Everything You Want to Know About the 1966 Corvette, All in One Place.
With the 1966 Corvette arriving after General Motors’ recent, overwhelming success with the 427 Sting Ray, there was no question that the newest Corvette model would continue to feature big-block engines.
This turnabout in events was rather interesting, especially given GM management’s earlier decree that no car line smaller than a full-size model would carry an engine larger than 400 cubic inches. Perhaps fortunately for Corvette, it was Carroll Shelby’s two-seat Cobra, which featured its own 427 cubic inch V8 engine that prompted the change of opinion.
Chevrolet now felt it would also need a 427 cubic inch engine, and it materialized for the 1966 model year.
Although it was effectively a 396 cubic inch engine with a larger 4.25-inch bore, the new 427 big-block engine came in two forms: the relatively mild L36, which featured a hydraulic-cam and produced 390 horsepower on 10.25:1 compression, and the truly awesome L72, a 425 horsepower engine with 11:1 compression, larger intake valves, a bigger Holley four-barrel carburetor on an aluminum manifold, mechanical lifters, and four-hole (instead of two-hole) main bearing caps.