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Desert Classics ... 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray 427 Roadster For Sale

This very scare 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray roadster is an all-original car with matching numbers L-72 427 CID/425 HP motor, close ratio 4 speed manual transmission and 4.11:1 posi-traction differential.This motor option includes the power bulge hood and heavy duty suspension package. The car has two tops, side pipes, correct knock-off wheels and teak steering wheel. The wheel well inner ribs have been shaved to accommodate larger tires. The car needs stainless calipers installed. The original cast-iron calipers leak and it currently has no brakes.The interior is all original black. Only the driver's seat bottom has been replaced. This is a Corvette collector's dream come true and an opportunity to own one of the fastest and most powerful Corvette muscle cars ever built. To receive complete details about this L-72 Corvette, please call (406) 318-0270. For sale $57,000.

1966 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray roadster L-72 425 HP 4 speed right front view
Click on photos to view larger image
1966 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray roadster L-72 425 HP 4 speed left rear view
1966 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray roadster L-72 425 HP 4 speed left dash view
1966 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray roadster L-72 425 HP 4 speed right motor view
Below is a current detailed description of the car and it's history as written by my business associate who owns the car:Most collectors get really excited about a 1967 high horsepower Corvette, but the 1966 has been my favorite mid-year big block Corvette for over 30 years now. 1966 was the last year for the gorgeous finned aluminum Kelsy-Hayes genuine knock-off wheels and the special optional genuine teak wood steering wheel. The 435 hp 427 1967 Corvette is similar in most respects mechanically except for the three carburetors.
The 396 big block engine was introduced part way through the 1965 model year and was available only as a high output engine with a single 4 barrel carburetor and solid lifters and was rated at 425 hp. Chevrolet dropped the 396 for 1966 and replaced it with the 427 engine available with a single 4-barrel carburetor and hydraulic lifters rated at 390 hp. A high output 427 with solid lifters and a single 4-barrel carburetor was also available and was initially rated at 450 hp but the rating was dropped to 425 hp shortly before my car was built in late 1965. According to the original owner who now lives in Colorado, my car came from the factory with the 425 hp sticker on the lid of the air cleaner
This very original 425 horsepower big block 1966 Corvette convertible was built in November of 1965 and still has all of it's original drive train including the high output 425 hp 427 engine, M-21 close ratio 4-speed transmission and 4.11 ratio rear axle assembly. I believe the alternator is even the original item, Bob I. of the Salt Lake City, Utah area ordered a new 1966 silver Corvette convertible with the 425 hp 427 engine, M-22 heavy duty or "rock crusher" four speed transmission and the the heavy duty brake option but it never arrived for some reason. He bought this car new from Capital Chevrolet in Salt Lake City in November of 1965 and traded his red 1961 fuel injected Corvette on it.
I called Bob I. on January 2, of this year and I have talked with him several times and he was very happy to talk to me regarding "Old Black" once again. He was into auto-cross racing in the 60's and bought this 1966 Corvette specifically for racing. He put about 40,000 miles on it over a 10 year period before selling it in 1976 so his wife could return to college. During that time he said the only problem he had with this car mechanically was breaking a couple of valve springs. He said he was lucky and never bent a valve when either spring broke. He admitted he used this car hard at times but never really abused the car and never ran the engine over the 6,500 rpm red line on the tachometer. Bob said it would do about 130 mph at 6,500 rpm due to the 4.11 gears in the rear end. He said he worked hard to get the money to buy this car and could not see destroying it like so many Corvette owners did.
Bob is now around 65 years old so he would have been only about 22 years old when he bought this car new. He had access to Firestone racing tires back then and ran 5.80 x 10 racing tires on this car. He said he had to cut the lips out of the fender wells to get those tires to fit under the fenders. Thank goodness he never flared the fenders as so many racers did back then, I never could figure out why these cars had so little tire clearance. Even Chevrolet flared the fenders on their racing versions of this car. Bob used this car mainly for SCCA A and B production racing and mentioned that the racing tires did not last very long. He said it was a fast car and he was the Class A champion for 3 or 4 years in a row.
Bob mentioned that the left front fender on this 1966 Corvette was badly damaged after he quit racing the car and was replaced with a new fender. That is why that fender is the only fender that does not have the inner lip cup out. Bob also mentioned having used Valvoline racing oil in this engine. He was proud of the braided stainless steel heater hoses that he installed many years ago but I could not stand them so I removed them right after I bought this car. He soldered fittings to the heater core pipes and they will need to be melted loose before the correct rubber heater hoses can be installed.
Bob sold this car in about 1976 to Paul A. who also lived in the Salt Lake City area.
Paul sold this car to George T of the Salt Lake City area in about 1978. George repainted it the original black color, replaced the insert in the driver's seat bottom cushion, installed new radial tires on Corvette steel wheels and placed an ad in Vette Vies Magazine. I looked at this car while flying through Salt Lake City on business in late 1978. Vern Cornell and I flew down there in February of 1979 and drove it home through West Yellowstone, Montana on some very icy roads but had no problems other than having to add oil often.
I purchased this car from the following ad that was in the January 1979 issue of Vetted Vues Magazine:
"For Sale: Mint 1966 Corvette roadster, 427 - 425 hp, PA, side pipes, F-41 suspension, knock-offs, transistorized ignition, 59,000 miles, original black on black with excellent new black lacquer, excellent original interior"
The bad news from Bob that evening was that this car has had extensive body repairs done to the back of the body. Bob mentioned that he was driving it late one rainy night in the Salt Lake City area and that someone driving a Rambler sedan rear ended him at a stop light. He mentioned that the front bumper of the Rambler went under the tapered rear bumperettes on the Corvette and lifted the back of the Corvette off of the ground. The back of the body was badly broken up and there were cracks in the fiberglass side panels up to about the center of the rear wheel wells. The door posts were not damaged and the doors still opened and closed fine. Bob mentioned that the rear of the frame was not seriously damaged but that he remembered that one brace or something was slightly bent and was straightened.
Both doors seem to fit the body fine and have the proper gaps around them as they should. The convertible top lid also seems to fit fine. The only obvious alignment problem that I am aware of is that the upper rear corner of the left door window hits the chrome molding on the hard top if the window is all of the way up when closing the door. By leaving that window down about 1/4", the door closes fine. The front of the left vent window frame has a gap about 1/8" wider at the top than at the bottom where it fits against the back of the windshield frame. If the entire door vent window and side window assembly can be very slightly rotated counter-clockwise to make that gap even, that would fix the window to hard top interference problem. I always assumed that the hard top could be adjusted back about 1/8" or so on the driver's side to fix that problem but I never bothered to try to adjust it. The right door fits fine and the right window fits the opening in the hard top fine.
Through the years, I have considered finding a low horsepower 1965 or 1966 Corvette convertible with a nice body and non-original engine and using it as a donor car for this restoration project. Other than a considerable amount of time required to swap bodies, this option would not be very expensive because one could sell the other car with this body on it. The main problem with this approach is the questionable ethics involved with such a swap and the fact that VIN number tags would need to be swapped and that is somewhat frowned on by most state law enforcement departments.
As I recall, according to Bob, this car was originally shipped from the factory with the following luxury and performance options:RPO# Description Qty Built Price19467 Base Corvette Convertible 17,762 64.1 4,084.00
19437 Base Corvette Coupe 9,958 35.9 4,295.00
Total 1966 Corvettes Produced 27,720
C07 Auxiliary Hardtop 8,463 47.7 231.75F41 Special Heavy Duty Suspension 2,705 9.8 36.90G81 Positraction 4.11 Rear Axle 24,056 86.8 42.15K66 Transistor Ignition 7,146 25.8 73.75L72 427ci 450/425 HP Engine 5,258 19.0 312.85M21 4 Speed Close Ratio Transmission 13,903 50.0 184.35N14 Side Mount Exhaust System 3,617 13.1 131.65P05 Cast Aluminum Knock-Off Wheels 1,194 4.3 316.00U69 AM-FM Radio 26,363 95.1 191.10Total List Price $5,604.50This was not a cheap Corvette and was pretty much a performance only car with no luxury options other than a radio, heater and hardtop. I believe this is how the majority of the high horsepower Corvettes were originally ordered and shipped from the factory. I would bet that very few high horsepower Corvettes were ever shipped with leather seats, power windows, headrests, telescoping steering column or the teakwood steering wheel options.
This car is equipped with 4.11 Posi-traction rear axle gears and a black convertible top which is the original top. It is in good condition as I recall but is shrunk a bit and needs to be in the hot sun for a while to stretch it back into shape. As I recall, the rear window is very yellow and needs to be replaced. One or more of the brake calipers were leaking a bit in 1979 so they very likely are really in need of being sleeved or replaced now.
This car never ran very well at higher rpms (over approximately 3500 rpm or so) ever since I bought it over 30 years ago. Since the brakes were leaking when I bought this car and I never fixed them, I never drove this car very much. I managed to take if for a short drive up the canyon and back every year or so until I placed it on loan with the Old Prison Museum in Deer Lodge, Montana about 8 years ago. I brought it back home last spring and changed the oil and it fired right up with no problems. I had been very careful to run it on avaition gas after I bought it and usually ran it out of gas when I parked it so there were no fuel system problems at all. The car still misses above 3500 rpm or so and I attribute that problem to the transistor igniton amplifier which was known to be troublesome when these cars were new. The transistor ignition option was required with the 425 hp high performance 427 engine option. This engine had great compression when I checked it last spring. I also installed new spark plug wires at that time but that did not seem to help the miss at all. I have an NOS distributor shield and cover and the original spark plug wires with the braided stainless steel covers on them. I do not have the 8 original shields that go around each of the spark plugs.
The speedometer odometers on the 1963-1967 Corvettes are notorious for not working very long but the odometer on this car still works and shows 72,904 miles which I believe are original. The tachometer was noisy when I moved this car last year so I unhooked the tachometer drive cable from the distributor. The headlamp doors seem to fit well indicating no serious front body damage and still worked the last time I tried them. The horn clicks but does not sound so something is wrong with the relay or horns. The engine leaked about 7 quarts of oil on the way home from Salt Lake City in 1979 because the seal at the back of the intake manifold was mostly missing. The original aluminum intake manifold had a broken and welded ear when I bought this car. I bought another correct intake manifold and installed it and a new set of intake manifold gaskets and that stopped the oil leak problem. I did not replace the valve cover gaskets when I adjusted the hydraulic lifters last spring and there is a considerable oil leak out of the left valve cover that I have not fixed yet.
The car drove fine on the way home from Salt Lake City with no apparent engine, transmission or rear end noises or problems other than the above mentioned oil leak. I am sure I never drove this car more than 200 miles or so in the 30 years that I have owned it. I removed the hard top once and never used the original black convertible top because the rear window is a bit cloudy and the top has shrunk enough so that it will not latch to the top lid. Perhaps some time in the hot sun with some tension on the top will fix it. This car has an excellent frame with no rust problems at all. The Corvettes of this vintage from back east are so notorious for frame rust problems that a company has tooled up and is now building new frames for Corvettes of this vintage.
This car is still very presentable but is not a show winner. The paint is good but has some spider webs at the back of the hood and some small spider webs in the center of the hard top. Both of the original door panels are still very nice except for the typical 1-1/2" or so long bubble on the inner part of both of the arm rests. George spray dyed the original black carpets black before I bought this car to make them look fresher. They still look very good with only minimal wear under the pedals on the driver's side. Both of the dash pads are excellent and have no damage at all. The vinyl head liner in the hard top is coming loose where it was originally glued to the under side of the hard top. I would estimate that it has dropped down about 1" from where it originally was. The bumpers are very nice with only a few minimal very light scratches and have no dents or rust anywhere. The original grill is excellent and is not pitted at all. The door handles and all of the external emblems are still very nice too. The tail light housings have the typical light pitting on the underside of the upper parts of them. The original wood grained plastic steering wheel is in excellent condition with no cracks or problems. The plexi-glass rear window in the hardtop has a few minor scuffs on the outside surface that may be able to be polished out. The original power antenna has never worked since I bought this car.
I have several photos available that show the date code and the stampings on the engine block as well as the part numbers and date codes of many of the important parts of this car. They include the following:
VIN Number 194676S106166
Body Tag Numbers:
Build Date C18 = October 18, 1965
Body Serial Number S1952 = #1952 Convertible built in St. Louis
Trim Std. = Black Vinyl
Paint 900AA = Black Upper & Black Lower
Engine Block Numbers:
Casting Number I have not found it yet
Casting Date J 15 5 = October 15, 1965
Stamped ID Number T1105IP T = Assembled in Tonawanda, NY
1105 = Asssembled November 5, 1965
IP = 425 hp 427 & Close Ratio 4 Speed
Enigne Cylinder Heads - Both
Casting Number and ID 3873858 with HIPERF
Casting Date I 30 5 (eye thirty five) = September 30, 1965
Ignition Distributor - early 1969 435hp 427 (installed by 2nd or 3rd owner)
Part Number 110696 42 Amp
Stamped Date Code 5 K 7 = 1965 October 7
Part Number 880853 on metal tag under bolt head
Stamped VIN Number 6S106166
Differential I don't have numbers but know it is original 4:11
Radiator I don't have and likely will not tear apart to get
Windshield Glass Replacement - not tinted or shaded
Door Window Glass - Left AS-2 AJ M-51 September 1965
Door Window Glass - Right AS-2 YJ M-51 Don't Know Yet
Door Vent Window Glass - Left AS-2 AJ M-51 September 1965
Door Vent Window Glass - Right AS-2 JJ M-51 May 1965