The 427 cubic inch engine was introduced
For the first time, Headrests were optional
The 1966 Corvette featured a new egg crate grille and functional engine compartment cooling vents. A new muscle Corvette was introduced in replace of the previous year's 396 V8, the "427" with its own funnel-shaped, power bulge on the hood. At first there was RPO L36, priced at $181, was rated at 390 bhp, and RPO L72, with a $312 price tag, was rated at 425 bhp. Both engines were related to the "mystery" 427 and the production Turbo Jet 396. The 427/425 bhp Corvette convertible could hit 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds, and the quarter mile in 14 seconds. It boasted a power-to-weight ratio of just 7.7 lbs per horsepower. "427 Turbo Jet" crossed racing flag emblems appeared above the cooling vents. Three four speed gearboxes -- wide ratio, close-ratio, and heavy-duty close ratio were optional. Side-mounted exhaust pipes were optional.
A total of 5,116 L36s and 5,258 L72s were built, therefore 38% of the 1966 Corvettes were 427s.
L79 327 V8 300 bhp @ 4800 rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm.
L36 427 V8 390 bhp @ 5400 rpm, 460 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.
L72 427 V8 425 bhp.