Muscle Car

The Real Deal Yenko Camaro.

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By Mark Weisseg

The Yenko Camaro from 1967 to 1969, were some of the best vehicles of the era and now some of the rarest and most expensive.

First, Don Yenko was a Chevrolet dealer in Canonsburg, PA. Same birth place as Perry Como if you know who Perry Como is. Canonsburg is a small steel town south of Pittsburgh. If you need a spot in your head it is right off of Interstate 79. It is an old town that has been through many changes over the years and has faced many hardships during economic downturns.
Yenko Chevy was a small dealer by today’s standards but Don had an idea to boost the performance on certain model cars and it took off slowly. Sadly, Mr. Yenko was killed in March 1987 while piloting his small airplane in less than desirable weather conditions.
Yenko got around the GM ruling of not having an engine larger than 400ci. by swapping in L-72 427ci. corvette engines, with a 4.10 rear end and heavier duty suspension. some of these were built through the COPO (Central Office Production Order) system so they could be allowed to race.

Today, original Yenko Chevrolets are hard to come by. Clones and Tributes are everywhere. Kind of like all the Elvis impersonators in the world. So, top money is paid for the real deals and darn good money is paid to the others.

Last year at one of our shows we had Camaro night and a group of three guys trailered in a Camaro. Now, I am not a trailer queen guy but I hung around to see what they were going to unload. Sure enough it was a real deal green Yenko. Freshly restored to perfection with the paint being barely dry. So, a few of us gathered around the car to see if it was the real deal or a very good forgery. We did our due diligence and as promised the car was the real deal.

A rare chance to see and be with the real deal. The history, the story, and the legend was right in front of me. I spoke with the owner and he was very knowledgeable about not only the car but about Don Yenko himself.
This example had the L-72 427ci. engine and for the many Camaros I have seen in driven in my time, A Yenko Camaro is just that bit more special.

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