This is a family-owned 1966 Chevelle SS 396 passed down from Kyle’s father. His father was a retired police officer and Vietnam veteran who passed away in 2018 from a disease related to chemical exposure when he was part of a US Navy shore patrol unit stationed in Da Nang.
He purchased the 1966 Chevelle from the original owner in 2000, just before the original owner passed away. The original owner was also a retired police officer who immigrated to the US during WWII. His father was a Polish police officer who was killed by Russian soldiers in WWII. Kyle is also an Army veteran, so this 1966 Chevelle has a lot of personal sentimental value due to his father’s love for the vehicle, and because both of the original owners committed their lives to serve others.
The 1966 Chevelle was assembled in Fremont, CA car and the car lived its life in San Diego, CA. The original owner liked the two-tone Madeira Maroon and Tuxedo Black color, which it still has today. Kyle’s father had it re-painted the original color, and he also added on some Cragar rims for attitude.
In the late 1990’s he changed out the original 396ci engine and put in a Performance Gen VI 454ci high octane motor.
Around 2003, Kyle’s father had the motor stroked to a 460ci. He also changed the transmission to Level 3 700R4 Raptor Transmission.
The interior of the 1966 Chevelle is still original, but there have been some clean-up to some of the original dash paint. All the upholstery is original; however, the bucket seats are beginning to break down and need to be reupholstered shortly.
The radio and heater were not working when Kyle received the vehicle. He was able to get the heater and fan working, and the radio was sent to Retro Radio Restoration in Harrisburg, PA, where it was restored and outfitted with some modern features while still retaining all of its original features and factory components.
The vehicle is a tribute to those who serve, especially those in the military and law enforcement. The vehicle is generally in its original condition, despite changing out the motor and transmission. Because it’s a California car, there is no rust on the vehicle, so it’s in great shape.
The vehicle frequents local car shows in the northern Virginia area, and it’ll be at the Leesburg, VA car show in October 2022.
The goals for the vehicle are to keep the vehicle in excellent condition and keep it safe for future generations to enjoy. Kyle did have a kill switch installed underneath the dash, so as not to impact the original look of the interior. He will eventually need to replace the wiring harness, and when he does that, he might also think about adding an aftermarket retro-air cooling system. While the old-style window AC is excellent in the fall and spring, summers in VA are pretty toasty, and adding some interior cooling would certainly make for a much more pleasant ride when cruising the local scene.