Answer: Don’t bother looking. Tank stickers were not affixed to the top of the gas tanks of Corvettes until the 1967 model year. This can make it significantly more difficult to determine how a 1966 Corvette was originally equipped. In some cases there are other ways to determine how a 1966 Corvette left the factory. Perhaps you are lucky enough to have the original window sticker which includes the vehicle identification number (VIN), the interior and exterior colors, and a list of the options with which the car was equipped. The “Protect-O-Plate” (POP), a small metal plate attached to the back of the Warranty Booklet, contains important information such as the engine number, transmission number, rear axle number, interior trim codes, and exterior paint codes. Finally, under the dashboard on the passenger side of the car is the “Trim Tag” which contains codes for the paint color, interior trim color, and body type. Right next to the “Trim Tag” should be the “VIN Tag” which contains the vehicle VIN.
All of the information mentioned above should match that which is found on the vehicle itself, such as the engine number, transmission number, rear axle number, exterior paint color and interior trim color if the vehicle is entirely original.
Much of a classic Corvettes intrinsic value is in its originality, and the ability to document this originality. Because of this, a virtual cottage industry has developed in which false documents are created to match an undocumented car. It is amazing how authentic a forger can make a document appear using nothing more than lemon juice, wet tea bags, and sunlight.
Sometimes a Corvette is heavily and accurately documented, but unfortunately the numbers on the car don’t match the documents. This would be the case if a major component of the car such as the engine or transmission were changed at some time in the cars life. Another cottage industry is keeping a good number of people off the unemployment roles as they “re-stamp” engines and other components so that they match the authentic documents.
The quality of both the forged documents as well as the re-stamped engines is often very poor and therefore useless, but it is sometimes very good and can only be discerned by an expert.
If you have a 1966 Corvette that you believe is entirely original, it would be wise to have an expert take a look at it and advise you how to proceed with the restoration in order to retain, and add, as much value as possible.