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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale June 19th – 21st at Russo and Steele’s Newport Beach, California Auction. Please contact us for more information.
From its landmark debut for 1964, Chevrolet’s “A-Body” intermediate Chevelle lineup was a success thanks to attractive styling, extensive options, and sheer value for the dollar. While powered at first by economical inline sixes and reasonably powerful small-block V-8s, performance fans quickly realized the Chevelle could accommodate Chevy’s all-new Mark IV “big-block” engine which arrived for 1965. Starting with the limited-production Z-16 option of 1965 and the all-out racing versions campaigned by famed racing drivers including Dick Harrell, Malcolm Durham and other Chevy stalwarts, the Chevelle carved out a formidable reputation from the drag strip to Main Street USA.
For 1966, the Chevelle’s Super Sport sub-series was only available with big-block power. Based on the top-line Chevelle Malibu hardtop and convertible, the SS396 combined sculpted “coke bottle” styling with a long options list and purposeful Super Sport appearance features, resulting in one of the most desirable and enduring Chevy muscle cars of the 1960s.
For 1966, the 396 “Turbo-Jet” V-8 was available in two power levels from the factory, with the base RPO L35 unit rated at 325 horsepower. For those seeking even more performance, the optional L34 V-8 generated 360 horsepower with the benefit of a strengthened cylinder block, enlarged carburetor, and a wilder hydraulic performance cam with a higher lift and longer duration.
While 15-second quarter-mile times were recorded in period road tests of the L34 Chevelle SS396 with the narrow bias-ply tires of the era, it was quickly transformed into a serious dragstrip and stoplight contender with the simple addition of slicks, headers, and basic performance tuning. However, the SS396 offered more than just straight-line performance, with its excellent basic chassis design upgraded with high-rate coil springs all around and a 15/16-inch stabilizer bar up front.
This fresh and complete frame-off restoration and build was completed over a two-year timeframe with exceptional detail and the underside of the car finished to match. Welcome mechanical upgrades include rack-and-pinion power steering, vented and slotted disc brakes, performance suspension, Positraction, and Hedman headers feeding a performance exhaust system. Old School 20×8 front and 20×9.5 rear wheels, a new top, and new carpeting add further distinction.
The prior owner completed the engine rebuild and reinstallation, as well as the powder-coating of the frame. They retained the original manual steering gear, factory suspension, and manual brakes. The consignor acquired it approximately two years ago and modernized the handling with Unisteer rack-and-pinion, performance exhaust, aggressive disc brakes all four wheels, plus the 3.56:1 Positraction rear end, large-diameter custom wheels, and performance tires. Following completion of the final bodywork and paint, the Chevelle was exhibited at the Goodguys Car Show in Scottsdale, Arizona for its first public appearance on May 24, 2014.
CARFAX is available