1966 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible - $79,900
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This might be a great driver, but it isn’t too far removed from the show field, either.

We’ve been enjoying Corvettes long enough to know that this 1966 Corvette convertible hits all the right notes: Matching-numbers, great colors, lots of options including a hardtop, L79 engine, manual gearbox, and a very expensive restoration. There are probably cheaper Mid-Year Corvettes out there, but they won’t be a lot cheaper and when you look at all this gorgeous ragtop has to offer, you’ll quickly realize that buying one with a pedigree isn’t out of your reach. We sell quite a few of these, but this gorgeous Rally Red roadster has captured all our hearts. Cars really don’t get much better than this for all-around fun on four wheels.

According to my Corvette Black Book, the L79 Corvette was a very popular car, and for good reason. It gave up only 40 horsepower to the L36 427 yet weighed nearly 300 pounds less. That meant sharper handling and, truth be told, better acceleration. A well-driven L79 car is a genuine threat to any big block on the street, and with its agile handling, it’s really no contest once the road starts to twist and turn. Code 974 Rally Red is indeed this car’s original color, and honestly, is there any other color you’d want on your nasty little Corvette convertible? Thanks to an extremely high-quality restoration about eight years ago, it looks fantastic with every critical flaw and issue erased from its fiberglass skin. No cracking around the headlight doors, doors that fit properly, and a flush-mounted hood that stays put. The two-stage urethane paint has a fantastic shine that’s easy to maintain and there are very, very few signs that it has been driven nearly 10,000 miles. You can thank careful ownership and quality restoration work for that. You’ll also note beautifully finished chrome bumpers, crisp emblems, and new lenses throughout, so it still looks fresh. This might be a great driver, but it isn’t too far removed from the show field, either.

Inside, the “Standard” black vinyl interior was upgraded to black leather during the restoration and I think there will be few complaints. The driver’s seat might show a few comfort marks but nothing worth noting and the patterns and materials used throughout the interior are very correct. The carpets are new, the door panels are new, the dash pad fits right, and even the seat belts were re-webbed. Bright, clear gauges were all rebuilt and they all work, as does the optional AM/FM radio, which includes a power antenna on the rear deck (it works, too). The woodgrained steering wheel warms things up and the chrome shifter for the Muncie 4-speed is a Corvette trademark that looks especially good in black interiors. This car is also equipped with factory power windows, which is a rather rare upgrade on a ragtop, and in addition to the white vinyl convertible top, there’s a matching red hardtop that is unrestored but is in good shape and has been with the car since it was new. The convertible top is also recent, so it folds easily and seals up well for those emergencies when you just can’t outrun the rain.

For power, this ‘Vette carries what many consider the best of the small block V8s: the L79. With 327 cubic inches and 350 horsepower, it’s a serious over-achiever, and this is indeed the car’s original, matching-numbers engine with documentation from Bloomington Gold to prove it. It is a correct 3858174 casting and carries an HT suffix code for a 350 horsepower 4-speed engine. It also shows a matching partial VIN. It was recently (and expensively) rebuilt and runs superbly with zero issues and fantastic power. Thanks to a hydraulic cam, it’s much more user-friendly than earlier solid-lifter engines and as a result it starts quickly, idles smoothly, and pulls without any hitches in the power delivery. It’s actually pretty impressive. Lean on it too hard and those skinny little BFGoodrich tires squirm around quite a bit! It’s nicely detailed under the hood, with correct finned valve covers, a chrome open-element air cleaner, and Chevy Orange paint on the block and heads. A “Winter’s” intake manifold and a factory Holley 4-barrel carburetor help with the authenticity, and you’ll note that this car has optional power steering, which makes it extremely easy to handle. The only notable non-stock items are the exhaust headers, which lead to a set of reproduction side pipes—not part of the car’s original spec but on the options list in 1966. After all, what’s a Corvette convertible without the stereophonic sounds of side pipes?

The car is extremely clean underneath, as you’d expect from a frame-off restoration. There are almost no signs of use, which is more proof of the exceptional car this car has received, and without a full exhaust system, there’s a surprising amount of room under there. The suspension has been fully rebuilt and features new shocks, correct hardware and fittings were used throughout, and with fiberglass floors, rust is obviously not an issue. The 4-speed manual gearbox is also original to the car and shifts cleanly, while the rear end has easy-cruising 3.36 gears inside, which makes the most of the L79’s rather wide powerband. And despite what you may have heard, ride quality in a properly restored C2 Corvette is surprisingly good so no worries about using this one as intended. Handsome knock-off alloy wheels are the right choice (they’re real knock-offs, by the way) and they carry period-perfect 7.75-15 BFGoodrich redline tires.

Documentation is quite good, with the important parts being the documentation from Bloomington Gold regarding the car’s pedigree, original manuals with Protect-O-Plate, and detailed receipts for the $10,000 engine rebuild in 2015.

This is a wonderful Corvette. It drives beautifully, it looks like a million bucks, and someone has already spent a great deal of cash to get it fully sorted. It’s also got a bulletproof pedigree and paperwork to back up the fact that it’s carrying one of the most desirable engines of the period. If there’s one Corvette that does it all and does it well, this is it. Call today!

Vehicle: 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Price: $79,900
Stock Number: 115074
Mileage: 9787
VIN: 194676S101976
Engine: 327 cubic inch L79 V8
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3.36
Wheelbase: 98 inches
Wheels: 15-inch aluminum knock-off wheels
Tires: 7.75-15 BFGoodrich redline tires
Exterior Color: Rally Red
Interior Color: Black leather
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