Cars from 1966: See 26 classic models from all the big automakers

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1966s best cars, from all the big automakers

Note: This article may feature affiliate links to Amazon or other companies, and purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here.

Here’s a look at the top classic cars from 1966! You’ll see many makes and models from the ‘Big Four’ — Ford, Chrysler, General Motors and American Motors — that you could have expected to see on the road back in the mid-sixties.

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.

Interior of the '66 Plymouth VIP


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.

Chevrolet Caprice

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.

1966 Chevy Caprice Custom Coupe classic car


 

Chevy II

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 Chevy II


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.

1966 Chevy Corvair car


Chevrolet Chevelle

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.

1966 Chevelle cars - Chevrolet


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.

Classic cars -- Pontiac Tempest Le Mans (1965)


Wide-Track Pontiac GTO 1966

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.

Pontiac Grand Prix -- Vintage cars (1965)


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 Cadillac cars


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.

1966 Buick Electra 225


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.

Buick Riviera -- Classic cars (1965)


’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.

Yellow 1966 Buick Skylark


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.

The '66 Dodge Coronet classic car


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.

Plymouth Barracuda -- Classic cars (1965)


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.

Classic cars -- Plymouth Valiant (1965)


Plymouth VIP

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.

Vintage cars -- Plymouth VIP (1965)


The ’66 Plymouth Fury

The '66 Plymouth Fury


American Motors

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

Classic 1966 Marlin cars from AMC-gigapixel


1966 AMC Rambler American 2-door sedan

1966 AMC Rambler American 2-door sedan


FORD CARS FROM 1966

Lincoln Continental 

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.

Vintage cars -- Lincoln Continental (1965)


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.

Vintage cars -- Mercury Park Lane (1965)


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.

1966 Ford Mustangs


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.

Classic cars -- Fairlane 500 XL (1965)


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.

Galaxie 500 Seven-Litre -- Vintage cars (1965)


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.

Vintage cars -- Falcon Super Sport (1965)


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.

Vintage cars -- Thunderbird (1965)


’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.

1966 Mercury Comet Cyclone Hardtop

Classic cars -- Comet Cyclone GT (1965)

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