Lot #21: 1966 Chevrolet Corvette 427/425 (Not Available)
An unrestored and incredibly original, 32,000 original-mile example from the first '427' model year.
- Unrestored and highly original with just 32,000 original miles
- Chevy's top Corvette for '66 with RPO L72 427/425 big-block
- Original 4-speed transmission, interior, carpeting, and glass
- Period Goodyear Blue Streak performance tires; first-year '427'
- A fabulous and exceptionally original car with original documents
* original miles
Retaining the original 4-speed manual transmission, interior, carpeting, and glass, riding on period Goodyear Blue Streak performance tires and accompanied by a wealth of original documents.
Specifications: RPO L72 427 CID OHV V-8 engine, single Holley 4-barrel carburetor, 425 bhp at 5,600 rpm, Muncie 4-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with A-arms and coil springs, independent rear suspension with half-shafts and transverse leaf spring, 4-wheel hydraulic disc brakes.
Following the late-1962 launch of the stunning new Corvette Sting Ray for 1963, the relentless development work by Zora Arkus-Duntov and his engineering team quickly unleashed a virtually endless series of high-performance updates and options that kept the Corvette ahead of the pack and, with judicious preparation, a formidable contender on the track. Equally important, Chevy's new Mark IV 396 cubic-inch "big-block" engine debuted for '65. Designed by brilliant Chevrolet engineer Dick Keinath and rooted in the Z-11 "Mystery Motor" 427 that took NASCAR by storm before it was outlawed in 1963, the new big-block and its massive potential for continued development gave the Corvette the firepower to challenge the Shelby's Cobra at home and soon take on Europe's best.
Ticking the box for the 396 option also specified a mandatory transistorized ignition system (Code K66) and Muncie four-speed manual transmission, while air conditioning was unavailable. Despite considerable weight of some 650 pounds, the iron powerplant did not adversely affect the Corvette's near-perfect weight distribution and excellent handling, thanks to low and set-back placement in the Corvette chassis. Finally, all Corvettes received four-wheel disc brakes for '65 with four-piston calipers and ventilated rotors, providing fade-free stopping power to match their incredible forward thrust.
For 1966, the 396 grew to 427 cubic inches for the new RPO (Regular Production Option) L72 engine. Chevrolet hinted at the true potency of its top 427 V-8 engine for 1966 when it was initially announced with 450 rated horsepower and then inexplicably revised the number downward to an "official" 425-horsepower rating. Few were fooled, considering the L72's 11.0:1 compression, hot solid-lifter cam, free-flowing rectangular-port cylinder heads, and virtually bulletproof cylinder block and forged crank. Regardless, the L72 427/425 engine was in truth a fire-breathing behemoth that was especially potent in the relatively lightweight Corvette, with high 12-second quarter-mile times and top speeds in excess of 150 mph attained with well-tuned engines and brave drivers, with the narrow standard bias-ply tires erupting in clouds of smoke when the clutch was dropped. Today, L72-powered Corvettes continue to reward their drivers and lucky passengers with a true sensory assault in keeping with the 'C2' Corvette's aggressive and almost otherworldly styling.
Unrestored, incredibly original, and accompanied by a wealth of fascinating original documentation, this fabulous Nassau Blue L72 427/425 Corvette has traveled only an approximate 32,000 original miles at the time of writing. Retaining its original 4-speed manual transmission, this wonderful example also features the original blue interior and blue carpeting, the original glass, and rides on period Goodyear Blue Streak performance tires. A truly rare find, even in today's jaded classic-car market, beautifully exemplifying "America's Sports Car" in its top specification for 1966.