Big block engines dominated the Corvette
story for 1966. They first appeared in April 1965 and as such had limited exposure. 1966 extended the big block Corvette story
with the introduction of the legendary 427 cu. in. motors. They were bored and stroked versions of the 396 cu. in. 1965 motors
and were available in two flavors: 390 hp (RPO L36, $181.20) and 425 hp (RPO L72, $312.85). The extra cost for the L72 was
justified as it included four bolt mains, impact extruded aluminum pistons, a very aggressive camshaft, Holly 780 CFM carburetor
mated to a aluminum intake and a free-flowing exhaust. The K66 transistorized ignition was a mandatory option with the L72.
There are reports that the L72 actually featured more horsepower than the 450 hp that was quoted. The specifications were
downgraded to avoid undesirable backlash from safety legislation, but enthusiasts only had to read the magazine reviews to
learn what was really going on.
The Corvette script was revised to a more
vertically elongated style for 1966. During 1966 it appeared on the hood front driver's side in addition to the right rear.
Teak steering wheel was a handsome option
(RPO N32, $47.40) that was first available in 1965. Middle: As in 1965, the "Bubble" hood signified a big block was lurking
beneath. Above Right: Stylish emblem on the rear deck also functioned as a lid for fuel fill-up access.
A price of $5308.90
might seem like an amazing bargain these days, but in 1966 it was big $$$ and almost three times the price of an economy car.