During the early days, Chevy's "Super Sport" badge could be found on anything that offered the package. Super Sport never stood specifically for horsepower, but rather interior and exterior appointments. It was more about cosmetic and aesthetic appeal from bright work to instrument clusters. You could walk up on a Chevy II with this badge thinking, "boy this must be some machine" only to find an inline six and two speed Powerglide doing the work.
The Chevy II in particular was capable of being the ultimate Super Sport performer. Scaling in at sub-3000 pounds when equipped with basic engine and transmission options, you'd have one of the lightest stock vehicles to take flight for the time. In direct competition with Chevy's little deuce was Ford's Falcon which we know is basically a Mustang wearing a mask so it can be argued this featherweight took on two rivals at once. GM wasn't about to put a big block on the order yet, but they had one tight screamer for the job. Check engine code L79.
An engine expected to serve as base Corvette power, the 350 horsepower 327 cubic inch small block was the pinnacle of 1966 Chevy II engine options. A three speed manual, four speed manual wide ratio, and four speed close ration manual transmission could be had for optimal connectivity between maniac and machine. The three speed being lighter kept curb weight just (and we mean just) under 3000 pounds without passenger. Someone ordering this transmission may figure, "It only takes three gears light to light."
The interior could be as purposeful as one desired. A flat bench seat and rip stick protruding from the carpet? Or this sporty bucket seat with bright console and chrome knob? That's all relative to an individual's idea of "Super Sport". When things are approaching speeds no longer registered by the speedometer maybe you'll find more security being unstrapped in a bucket rather than on a bench. Let that idea sink in that young people went shrieking over 120 miles per hour without a seat belt on and still lived so you could be here to read this.
Going with the L79 option netted a Chevy that could run well with big blocks and even surprise a few. The compact coupe fit the traditional muscle car formula of stuffing a honking lump of horsepower in a small, light body. This capability of swallowing 427 cubic inch horse pills of protein while maintaining a trim figure made pre-'68 Chevy IIs perfect for drag strip duty.
However, the L79 equipped Chevy II nailed another formula that wouldn't become popular for decades while others were headed on the Hemi hunt. The future was powerful, lightweight, small displacement engines that provided a more balanced package to back the potency. Like the five liter Mustangs and Camaros of the 80s and LS series Chevy small blocks of 1998 and forward, an L79 327 Chevy II may very well be an example of the future, "less is most" philosophy taking root and putting a shot right between the tusks.