The 1966 Corvette was all about the Big Block

Born From the 1966 Corvette is the Beefy 427 Sting Ray

The 1966 Corvette seemed to be about one thing only; the big block. For the 1966 model year there were actually two big block engines that were offered and neither disappointed in power or performance.

The 1966 Corvette was changed very little on the outside because it was the plan of Chevy to introduce a new model of the Corvette in the next year. Even though that didn’t happen until 1968, the 1966 Corvette saw only minor exterior changes such as:

  • An egg-crate grill to replace the horizontal bars.
  • The loss of the roof mounted extractor vents on the coupe as they proved very ineffective.

art24However, what couldn’t be missed was the added power that the two big blocks for the 1966 Corvette brought to the table.

In 1966 the Corvette had two options for the V-8 big block that buyers could choose from. The first was a 390 bhp model and the second was an amazing 425 bhp model. Though the newer 427 engine that lived under the hood of the 1966 Sting Ray was said to have the equivalent horse power of the previous 396, it did offer a lot more torque to the tune of 460 foot pounds versus the 415 of the past year’s model. Some speculate that the engines got even more horsepower but were understated so as to not raise the curiosity of the insurance companies which was common practice in the 60s. Whatever the true output of power was, the top big block got the 1966 Corvette Sting Ray to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in only 4.8 seconds.

With that the 427 Sting Ray was born and proved to be so popular that the small block was trimmed down to just two options from five. For the 1966 Corvette, only the basic 300 bhp and the 350 bhp engines were kept. While they didn’t produce the ‘throw you back n the seats’ effect quite like the 427, they did hold their own and were more than adequate when it came to speed.

Because of its added power, the 1966 Corvette 427 Sting Ray came equipped with Positraction and the closed-ratio four-speed transmission from Muncie. While this did represent an added cost to the car, it came standard and there was no other option available for that year. The new Sting Ray also featured an upgraded suspension and even a higher capacity sump and radiator.

Even though the engines were really the only notable changes in 1966 that didn’t seem to deter buyers from gobbling up the speed producing vehicles. When the numbers came in it was a confirmed record yet again for the Corvette and a total of 27,720 units were sold which was an increase of about 4,200 units from the previous year.

The 1966 Corvette showed that the style, grace, and elegance of the Corvette were loved and admired by all Vette enthusiasts everywhere. With the added power and speed that became synonymous with the year, the 1966 Corvette 427 Sting Ray proved to be everything its predecessor was and then some.

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