1966 Corvette Sting Ray 427 / Photos, Specs, Styling, Performance

Featured here is a sleek 1966 Chevy Corvette Sting Ray with a 427 Turbo-Jet engine. This was Corvette’s first year with an option for the 427 cubic inch V-8 Turbo-Jet engine. The 427 engine in a Corvette was a big departure from what General Motors management had previously stated… “that no car line smaller than a full-size model would carry an engine larger than 400 cubic inches”. This decision change from management was likely due to the Carroll Shelby Cobra which was delivering big muscle car power.

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1966 Corvette Sting Ray 427

The Corvette debuted in January 1953 at the GM Motorama. Based on it’s overwhelming acceptance at the Motorama it didn’t take GM long at all to put the new model into production.

The C2 Corvette

The C2 generation of the Chevrolet Corvette was produced between 1962 and 1967. The second generation was popularly known as the Corvette Sting Ray.

The new C2  for the 1963 model year was designed by Larry Shinoda and Pete Brock under the direction of General Motors head stylist Bill Mitchell. Mitchell had succeeded GM’s legendary designer Harley Earl who is considered by most as the Father of the Corvette. It is said that Earl drew his inspiration for the Corvette from the MG’s.

As engines are concerned, the 427 was one of the largest engines ever included in a Chevrolet Corvette. The 427 was produced in small numbers in 1963 but it was mass produced in Corvettes and Chevy Camaro’s beginnning in 1966 and 1967.

The aluminum head big 427 V-8, being conservatively rated at 435 horsepower was in actuality 500 plus HP area. This was likely an effort to try to keep insurance companies from getting nervous. The 427 V-8 option price tag of $368.65 might be one reason only sixteen Corvette buyers ordered one.

1966 Corvette Sting Ray Styling

In general there were very little styling changes from 1965 to 1966. The Sting Ray front had an egg crate grille insert that took the place of 1965 horizontal bars.

In addition there were restyled rocker trim and wheel covers. The 1966 Corvette’s interior was basically the same as the previous year.

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1966 Corvette Stingray Specifications

The 1966 Chevy Corvette offered a choice of four engines. There were two configurations for the 327 cubic inch V-8 and two configurations for the 427 cubic inch V-8.

The 327’s offered 300 and 350 Horsepower and the 427’s offered 390 and 425 horsepower. In regards to the 427’s, in the mid 1960’s horsepower was often understated and in actuality both 427 configurations probably put out about 25 more horsepower than advertised.

Transmissions are three speed manuals and four speed manuals. Optional was a 2 speed Powerglide automatic.

Standard brakes are four wheel hydraulic discs with power brakes also available.

Front suspension includes coil springs, a stabilizer bar and shocks. Rear suspension includes leaf springs and shocks.

Dimensions include 176.1 inch overall outside length, 98.0 inch wheelbase, height 49.8 inches.

Total 1966 Chevy Corvette production was 27,700 units. This represented about a fifteen percent increase over 1966 production.

Related Auto Museum Online articles of interest include….

1970 Chevy Corvette Stingray

1960 Chevrolet Corvette

1964 Chevy Corvette Convertible

Reference material for this article includes..The Cars of Harley Earl by author David Temple..Classic Car : The Definitive Visual History by DK..Corvette C2 Sting Ray: 1962-1967 by Tom Falconer.

corvette stingray 427

The 1966 Chevy Corvette Sting Ray Collector Car

Corvettes in general remain very popular collector automobiles. This particular 1966 Sting Ray model is extra special being the first year for the powerful 427 cubic inch V-8 in a Corvette. As mentioned, for this large V-8 to appear in the 1966 model there had to be a change in direction from GM management and there was most likely in the competition from the Carroll Shelby Ford Cobra.

To this day, 1966 through 1969 427 models continue to be some of the most coveted collector Corvettes ever built. Recent auction sale prices for the 66 Corvette Sting Ray 427 fell in a range from about $90,000 to $150,000. The models have shown steady upward prices over the last ten years.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)