1966 El Camino Specificationsby Rob Wagner
The 1966 Chevrolet El Camino was a sport utility coupe pickup based on the Chevelle body style from the cab forward. It featured many Chevrolet Chevelle mechanical components. The 1966 model belongs to the 1964 to 1987 family of El Caminos. An earlier 1959 to 1960 version, based on the Chevrolet Impala, was discontinued due to poor sales. With the 1966 model, the big block, 396-cubic inch V8 debuted to bring El Camino into the muscle car ranks.
Six V8s and two inline six-cylinder engines powered the 1966 El Camino. The base engine was the 120-horsepower, 194-cubic inch inline six featuring a single carburetor and 177 ft.-lbs. of torque. An optional 230-cubic inch inline six was available as a single-barrel carb, with 140 horsepower and 220 ft.-lbs. of torque. The standard V8 featured the 283-cubic inch version with either a two- or four-barrel carburetor. The two-barrel carb model generated 195 horsepower and 285 ft.-lbs. of torque while the four-barrel carb wielded 220 horsepower and 295 ft.-lbs. of torque. A 327 V8 was offered as a four-barrel carburetor model generating 275 horsepower and 355 ft.-lbs. of torque. Three versions of the 396-cubic-inch V8 came with four-barrel carburetors with 325 horsepower and 410 ft.-lbs. of torque, 360 horsepower with 420 ft.-lbs. of torque, and 375 horsepower with 415 ft.-lbs. of torque. The 1966 El Camino equipped with the 327 V8 reached 0 to 60 MPH in 9.4 seconds and the 1/4-mile in 16.9 seconds at 85.2 MPH.
All 1966 El Caminos featured a 115-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 199.9 inches. The front and rear tread measured 58 inches with an overall body length of 75 inches and an overall height, from ground to rooftop, of 53 inches.
The 1966 El Camino shared the same suspension components as its sibling, the Chevelle. The front suspension consisted of an unequal length, double wishbone system with the rear featuring a four-link live axle. The car was equipped with all-wheel drum brakes. Front disc brakes did not become available until 1967. Power from the engine to the wheels came from a standard three-speed manual transmission. A close ratio four-speed manual or the two-speed Powerglide automatic were options.
Features and Production
Standard features on the 1966 models included high tension springs, double-acting shock absorbers, all vinyl interior, bucket seats and floor console. Super Sport, or SS, packages featured "SS" badging, special trim and the 396 V8. Chevrolet manufactured 1,461 base custom models, 3,424 mid-trim level six-cylinder models, 5,897 standard V8 models and 24,337 custom V8 models.
Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. His experience ranges from legal affairs reporting to covering the Middle East. He served stints as a newspaper and magazine editor in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Wagner attended California State University, Los Angeles, and has a degree in journalism.