Maroon
Black
327 V8
2 Speed Automatic

If you've been watching C2 Corvette prices lately, you know that even the small block cars are becoming hot collectibles. Sure, everyone wants a 427/435 with a stinger hood, or an early Z06, but for real-world collectors and people who actually enjoy driving their plastic fantastic, it's getting hard to find strong, small-block cars. And if you want a roadster, well, expect a hefty premium.

On the other hand, take a good, long look at this Milano Maroon 1966 Corvette and its price tag. It packs a healthy 300 horse small block, a great-looking color combination (in original colors), and a restoration that has mellowed to the point where you don't have to worry about dirt on a Bloomington Gold contender. Corvette guys are some of the best car enthusiasts around, and there's really nothing better than joining a caravan, say, to the National Corvette Museum national show, or out west to the summer classic in South Dakota. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Corvettes attend these events, and the caravans stretch for miles and miles with guys actually driving and enjoying their Corvettes. I submit to you that showing up in this little roadster would be one of the best gifts you could ever give yourself, because it's a lot of fun with a very modest price tag.

That price tag means you're getting a gorgeous driver, not a NCRS contender, but that's why I think this one is so awesome (if you want an NCRS piece, we can get you one, but expect to pay twice as much for it). The paint job is several years old, but was very well done at the time and shows excellent care ever since. Milano Maroon is a very sophisticated color, more elegant than in-your-face brash, and it gives this car a very dignified personality. It's brighter than you think in the sunlight, though, and is not as dark as, say, Black Cherry might be. Prep on the fiberglass when the work was done looks excellent, and there are few age-related issues in the substrate now that the car has some age on it. Panel gaps are decent—about what these cars looked like new—and it's obvious that this car has never been in an accident or had any significant body damage of any kind. This is a car that will wow onlookers wherever you go, and among Corvette guys you'll be able to drive and show it proudly.

With a 300 horsepower 327 under the hood, driving is exactly what you should be doing with this car. The block has been decked, so we can't ascertain whether it is a matching-numbers piece, but because of that, it's not priced like one. The engine was rebuilt to stock specs several years ago and runs beautifully. Seriously, if you haven't driven a fast-revving Corvette small block you're really missing out. I've always preferred the livelier handling of a small block car, and 300 horsepower is plenty to make them seriously fast by any measure. The engine was detailed when it was out, and wears a coat of Chevrolet Orange paint, a correct intake and carburetor, and a chrome air cleaner as original. The chrome distributor shield is still in place, and overall it looks clean and well-maintained, with no questionable modifications. Even the “ram's horn” exhaust manifolds are in place and are in good condition given that they are bare cast iron. Turn the key and it fires instantly, idles extremely well, and isn't fussy in any way, whether you're in traffic or cruising down Route 66 at high speed.

Cruising is easier with the Powerglide living behind the engine as well. Some folks may question the existence of a Corvette with an automatic, but I'll remind you that automatic Corvettes have almost always out-sold their manual-transmission brothers, and a manual transmission is an extra-cost option on new Corvettes. That was the case 35 years ago as well. Drag racers have always recognized the Powerglide as the secret to low ETs and repeatable performance, and they're darned-near bulletproof on the street. This one shifts quickly and firmly, and gives you the feeling of almost endless torque from the engine.

Of course, by 1966, all Corvettes wore disc brakes at all four corners, and the suspension is fully independent, making even automatic-equipped cars potent pieces when the pavement is challenging. The fiberglass on the undercarriage is in excellent condition, and it's probably all-original under there, which shows you how well-maintained this car has been all its life. The exhaust system is older, but still functional and sounds sporting without being loud and obnoxious. 15-inch steel wheels carry correct hubcaps and recent P215/75R15 whitewall radials.

No matter what engine lives under the hood, the passenger compartments in these C2 Corvettes are first-class all the way. This one in particular has been restored in the past, and still presents extremely well. The black buckets are just as comfortable as they look, with the foam and covers replaced during restoration. The gauge faces are nice, with the lenses and the rest of the dash showing light patina. The indicated mileage is believed to be correct and accurate. A later AM/FM/cassette stereo has been retrofitted into the original location in the center console, with a pair of speakers hanging under the rear deck to give the system some power. Carpets, door panels, and the center console are nice, especially the brushed trim around the shifter lever and the glove box lid. Overhead, there's a good quality white vinyl top that still fits well, and the rear window is crystal clear.

So there are Corvettes that you hide in garages and only bring out for the judges a few times a year. If you really want one of those static pieces of art, we have several to choose from and they're all wonderful cars. But if you're the kind of Corvette fan that I've met passing and waving out on the road, then this is your car. There aren't many fully sorted, drivable C2 convertibles out there that haven't had six-figure restorations thrown at them, rendering them, ironically, too valuable to drive. This one is a rare opportunity to get a beautiful car that presents exceptionally well, but one that you won't be afraid to drive and enjoy, all for a bargain price. Go ahead and check the price guides on this one—you'll realize that this car won't be here long. Make your reservations for the Black Hills Corvette Classic next summer, because this is the car you're taking along for the ride. Call now!

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