teamed with the Powerglide automatic, the standard three-speed manual, or either four-speed option.

1966 Corvette
Only minor cosmetic changes were made to the 1966 Corvette.

Engine choices aside, the 1966 model year dawned quietly for the Sting Ray. Its frontal appearance was mildly altered with an eggcrate grille insert to replace the previous horizontal bars, and the coupe lost its roof-mounted extractor vents, which had proven inefficient. This relative lack of change reflected plans to bring out an all-new Corvette for 1967. It certainly did not reflect a fall-off in the car's popularity, however. In fact, 1966 would prove another record-busting year, with volume rising to 27,720 units, up some 4200 over 1965's 23,562 sales.

Learn about other Corvettes in this generation:

1963 Corvette
1964 Corvette
1965 Corvette
1966 Corvette
1967 Corvette

Looking for more information on Corvettes and other cars? See:

  • Corvettes: Learn about the history behind each model year and see Corvette photographs.
  • Corvette Specifications: Get key specifications, engine and transmission types, prices, and production totals.
  • Corvette Museum: The National Corvette Museum draws Corvette lovers from all over the world. Learn more about the museum.
  • Muscle Cars: Get information on more than 100 tough-guy rides.
  • Consumer Guide Corvette Reviews: Considering a Corvette purchase? See what Consumer Guide has to say.

1966 Corvette Specifications

The 1966 Corvette Sting Ray offered a bigger big-block option, as the 396 became a 427 offering 390 bhp or a stout 425, versus 350 for the year's top 327. Here are the specifications for the 1966 Corvette Sting Ray:

1966 Corvette
1966 was the last year Corvette offered optional aluminum wheels.
 

Vehicle Specifications
Convertible
Coupe
Wheelbase, inches
98.0
98.0
Length, inches
175.2
175.2
Width, inches
69.6
69.6
Track, inches
front: 56.3 rear: 57.0
front: 56.3 rear: 57.0
Height, inches
49.8
49.8
Curb weight, pounds
3,230
3,230

Mechanical Specifications (2-door convertible/coupe)

Suspension
front: Independent; upper and lower A-arms, coil springs, antiroll bar, tubular hydraulic shock absorbers
rear: Fixed differential, U-jointed half shafts, lateral struts, radius rods, transverse leaf spring, tubular hydraulic shock absorbers, antiroll bar w/big block engines

Wheels/Tires
7.75x15

Brakes
front: 11.75-inch disc
rear: 11.75-inch disc

Transmission
3-speed manual (std)
4-speed manual (opt)
2-speed Powerglide (opt)

Standard axle ratio
3.55:1

Engine Specifications

Typeohv V-8ohv V-8ohv V-8ohv V-8
Displacement, liters/cu inch5.35/327
5.35/327 7.0/4277.0/427
Bore x stroke, inches4.00 x 3.254.00 x 3.254.25 x 3.764.25 x 3.76
Fuel Management1 x 4-bbl. 1 x 4-bbl. (AFB)
1 x 4-bbl.
1 x 4-bbl.
Horsepower @ rpm300 @ 5000350 @ 5800390 @ 5400425 @ 5600
Torque @ rpm, pound-foot360 @ 3200360 @ 3600460 @ 3600460 @ 4000

Published Performance Numbers

Acceleration
425 hp, 4-sp man.
0-60 mph, sec
5.6
0-100 mph, sec
NA
1/4-mile, sec @ mph
13.4 @ 105

Vehicle Production and Base Prices

Car Type
Production
Price
2-door convertible
17,762
$4,084.00
2-door coupe
9,9584,295.00

Options and Production

Option
Production
Price
Leather Seats
2,002
$79.00
Soft Ray Tinted Glass, all
11,859
15.80
Soft Ray Tinted Glass, windshield
9,270
10.55
Power Windows 4,562
57.95
Headrests
1,033
42.15
Shoulder Belts
37

26.35

Auxiliary Hardtop
8,463
231.75
Heater and Defroster Delete (credit)
54
97.85
Air Conditioning
3,520
412.90
Special Front and Rear Suspension
2,705
36.90
Positraction Rear Axle, all ratios
24,056
42.15
Power Brakes
5,464
42.15
Special Heavy Duty Brakes
382
342.30
Air Injection Reactor
2,380
44.75
Transistor Ignition System
7,146
73.75
390 hp Engine
5,116
181.20
425 hp Engine
5,258
312.85
350 hp Engine FI
7,591
105.35
4-speed Manual Transmission 10,837
184.35
4-speed Manual Transmission, close ratio
13,903
184.35
4-speed Manual Transmission, close ratio, heavy duty
15
237.00
Powerglide Automatic Transmission
2,401
194.85
36 Gallon Fuel Tank (coupe)
66
198.05
Off Road Exhaust System
2,795
36.90
Side Mount Exhaust System
3,617
131.65
Teakwood Steering Wheel
3,941
47.40
Teakwood Steering Column
3,670
42.15
Power Steering
5,611
94.80
Cast Aluminum Knock-Off Wheels
1,194
316.00
Whitewall Tires, 7.75 x 15 rayon 17,969
31.30
Goldwall Tires, 7.75 x 15 nylon5,557
46.55
AM/FM Radio26,363
199.10
Traffic Hazard Lamp Switch
5,764
11.60

Color Choices and Production

Color Choice
Production Color Choice
Production
Tuxedo Black1,190
Ermine White2,120
Rally Red3,366
Nassau Blue
6,100
Laguna Blue
2,054
Trophy Blue
1,463
Mosport Green
2,311
Sunfire Yellow
2,339
Silver Pearl
2,967
Milano Maroon
3,799

Learn about other Corvettes in this generation:

1963 Corvette
1964 Corvette
1965 Corvette
1966 Corvette
1967 Corvette

Looking for more information on Corvettes and other cars? See:

  • Corvettes: Learn about the history behind each model year and see Corvette photographs.
  • Corvette Specifications: Get key specifications, engine and transmission types, prices, and production totals.
  • Corvette Museum: The National Corvette Museum draws Corvette lovers from all over the world. Learn more about the museum.
  • Corvette Pictures: Find pictures of the hottest classic and current-year Corvettes.
  • Muscle Cars: Get information on more than 100 tough-guy rides.
  • Consumer Guide Corvette Reviews: Considering a Corvette purchase? See what Consumer Guide has to say.