When it comes to a particular car model, everyone has a favorite year. However, just because I prefer the ’69 Chevelle doesn’t mean I dislike other model years, I just have a preference. So does Mike Crown, but his preference lies in 1966.
Mike let me know he is a new reader of ChevyHardcore.com and also wanted to show me his pair of gorgeous ’66 SS Chevelles. I’m always game to look at a cool Chevelle and thought you guys might like to see them as well.
We’ll start with Mike’s Danube Blue dream ride. Mike says it was assembled at the Fremont, California assembly plant in December of 1965. It received a complete restoration in 2001. “As colors go, Danube Blue is a bit on the rare side as not many ’66 Chevelles actually got this color,” says Mike. “One day I found a link to a link of a link to an ad for a ’66 SS that was for sale. It was described as a matching-numbers car from California that was residing in Connecticut.”
Mike Lives in Pennsylvania, so went to look at the car. When he got there, the owner would not open the garage door because it was raining and he didn’t want any moisture to get in. The owner took Mike through the house to get into the garage that was dimly lit by one 60-watt bulb. “I ask if he has more light and the best he comes up with is a flashlight,” Mike quips. “Despite being extremely annoyed, my friend and I go about trying to see this car.” The deal was not struck at that time, and weeks later, Mike still couldn’t get the Chevelle out of his mind.
When he couldn’t take it any longer, he decided to give the car another look. “This time, I saw things I wasn’t able to previously see in that one-light-bulb garage, and they raised eyebrows,” Mike states. “Once again, I left frustrated, though this time I made the mistake of videotaping the car. I say mistake because that video became regular programming in my household for the next few weeks and I’d wished that I didn’t have it to tease myself with.”
One day, Mike sat down and penned a letter to the owner. He explained things from his perspective, explaining why the owner hadn’t sold the car yet, and why he needed to sell it to Mike. One week later, Mike walked into his house and noticed the light flashing on his answering machine. “I knew, even before listening to the message that it was him and that the car would be mine! I was correct.”
The bucket seat interior is immaculately recreated with the original console, Deluxe-style seatbelts with retractors, AM/FM radio with rear speaker, gauge package, cool knee-knocker Tach, tilt steering column with woodgrain wheel, tinted glass, and finally, an optional spare tire lock.
Mike’s second ’66 is a gem in its own rite. While the story about how he acquired the black car might not be as emotionally filled as the blue ride, the black car is Mike’s keeper and will never get away. According to Mike, the Tuxedo Black ‘66 Chevelle is mostly original and mostly unrestored. It came from the factory with black bucket seats, a full complement of gauges, under dash tach, woodgrain steering wheel, AM Radio, dashtop-mounted clock, and no console.
“It’s unique in that it was ordered without a console,” says Mike. “Most guys ordered buckets and a console with the four-speed.” One thing that sets Mike’s black ’66 apart is the clock. Mike continues, “in ’66 and ’67, every Chevelle got a clock. It was not an option. Most clocks were installed in the console if the car got one or in the instrument cluster. But if you ordered factory gauges, the clock could not go in the cluster. It had to go somewhere, so it was installed on top of the dash pad in ’66.”
“I’m passionate about these cars,” Mike affirms. “I’ve been a fan of the ’66 SS since I was 12 years old, growing up in a small coal town in Northeastern Pennsylvania. My cousin had a red ’66 Chevelle and I’d see him come through town.”
Many enthusiasts would be more than happy to have a single Chevelle in their garage and we’re overly jealous that Mike not only has two, but two exceptional examples of the model. In fact, Mike is such a fan of the ’66 Chevelle, he has created a website you can check out by clicking here.