Bruce Meyers was about to give the specialist-car industry a boost that would add at least ten years to its history. In 1966, he brought out the Manx, the first of a line of countless 'Beach Buggies'. The open top, open- wheeled car was just a basic body dropped straight onto a Volkswagen floorpan. The Volks engine was used and all that was needed was a set of fat wheels and tyres, not only to make it practical on beaches, but to give the car a certain aggressive look. There were probably more vehicles built on this theme than on any other, and, when the idea of the buggy fizzled out, there were the Volks-based sports cars to take their place.
The late 1965 and 1966 Ambassador was available with a 232 CID 155 hp Six or 287 CID 198 hp V8, in sedan, 2 door coupe, convertible and station wagon iterations. The Ambassador had a 116 inch wheelbase, and 68,084 were built during 1966. The prices ranged from US$2404 to $2968. The 880 Series was also available.
Marketed from 1966 as the American Motors Classic, the intermediate sized car had been in production since 1961 as the Rambler Classic. The wheelbase was 112 inches, and there were 2 sixes and 3 V8's available. Standard engines were the 287 CID 198 hp V8 or 232 CID 145 hp Six. The Classic was shod with 6.95/7.35 x 14 tyres, depending on engine size. Models included the 550, 770 or Rebel. The wagons started at US$2888, the convertible from $3065 and the Marlin featuring a new crisp roof-line was priced from $2972.
The Marlin was part of the AMC "Classic Line". Some 1966 cars were fitted with a corrugated rocker panel trim. The Marlin is easily identified by the unique fastback rear styling, however the front was a little less spectacular. The wheelbase of the 66 model was slightly shorter than the 65, reduced from 116 inches to 112 inches. Power disc brakes were standard (tyres were 7.35 or 7.75 x 14), and the Marlin featured reclining seats. Engines included the 232 CID 155 hp six, 287 CID 198 hp V8, and 327 CID 270 hp V8. To bolster sales, AMC had special pricing for the Marlin in 1966, starting at $2601 (compared to the regular list price of $3051). Only 4,547 Marlin's were manufactured in 1966.
The 1966 Cadillac Calais Series could be chosen in Coupe, Hardtop Sedan or Sedan. Calais models were mostly outfitted with 429 V8 engines and Turbo Hydra-Matic Transmissions. Standard conveniences options included Power Steering, Power Brakes, Cornering Lights, Electric Clock, Ash Receiver Lights, Courtesy Lights, Glove Box Lights, Reading Lights, Trunk Light, Remote Control Outside Mirror, Electric three-speed Windshield Wipers and Disc Brakes. Eight different interior trim options were available along with sixteen exterior body colors. Calais models were identifiable by the Cadillac script letters located on the rear deck lid and a "Calais" script on the rear quarter panels. The 4-door sedan and hardtop both sold for US$5171, while the 2-door hardtop coupe sold for $4986.
For those not born in the US, the classic looks of the
New York cab do not give any hint as to the manufacturer
of the vehicle. Rugged and reliable, it was in fact manufactured
by Checker and was even available as a passenger car from
1960 to 1982.
The Checker Marathon's donor engine was sourced from Chevrolet, and although
a V8 option was available most cabs preferred the more
economical 6, while 6 or 8 seat configurations were available. The styling of the car did not change much over the years
of production, and slowly cab drivers found favour with
more traditional large sedans - which ultimately caused
the demise of the Checker Marathon.
The Impala Caprice was reintroduced as the Chevrolet Caprice in 1966, taking the top position in the full-size Chevrolet lineup. The Impala however, remained Chevrolet's top-selling model until the late 1970s. Engine choices included the inline six-cylinder as well as the famous Chevy small-block and big-block V8s. Automatic buyers were given the option of the newly-introduced three-range Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission for the newly-introduced Mark IV big-block engine, displacing 396 cubic inches.
The old 409-cubic-inch (6.7 Litre) "W" engine was discontinued early in the 1965 model year, so early-production '65s got the 409, where later-built cars had the 396-cubic-inch (6.5 L) as the big-block option. Two-range Powerglide, as well as Synchro-Mesh 3 and 4-speed manual transmissions were available. As with previous years, Impalas featured more chrome trim inside and out, with pleated tufted upholstery and door panels.
Chrysler entered the 1966 model year with a new 440-cubic inch V - 8 engine, the largest displacement engine offered by Chrysler to this time. It developed 350 hp at 4400 rpm. A new option available only to the Chrysler was the first independent rear heater to combine heating, defrosting, and defogging operations in one unit.