New cars from 1966: The lure of luxury (1965)
For ’66 cars now going on sale, US automobile companies are using the lure of luxury as they never have before. The sales pitch no longer is for basic transportation, economy or low fuel consumption.
Instead, the manufacturers vie with claims of deeper pile in their door-to-door carpeting, better reproduction on their stereo sets, more comfort in their six-way tiling seats with headrests.
Prospective buyers will be told how they can obtain constant temperature winter and summer by twisting a single dial. Turnpike speeds can be maintained or adjusted by the flick of a thumb without touching the brake or the accelerator.
Recorded tapes will play 80 minutes of stereophonic music. Rear-seat passengers can watch television. On frosty mornings, seats will warm like heating pads until the regular heating system is ready to take over.
Not all these features are available on any one car. But the trend is clear. The choice can be staggering.
The four companies have more than 400 separate models, and one make alone lists more than 400 options and accessories which can be installed by the factory or dealer.
1966 CARS FROM GENERAL MOTORS
Stylists concentrated on upgrading the intermediate and compact lines to match the luxury of the big cars. GM expects to sell more than 4.5 million cars in the next 12 months, most of them loaded with extra-cost, optional equipment.
Top-of-the-line series in four models includes two station wagons with walnut-grained exterior trim. There are 15 other standard-sized Chevrolets. New options: single-dial air conditioning-heating, adjustable headrests.
First restyling since it appeared four years ago gives this compact the roof and rising rear fender lines of standard-sized models. Seven engine options range from 90 to 350 horsepower.
1966 Chevrolet Corvair
Styling, all new last year, is left untouched for this rear-engined make. Only the front panel ornament and taillight trim are new. Seven models include two convertibles and five hardtops.
New body shell, fractionally longer, lower and wider, includes a Malibu four-door hardtop for first time. The Super Sport hardtop coupe and convertible offer 396-cubic-inch V-8 engine with 360 horsepower.
Pontiac Tempest Le Mans
Pontiac’s intermediate line gains two new four-door hardtop models and a GTO series of three body styles.
LeMans, Tempest and Tempest Custom models use a wholly new overhead-camshaft, six-cylinder engine developing up to 207 horsepower.
Wide-Track Pontiac GTO 1966
Cars from 1966: Pontiac Grand Prix
Split grille again is prominent on all Pontiacs. Headlight housings and heavy chrome on lower side panels are new on the Grand Prix. A Star Chief Executive Sports Coupe and a “2-Plus-2″ convertible are added. All models are a fraction longer.
Cadillac Sedan De Ville
Smaller cornering lights in front fender panels and new grille provide only noticeable styling changes in exterior.
Top Fleetwood series adds a Brougham sedan. Among the options offered for the first time are electrically heated seat cushions and backs to keep passengers warm when the engine is off or before the car heater begins to function.
1966 Buick Electra 225
Protruding front grille is varied on each of three standard-sized series. Molding emphasizes slight rise in rear fender lines. A 425-cubic-inch V-8 is optional on Electra 225 and Wildcat.
GM’s ’66 Buick Riveria
New body is the first for Riviera since it was introduced as a 1962 model. Both wheelbase and overall length are extended 2 inches. Front-vent windows have been replaced with a circulating air system using vents under windshield and rear window.
’66 Buick Skylark
New body introduces a two-door model with slightly recessed rear window and a four-door hardtop. A two-barrel carburetor adds performance to the V-6 engine, now an exclusive with Buick.
CHRYSLER CARS FROM 1966
Cars from 1966: Dodge Coronet
Forty percent of all 1965 Dodge sales were in this intermediate series. The body shell, using curved glass, and the hunched rear-fender line, is new, as is the divided front grille. Engines range up to 425 horsepower.
1966 Plymouth Barracuda
Styling changes on this compact, two-door hardtop are held to new grille with turn-signal indicators mounted on front fenders. Front-wheel disc brakes, with or without a power booster, are optional.
1966 Plymouth Valiant
A longer hood, new grille, sharper roof-line accent styling changes on the Valiant. Front and rear bumpers are deeper. Six-cylinder and V-8 engine range from 101 to 235 horsepower for 14 models.
This is a special luxury edition at the top of Plymouth Fury series of 21 models. Special appointments include reading lights for rear-seat passengers. Engine options include a 440-cubic-inch V-8 rated at 365 horsepower.
The ’66 Plymouth Fury
Smallest of US companies, AMC hopes to increase its share of the auto market by joining Big Three in heavy emphasis on luxury and performance.
Marlin: This limited-production, two-door fastback, introduced last March, was on of AMC’s first moves to extend its product offerings into the luxury class.
The styling is unchanged from 1965 except for a redesigned grille. A black vinyl roof is optional along with 15 two-tone color combinations.
SEE MORE FROM AMERICAN MOTORS (AMC) HERE
1966 AMC Rambler American 2-door sedan
FORD CARS FROM 1966
A two-door hardtop coupe is added to the previous four-door sedan and four-door convertible body styles. New body has curved side-window glass and adds 5 inches in length — mainly in the hood — and 1 inch in width. The engine displacement is increased from 430 to 462 cubic inches.
1966 Mercury Park Lane
A new grille and front-fender treatment provide modest styling change. Two-door hardtop has a new concave rear window. “Breezeway” sedan, with operational rear window, is kept. Sedans are 2 inches longer.
1966 Ford Mustangs
If you thought we couldn’t improve on a winner — try Mustang ’66!
The changes are subtle but significant. A new grille for a bright, fresh front-end look. New options like the Stereo-sonic tape system. (It gives you over 70 minutes of music on an easy-loading tape cartridge.)
All the wonderful features that made Mustang a success are still standard. After all, why change Mustangs in mid-stream?
The ’66 Mustang comes with bucket seats, all-vinyl interiors, floor-mounted shift, full carpeting and many other luxuries at no extra cost. It is an exceptionally practical can with its lively 200- cubic-inch Six. It handles like a candidate for the Monte Carlo Rallye and is so handsome it tends to make anything near its price look tired. This is the basic Mustang.
But if you want more action, greater luxury, Mustang offers you an exceptional range of options. You can design your own sports-Mustang with GT options like front disc brakes; 289-cubic-inch Cobra V-8 with four-barrel carburetor and solid lifters; four-speed, fully-synchronized manual transmission or 3-speed Cruise-O-Matic — and more.
Luxury-lovers can have air-conditioning, power brakes and steering, vinyl-covered top, or a specially elegant interior decor package … just to name a few.
If you haven’t driven a Mustang yet do it soon. It’s bound to improve your outlook on driving.
Ford Fairlane 500/XL
Hardtops make their first appearance in this intermediate series, and station wagons return after a brief absence. Among the options is a power transmission which can be shifted manually or used as automatic shift.
Galaxie 500 Seven-Litre
This top-of-the-line model, also available as a convertible, uses a new 428-cubic-inch engine with hydraulic valve lifters. Brakes are front-wheel, power-disc type. The standard Ford line now has 19 models.
1966 Ford Falcon Super Sport
The new Falcon body, using curved side glass, borrows heavily from the Mustang, with long hood and short rear deck. Over-all length is increased 2.7 inches in sedan models and 14.4 inches in station wagons.
1966 Ford Thunderbird
Town Landau model, shown, and new town hardtop use an extra-broad rear pillar to eliminate wide rear window. Optional is a speed-control device built into steering wheel which provides fingertip braking.
’66 Comet Cyclone GT (Mercury/Ford)
Comet comes in two sizes for 1966 —the compact “202” series, with length of 196 inches, and the Cyclone, Capri and Caliente series at 203 inches. The standard engine for the Cyclone GT is a 335-horsepower V-8.