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For the 1966 Corvette, the big-block V-8 came in two forms: 390 bhp on 10.25:1 compression, and 425 bhp via 11:1 compression, larger intake valves, a bigger Holley four-barrel carburetor on an aluminum manifold, mechanical lifters, and four- instead of two-hole main bearing caps. Though it had no more horsepower than the previous high-compression 396, the 427 (7L), 430 hp (321 kW) V8 packed a lot more torque - 460 pound/feet vs. 415. Of course, engine outputs were sometimes deliberately understated in the Sixties. Here, 420 and 450 bhp would be closer to the truth. With big-block V-8s being the order of the day, there was less demand for the 327, so small-block offerings were cut from five to two for 1966, and only the basic 300- and 350-bhp versions were retained. Both required premium fuel on compression ratios well over 10.0:1, and they didn't have the rocket-like thrust of the 427s, but their performance was impressive all the same. As before, both could be teamed with the Powerglide automatic, the standard three-speed manual, or either four-speed option.
The 1966 model's frontal appearance was mildly altered with an eggcrate grille insert to replace the previous horizontal bars, and the coupe lost its roof-mounted extractor vents, which had proven inefficient. Corvettes also received an emblem in the corner of the hood for 1966. Head rests were a new option. This relative lack of change reflected plans to bring out an all-new Corvette for 1967. It certainly did not reflect a fall-off in the car's popularity, however. In fact, 1966 would prove another record-busting year, with volume rising to 27,720 units, up some 4200 over 1965's sales.
Source: Wikipedia (original)