FIELD STRIPPED
Hot Rod|September 2021
Original Owner 1966 SS396 Pulled From a Backyard in Charlotte, North Carolina
Jerry Heasley

Why do great cars get parked outside for decades? The answer is the same for John Graham as it is for anyone. “I was gonna fix it up, like everybody else does, put bigger brakes on it,” he says. “So many things got in the way. It never happened.”

Graham purchased the 1966 Chevelle SS396 in 1966 after walking into LaPointe Chevrolet in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, with the intention of buying a new Super Sport. He had priced GTOs, which “were way too high.” He even test drove a new Oldsmobile 4-4-2, which was a 1965 model and “did not have the sail panels on the back,” a feature he liked on the Chevelle.

After deciding on the Chevelle, Graham ordered a four-speed transmission over the standard three-speed, bucket seats, a pushbutton AM radio, and a simulated wood steering wheel. As a preventive measure, Graham added a tinted windshield and undercoating.

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