Written by Nicole Ellan James
The 1966 Chevrolet Corvette received one very crucial change from its predecessors: the big block 427ci engine. That’s right, Chevrolet replaced the top-of-the-line 396ci engine from the 1965 model year with the 427ci engine seen under the hood of this Milano-Maroon 1966 Chevrolet Corvette 427/425 coupe, offered with No Reserve at the 2022 Houston Auction, October 20-22 at NRG Center.
This Corvette features the original matching-numbers L72 427/425hp big block V8 engine mated to its matching-numbers Muncie 4-speed manual transmission turning a posi-traction rear end. What makes this engine particularly interesting is that it’s rated with the same horsepower output as the 396ci engine it replaced, despite the larger displacement and torque ramped up from 415 ft/lbs at 4,000 rpm to 465 ft/lbs at the same rpm. This model is also equipped with power brakes, which smoothly bring that new big block to a full stop.
To contain the massive 427ci big block engine, the Corvette was equipped with the same power bulge hood as seen on the car offered in Houston and earlier C2 models with the 396ci engine, further distinguishing it from cars fitted with the 327ci engine. The behemoth engine breathes through a set of dual-side exhaust pipes. The 1966 model year Corvette is also equipped to pack a punch with a tachometer that has a 6,500 rpm redline, as opposed to earlier models that were capped with a 5,500 rpm redline.
With the engine’s dramatic increase in torque and bigger displacement, you might be wondering how the horsepower remained unchanged. These figures were released during a time of widespread skepticism around how much horsepower the engines actually produced versus what was advertised, despite automakers insisting that the advertised number was accurate. The main reason for the horsepower discrepancy was to keep insurance premiums low for car buyers, though some automakers had other reasons. General Motors, for example, had an internal policy that dictated midsize and compact models could not have more than one horsepower per 10 pounds of weight. This policy remained though 1969.
The Corvette features 427 Turbo-Jet badging and rides on 15-inch spinner wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich gold line tires for a polished look all the way to the pavement. While the exterior draws the eye of everyone it meets, the interior keeps the driver cruising in comfort. As the recipient of a professional frame-off restoration, it is equipped with black bucket seats and features electric windows, AM/FM radio and a wood steering wheel.
Along with looks and performance, this Corvette has plenty of documentation. Included with the sale are a host of restoration photos, all receipts, an owner’s guide, operating manuals and marketing brochures.
This matching-numbers Corvette is ready to take center stage with style and originality at the 2022 Houston Auction. Register to bid today to see it cross the auction block at NRG Center — it will make a great addition to any garage or collection for show or go.