1966 Chevy Nova SS: Overview & Restoration Guide

The 1966 Chevy Nova SS is a vehicle that brings back fond memories for classic car enthusiasts. This iconic car was the prime example of American muscle, and its performance excellence still stands strong today. If you’re looking to restore one of these beauties to pristine condition or just want to learn more about them, this blog post will give you an overview of the 1966 Chevy Nova SS as well as provide helpful tips and advice on restoring your own. From understanding what makes it special and finding parts that fit its needs to assessing bodywork projects and fixing any mechanical issues, we’ll cover everything you need to know for a successful restoration process. So get ready: Let’s take a closer look at this timeless symbol of American engineering!

History of the 1966 Chevy Nova SS

The Chevy Nova was introduced in 1962 as a compact car positioned below the larger Chevy II. The Super Sport (SS) package, denoting enhanced performance and styling, was first offered for the Nova in 1963. However, it was in 1966 that the Nova SS truly made a significant impact.

In 1966, the Chevy Nova SS received a significant redesign, featuring a more streamlined and aggressive appearance. The front end was restyled with a new grille and a prominent “SS” badge, while the rear showcased wider taillights and a redesigned bumper. The overall design reflected the bold and muscular aesthetic that defined American cars of the era.

Under the hood, the 1966 Nova SS offered multiple engine options. The standard engine was a 194 cubic-inch inline-six, but buyers could also opt for V8 power. The available V8 engines included the 283 cubic-inch V8 and the more powerful 327 cubic-inch V8. These engines provided a substantial increase in performance compared to the standard offering, making the Nova SS a formidable performer on the streets.

In addition to the engine options, the 1966 Chevy Nova SS came with various performance-enhancing features. These included heavy-duty suspension components, power front disc brakes, and optional Positraction rear axle for improved traction. Buyers could also choose between a 3-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed manual transmission, or even the optional Powerglide automatic transmission.

The interior of the 1966 Nova SS featured a sporty and functional design. Bucket seats were standard, along with a center console. Optional extras included a tachometer and a range of additional gauges to keep the driver informed of the car’s vital statistics.

The 1966 Chevy Nova SS gained popularity among car enthusiasts due to its combination of compact size, aggressive styling, and impressive performance capabilities. It was often considered a lightweight and affordable option for those seeking a high-performance car.

Today, the 1966 Chevy Nova SS remains a sought-after collector’s car. Its historical significance, appealing design, and availability of aftermarket support make it a popular choice for those interested in restoring or customizing classic cars.

Classic Features of the 1966 Chevy Nova SS

The 1966 Chevy Nova SS was a classic car that featured distinctive design elements. The exterior of the vehicle had hood scoops, chrome bumpers, and chrome body trim. Inside, the vehicle boasted a two-spoke steering wheel, bucket seats with cloth inserts, and a center console mounted list of gauges. Under the hood of the Nova SS was an L79 327 cubic inch V8 engine capable of producing up to 350 horsepower. For those seeking performance features, the 1966 Nova SS could be equipped with power brakes and steering, quick ratio steering gear box, heavy duty suspension components as well as a 10-bolt rear axle with Positraction differential. In addition to these features, the Nova SS could also be outfitted with full wheel covers, bright trim rings, and a simulated woodgrain steering wheel for added interior detail. The 1966 Chevy Nova SS featured all of these classic features and more!

Performance Specifications Of The 1966 Chevy Nova SS

The 1966 Chevy Nova SS featured an array of impressive performance specifications, including: 

– A 4.1-liter engine with 195 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque 

– An optional 5.3-liter V8 engine with 250 horsepower and 355 lb-ft of torque 

– A three-speed manual transmission or a two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission 

– Front disc brakes and rear drum brakes for superior stopping power 

– Optional limited slip differential to increase cornering speed and stability. 

These specs made the 1966 Chevy Nova SS one of the most powerful cars in its class, giving it great acceleration, handling, and braking capabilities. It was truly a remarkable vehicle that set the standard for performance vehicles of its time. 

Chevy’s commitment to excellence is apparent in the 1966 Chevy Nova SS, and its impressive specs make it a great car for collectors and enthusiasts alike. Its combination of power and modern features make it an enduring classic that will stand the test of time. With all these features, it’s no wonder why the 1966 Chevy Nova SS was so popular in its day. 

How To Restore A 1966 Chevy Nova SS – Step By Step Guide

The restoration of a 1966 Chevy Nova SS requires both parts and labor. Below is a list of components necessary to complete the job: 

– Frame – Ensure that the frame remains intact during the entire process. 

– Body work – Replace or repair any damaged paneling, rust spots, or dings as needed. 

– Paint – Apply fresh paint to bring back the classic appearance of your Nova SS. 

– Interior – Replace worn out carpets, seats, dashboard panels etc., or simply update them with modern improvements for added convenience. 

– Engine – Rebuild or replace whatever engine components are necessary for optimal performance. 

– Wheels & Suspension – Upgrade existing wheels and suspension parts to ensure a smooth ride. 

– Electrical – Re-wire or replace any outdated wiring or components for improved functionality. 

– Accessories – Add custom accessories to give your Nova SS its own unique style and look. 

By following these steps closely, you will successfully restore your classic 1966 Chevy Nova SS to its former glory! All the best in your restoration efforts!

Bodywork Tips For Restoring A 1966 Chevy Nova SS

When it comes to restoring a classic car like the 1966 Chevy Nova SS, bodywork is key. Here is a list of useful tips to keep in mind when tackling this project: 

– Start by completely disassembling the vehicle and cleaning all parts thoroughly with soap and water to remove any dirt or debris. 

– Inspect all components for rust and then take appropriate steps to treat each area accordingly. This could include using chemical treatments, sandblasting, or welding repairs to ensure that each part is free from corrosion before moving on to further restoration efforts. 

– After treating any rusty sections of the body of the car, begin applying primer and paint as necessary until you achieve your desired look for the vehicle. 

– Once the paint job is finished, reassemble all parts of the car and ensure that each component is properly secured with bolts and screws or other fasteners. 

– Finally, use a finishing product like wax or sealant to give the exterior a glossy shine and protect it from further damage. 

By following these steps carefully, you can make sure that your 1966 Chevy Nova SS looks as good as new!

Interior Restoration Tips for the 1966 Chevy Nova SS

When restoring the interior of your 1966 Chevy Nova SS, there are several key steps to ensure you complete the job properly. Below is a list of tips and tricks for successful interior restoration: 

– Check for rust. Rust can be very damaging to the body of your car, so it’s important to check thoroughly for any presence of rust before beginning the interior restoration process. If necessary, use a wire brush or degreaser to remove any rust present. 

– Clean upholstery and vinyl surfaces with a soft-bristled brush and mild detergent solution. This will help remove dirt and dust from deep inside fabrics that regular vacuuming may have missed. 

– Reupholster seats if needed. Many 1966 Chevy Nova SS models have vinyl covers on the seats, but you may want to consider reupholstering them with a more modern material for improved comfort and style. 

– Clean and condition leather seats if present. Leather needs special attention when restoring an interior, so use a quality leather cleaner and conditioner to protect it from wear and tear over time. 

– Inspect rubber seals around windows and doors for damage or deterioration. Replacing these seals will help ensure your car’s interior is airtight and free of drafts from outside sources.

– Polish chrome accents such as door handles, knobs, trim pieces, etc., using a cloth dampened with water or polish designed specifically for chrome surfaces. 

– Inspect wiring for any fraying or damage and replace if necessary. Check all bulbs to make sure they are working properly, and replace them as needed. 

– Vacuum carpets and mats thoroughly to remove any dirt, dust, or debris that has accumulated over time. This will help your car’s interior look fresh and new again! 

– Clean dashboard surfaces with a damp cloth, then polish with a soft cloth to protect the surface from fading over time. 

– Lastly, take care of any detail items such as replacing the radio knobs or adding a gear shift knob for added style points! 

Following these tips will have your 1966 Chevy Nova SS looking like new in no time! With the right knowledge and supplies, you can make sure your interior restoration project is a success. 

Engine Rebuild Guidelines for the 1966 Chevy Nova SS

Prior to starting the engine rebuild, it is important to make a list of all the parts that you will need. This should include pistons and rings, gaskets, bearings, valves, seals, timing components and other necessary items. Additionally, you should also check for any worn or damaged parts that may need replacing. Once this has been done properly, you can then move forward with the rebuild process. Make sure to document each step in detail for future reference if needed. 

The next step involves removing all major components from the engine block including cylinder heads and pistons. All gasket surfaces must be cleaned thoroughly before any new parts are installed. When installing new components such as pistons and rings, always use a torque wrench to ensure the correct amount of tension is applied. 

Once all parts are in place, it is time to install the timing components. Be sure to align the camshaft and crankshaft correctly using a dial indicator or other measuring tool. Once set, secure all bolts and apply thread sealer where needed. 

Finally, add oil to your engine once everything is back together and start it up for initial testing. If you detect any unusual noises or vibrations during this process, shut down the engine immediately and investigate further before proceeding. With these guidelines in mind, you can rebuild your 1966 Chevy Nova SS with confidence!

Comparing The Original Nova Ss To Modern Cars

The original Nova SS was a revolutionary car when it was released in 1962. Its design and technology were quite advanced for its time, making it stand out from other cars of the era. The original Nova SS featured a 327-cubic inch V8 engine, four-wheel independent suspension and two-speed automatic transmission. It also had power steering, brakes and windows as well as air conditioning in some models. 

Though the original Nova SS has come to be seen as an icon among classic cars, modern cars have gone far beyond what this vehicle offered. In terms of performance, modern engines are much more powerful than that of the Nova SS while offering better fuel economy at the same time. Modern vehicles also feature improved safety features such as airbags, antilock brakes and lane departure warning systems. 

In terms of technology, modern cars come with features such as touch screens, infotainment systems and Wi-Fi connectivity that were unimaginable when the Nova SS was released. Additionally, they feature an abundance of other tech advancements such as parking assist and collision avoidance systems. 

The original Nova SS may have been revolutionary for its time but it is clear that modern cars offer far more features and capabilities than this classic vehicle ever could. A comparison between the two makes it easy to see just how far car technology has advanced over the years. 

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FAQs About 1966 Chevy Nova SS

The 1966 Chevy Nova SS is a classic American muscle car that still has devoted followers today. Here is a list of frequently asked questions about this model: 

What engine did the 1966 Chevy Nova SS come with? 

The 1966 Chevy Nova SS came with either a 283 cubic inch V8 or a 327 cubic inch V8 engine. 

What kind of transmission was available for the 1966 Chevy Nova SS? 

It was available with either an optional four-speed manual transmission or three-speed automatic transmission. 

How much horsepower did the 1966 Chevy Nova SS have?  

The 283 cubic inch V8 had 195 hp, while the 327 cubic inch V8 had 275 hp.

What color options were available for the 1966 Chevy Nova SS? 

The standard colors for the 1966 Chevy Nova SS included black, blue, gold, red and white. Additionally, there was an optional Ermine White with blue strips exterior paint option. 

How much did a new 1966 Chevy Nova SS cost? 

The base model of the 1966 Chevy Nova SS started at a price of $2,203 USD – but could have gone up significantly depending on additional features added to the car.  

Are parts still available to restore a 1966 Chevy Nova SS? 

Yes! Parts are still available from several companies that specialize in vintage car restoration. 

What type of fuel does a 1966 Chevy Nova SS require? 

The 1966 Chevy Nova SS requires leaded premium gasoline with an octane rating of 91 or higher for the best performance and reliability from the engine.

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All in all, the 1966 Chevy Nova SS is a classic automobile that has stood the test of time. Maintaining and restoring one requires dedication, care, and attention to detail. The process may be painstaking at first, but the outcome of a well-restored vehicle will be well worth it. As exciting as this project can be, make sure to follow safety protocols and seek out professional opinion when necessary. Finally, if you’re thinking of owning or restoring an iconic ride from the past such as a 1966 Chevy Nova SS – keep on revving! By understanding this overview & restoration guide thoroughly, you can ensure your vintage car will look its very best for years to come.

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