Car of the Week: This 1966 Corvette Convertible Is a Classic Beauty With Modern Muscle. Now It’s up for Grabs.

“Little Red Corvette” isn’t just a song from the late artist Prince, it’s a symbol that represents the prototypical sports car. It happens to be “America’s Sports Car,” as Chevy’s Corvette has come to be known. Many a would-be dominator of the racetrack or the boulevard face-off has been spanked silly by a Corvette, red or otherwise. Domestic challengers like Ford, Mopar, and AMC have been publicly shamed in competition, official and unofficial.

Closer to home, I still recall a night, circa 1967, sitting at a stoplight with my dad on Ventura Boulevard behind a red Corvette. An equally red Ferrari 275 GTB (I couldn’t tell you how many cams it had; I was only 12 years old) pulled up alongside the swaggering Chevy. The Corvette rocked side-to-side as the Ferrari sang in high tenor. Both drivers expressed their “essence” by aggressively dunking into the accelerator.

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A 1966 Chevrolet Corvette convertible restomod.
The 1966 Chevrolet Corvette convertible restomod being auctioned through Barrett-Jackson.

Before I could ask my dad “Who’s gonna win?,” the light turned green. The Corvette smoked its tires and disappeared into a mist of putrid rubber perfume, as the Prancing Horse very likely blew up its expensive V-12 engine, miserably failing to keep pace with Detroit’s iron-lump. I learned a lesson that day about the value of cubic inches, and the wisdom of keeping things simple, Corvette style.

The custom interior of a 1966 Chevrolet Corvette convertible restomod.
The interior features power steering, power windows, a power hood, and sport bucket seats upholstered in sumptuous Saddle Brazilian leather.

The C2, as the second generation of Corvette is known, was built from 1963 through 1967 and comprises about 118,000 examples in total of both coupes and convertibles. The C2 iterations are recognized as the most collectible ‘Vettes of them all. Sixty years later, a red Corvette still holds sway. Imagine driving one that looks like a classic from the outside, but adds all the amenities and power of a 21st-century luxury sports car. Well, Barrett-Jackson comes to Palm Beach, Fla., on April 18 through 20, with a slick 1966 Chevrolet Corvette convertible that’s just that.

The Chevrolet V-8 LS3 crate engine inside a 1966 Chevrolet Corvette convertible restomod.
The Chevrolet V-8 LS3 crate engine is paired with a 4L70E automatic transmission.

This Corvette restomod was a project completed in October of 2022 by Jeff Hayes Customs, and is a concours-level build powered by a Chevrolet V-8 LS3 crate engine that delivers 540 hp. Easy shifting is through a 4L70E automatic transmission. The drivetrain sits in an Art Morrison sport chassis, built for an equal mix of performance and comfort. Stopping power is courtesy of Wilwood disc brakes, visible through the wide polished spokes of Schott wheels wrapped with custom red-line tires, a popular detail seen on the sportiest 1960s sports car rubber in the day.

A 1966 Chevrolet Corvette convertible restomod.
This concours-level build, completed in 2022, was done by Jeff Hayes Customs.

In the cockpit, both driver and passenger enjoy comfort unknown to 1960s travelers, with supportive sport bucket seats upholstered in sumptuous Saddle Brazilian leather. Power steering, power windows, and a power hood make this a modern daily driver, with ice-cold Vintage Air and an equally cool AM/FM Bluetooth stereo. Adding to its allure, the car will cross the auction block with no reserve.

Click here for more photos of this 1966 Chevrolet Corvette restomod.

A 1966 Chevrolet Corvette convertible restomod.
A 1966 Chevrolet Corvette convertible restomod.

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