Seattle has a large population of driving restoration projects as may be evident by the number of “in progress” cars I seem to find Street Parked. This handsome, ready to be painted, sedan is a 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle. The Chevelle nameplate was used on a wide variety of midsize Chevrolets, from coupes, to station wagons, to convertibles, and the legendary SS396 muscle car. The 1966 Chevelles are favorites of mine because they have a cool shark nose style.
This is a family car and look at the aggressive, leaned forward grill treatment they’ve given it. This has always attracted me to these Chevelles. The earlier cars had a more upright, sedate grill. The later cars seemed to get bigger and more exaggerated features. I think the ’66 was the sweet spot for Chevelle design.
The 1966 introduced the Chevelle’s “Coke bottle” bottle body style. You can see the subtle shoulder that appears on the back doors. That rear weighting is carried by the trailing edges of the rear fenders being farther back than the back panel of the trunk. It’s a cool look that I think gives the car a light and nimble look. I say “nimble” with a bit of tongue in cheek, this heavy sedan is not a sports car by any means. It does look sleek though, doesn’t it?
As with all Chevrolets of the time, this car could be had with engines ranging from sedate economy mills, to overpowered ax-murderers celebrating smoking tires. Those buyers concerned with fuel economy could choose a 3.2 liter straight six. Buyers who wanted accelerative fun times could choose from three eight cylinder engines, including the 6.5 liter, 375 horsepower monster big block 396.
These are family cars, meant to cart up to six people around in relative comfort on front and rear bench seats. Buyers could add some frill features to their Chevelles, such as a tachometer, cruise control, and a tissue dispenser. Unrelated comment: What happened to tissue dispensers in cars? In the ’60s that seemed like a similar big deal to cupholder count today. Did people in the ’60s have more runny noses than we do now?
I haven’t seen this car in a while, I hope it has gotten a nice paint job and a healthy engine under the hood.
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