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Did Don Yenko ever build any SYC corvettes? I have seen Baldwin Montion corvettes, but dont recall the SYC's.
 

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I do believe there are NO Yenko Corvettes
 

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Yenko 301

C6Nut400 said:
The man the guy was talking about in that thread was this guy. I think.
Yenko Chevrolet, was first known as Yenko's Central Garage, located in Bentley, PA. It became a franchised Chevrolet dealer in 1934.

In 1947, the dealership moved to nearby Canonsburg, PA. This is where the hi-performance division of Yenko was created. Yenko Sportscars, Inc. (sYc), as it was known, was the brainchild of the Yenko¹s only child, Donald Frank "Don" Yenko.

It has been over 20 years since the last Yenko was produced, it is impossible to be involved with Chevy musclecars and not hear the name Yenko mentioned. Yenko built cars are some of the rarest and most sought after musclecars ever built, demanding a high price if you ever see one for sale. Any musclecar collector would love to have at least one "Yenko" in their collection.

Don, turned a portion of his Dad's Chevrolet dealership into a race shop. A place where Don's race cars were maintained, but where other area racers maintained their cars also.

By 1957, Don succeeded in making his Dad's dealership into a speed shop for Chevy cars, where customers could order hi-performance parts at the counter for their 265's and 283's, or leave their car at the dealership to be worked on by Don's race mechanics.

In the 1960's car business, actual performance wasn't enough. Perceived performance was just as, if not more, important than what actually happened on the street. Pop culture sang songs about fast cars. And the guy who could lay the longest patch of rubber got the girls. Most historians consider the "Musclecar Era" starting when Pontiac dropped a big block 389cid in the Tempest/LeMans mid-size platform, and gave birth to the famed GTO.

In the mid 60s, Don, now a successful Corvette road racer, having seen what Carroll Shelby had done with the Ford Mustang, decided that he could do the same with a Chevrolet product. Not having a large choice of base cars to choose from, Don settled upon the lowly Corvair. In late 1965, Don convinced GM to build, ship and finance him, 100 specially built Central Office Production Order (COPO) 1966 Corvairs. They were equipped with 140 HP engines, 4-speed transaxles and fast steering. The cars would be known as "Yenko Stingers", "Stinger" being a name Chevrolet had licensed, but allowed Don Yenko to use.

Once the cars arrived at the dealership, they had numerous items added by Yenko, including a combination fiberglass rear deck lid/spoiler, bold racing stripes running over the trunk, top and rear deck lid, fiberglass "sail" panels replacing the rear side glass and a carpeted piece of wood in place of the rear seat. This was necessary since the cars would be raced in a class for 2 seater vehicles. Customers could chose from one of four different Yenko engine options, from the Stage I engine (with 160hp), up to the all out race Stage IV engine that put out over 240hp from the flat Corvair opposed 6 cylinder engine. Soon Stingers began dominating the SCCA D-production class, with Jerry Thompson winning a national championship in 1967 in a Stinger. Yenko Stingers prices ranged from $ 2,600.00 up to about $ 3,100.00 for the hottest Stage IV cars.


Photo credit

In 1966, Ralph Nader released his expose on the Corvair, "Unsafe at any Speed." Actor Ernie Novak was killed in a Corvair, and now the book went into much detail explaining how unsafe the Chevrolet Corvair was. Needless to say, this bad publicity led to the end of the Yenko Stinger and the Corvair program. Approximately 25 Stingers were produced in 1967, with a couple of more produced in later years. Chevrolet stopped production of the Corvair in 1969, though they sold leftover 69's as 1970 models.

In 1967 at the height of the musclecar wars, you could buy any number of Mopars with a 426 Hemi or 440 wedge motor. Ford's were popping up all over the place with dual-quad 427's. Low Risers, High Risers, even an SOHC 427 Ford was built. It soon became obvious that more power was needed under the hood of the soon to be released Camaro. But the General (GM) had a policy. No more than 400 cubic inch engines in intermediate and compact cars. If the Camaro was to be marketed successfully against the other performance pony-cars, Mustang, Barracuda, Firebird, and the rest of the musclecar pack, Chevrolet was going to have to level the playing field.

In 1969 (Yenko's most productive year), Don went all out. Besides his already successful Yenko Camaro, Don saw the need to offer a 427 Chevelle and a 427 Nova. As with the '67 and '68 Yenkos, the engine of choice was the L-72, 427cid, 435hp Vette engine. But even Don could not get Chevrolet to put a 427 into the lightweight Nova. This had to be done at the Yenko dealership.

The 1969 Yenko Chevelle came equipped much like the Camaro, using COPO 9562 and COPO 9737. Colors included Garnet Red, Butternut Yellow, Lemans Blue, Dover White, Daytona Yellow, Fathom Green, Hugger Orange and Olympic Gold, and you could opt for a vinyl top here too, available in several different colors. It is thought that less then 100 "Yenko Chevelle's" were produced, making it more rare than the famed '69 Yenko Camaro.

By the end of 1970, high insurance costs and government regulations, reduced the market for super cars. It was evident to Don Yenko that Chevrolet was no longer going to offer any high horsepower engine options and was instead starting to produce smaller cars. With the newly released 1971 Vega (a small, 4 cylinder economy car), Don looked at the Vega and saw his next project, the "Stinger II". It was to have fiberglass front and rear spoilers, special Yenko graphics and a turbocharger. But, just as Don was ready to release the latest Yenko on the performance market, the EPA heard what he was intending to do. The EPA informed Yenko that the "Yenko Turbo Vega" would need to pass EPA certification before it could be sold to the public.

This certification process would require a test run of 50,000 miles under the scrutiny of the EPA. The Yenko staff had rented a racetrack and were prepared to complete the certification test, but at the eleventh hour, decided not to do it. Don went ahead and produced his Yenko Vega, but with out a turbocharger. The turbo had to be purchased separately as an aftermarket item. It is unknown how many Yenko Vega¹s were ever produced, with few documented examples surviving today.

Just as Chevrolet was changing directions, so was Yenko, as in 1972 they held a ground breaking ceremony for a new modern facility in McMurray, Pennsylvania. Except for a limited number of "special purpose" race cars, Yenko was now out of the business of building and selling hi-performance cars. Instead, Yenko Sports Cars had started publishing a hi-performance parts catalog. Here, customers throughout the country could order all sorts of hi-performance parts for their Chevrolet products. Everything from Yenko stickers to an all aluminum big block 427. This block was the same famed ZL-1 power plant made famous in Can-Am racing and in the ill fated 1969 ZL-1 Camaros and Corvettes of Fred Gibb.

Yenko had received permission to produce this block when Chevy had abandoned the ZL-1 project. The only difference between the Yenko version and the ZL-1 version was the Yenko name cast in the front of the block. The majority of these aluminum blocks were used in boats and for stock car racing. It is unknown how many of these blocks were sold, but many of them are still around today.

Yenko's last creation was called the "Yenko Turbo Z". Built using the 1981 Z-28 Camaro, Yenko added a turbocharger to the cars 350cid engine. The "Turbo Z" could be ordered in two different stages. Besides the turbo, the Stage I cars received a special Yenko designed graphics package, by now a staple on all Yenko cars.

Stage II cars received the turbo, the graphics, a special nosepiece, different wheels and tires, Koni adjustable shocks and special leather racing style seats. It is believed that only 19 Turbo Z's were ever built, with only 2 in Stage II trim.



Yenko Chevrolet was sold in 1982. Don Yenko continued with all of his hobbies, which included racing, playing the piano and flying his own plane.

In 1987, while on final approach to a airport near Charleston, West Virginia, Don lost control of his plane and crashed. Tragically, everyone on board the plane was killed on impact, including Don. Surviving the great Don Yenko were two daughters Terri and Lynn, their mother and Don's first wife Hope and hundreds of Yenko Chevrolet creations still alive today.

So while there may be a "Yenko 2001 Corvette", it wasn't built by Don or the original Yenko Sportscars, Inc. (sYc), team.

Ref.

C'ya
D
 

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Oh of course. I know that I was just showing where that guy got that 2001 427 C5 yenko thing from.
 

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C6Nut400 said:
Oh of course. I know that I was just showing where that guy got that 2001 427 C5 yenko thing from.
I know that too.. I was just taking the opportunity to do a Yenko post for historical value.. :excited: :thumbsup: :buhbye:

Thanks for the lead in... :partyon: :hump:
 

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I'm pretty certain that Yenko offered a C3 package VERY briefly. Seems like they only sold two or three of them -
...headlights in popup cavity with clear covers
...something unique with the roof
...special paint
...special engine

Pretty sure I've got a pic in one of my books at home - unless I saw it browsing in a book store. I'll check.

Regardless, I completely agree that there were no C5 Yenko models.
 

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Longtimer said:
I'm pretty certain that Yenko offered a C3 package VERY briefly. Seems like they only sold two or three of them -
...headlights in popup cavity with clear covers
...something unique with the roof
...special paint
...special engine

Pretty sure I've got a pic in one of my books at home - unless I saw it browsing in a book store. I'll check.

Regardless, I completely agree that there were no C5 Yenko models.
If you or anyone can find a legitimate reference to a Yenko sYc Corvette (not a personal Yenko racer), dinner for two's on me (first to post).

C'ya
D
 

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c5d said:
I know that too.. I was just taking the opportunity to do a Yenko post for historical value.. :excited: :thumbsup: :buhbye:

Thanks for the lead in... :partyon: :hump:
:thumbsup: :cheers:
 

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c5d said:
If you or anyone can find a legitimate reference to a Yenko sYc Corvette (not a personal Yenko racer), dinner for two's on me (first to post).

C'ya
D
You could be right, I looked through all of my books and didn't find the picture or article that I remember. It would take weeks to get through all of my magazines. If I ever find the pic that I recall, I'll let you know - Yenko or not.

:cheers:
 

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c5d said:
If you or anyone can find a legitimate reference to a Yenko sYc Corvette (not a personal Yenko racer), dinner for two's on me (first to post).

C'ya
D
I'll split that with ya D'!:thumbsup:
 

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I owned a Yenko Camaro in 1969. What I do remember is this. Yenko NEVER offered a package for Corvette, but did offer parts and services at the dealership.

If you bought a Corvette from Yenko, they did offer do rework the heads and other small items, but never did they come out with any package such as they did with the Corvair, Nova, Camaro, or Chevelle...

Now that was a long time ago, and I am going purely on memory....

Yenko did work with Smokey for a while on a personal race car....but that never amounted to anything special. On the road racing side it was the Corvair that he was most noted for...later obviously it was the Camaro.
 

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Ebvette said:
I owned a Yenko Camaro in 1969. What I do remember is this. Yenko NEVER offered a package for Corvette, but did offer parts and services at the dealership.

If you bought a Corvette from Yenko, they did offer do rework the heads and other small items, but never did they come out with any package such as they did with the Corvair, Nova, Camaro, or Chevelle...

Now that was a long time ago, and I am going purely on memory....

Yenko did work with Smokey for a while on a personal race car....but that never amounted to anything special. On the road racing side it was the Corvair that he was most noted for...later obviously it was the Camaro.
you are correct as yenko chevrolet built corvette race cars for customers that already owned the corvettes. back in the late 50s and early 60s corvette racers like ed lowther and ed myers raced corvettes in SCCA that were built and maintained at yenko chevrolet by don mechanic bill hartley. donna mae mins also campained corvettes and yenko stingers maintained by bill hartley at dons dads dealership. he never marketed a corvette under his yenko sports cars. i went to a lot of SCCA races back as pit crew for these people.
 

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motorman said:
you are correct as yenko chevrolet built corvette race cars for customers that already owned the corvettes. back in the late 50s and early 60s corvette racers like ed lowther and ed myers raced corvettes in SCCA that were built and maintained at yenko chevrolet by don mechanic bill hartley. donna mae mins also campained corvettes and yenko stingers maintained by bill hartley at dons dads dealership. he never marketed a corvette under his yenko sports cars. i went to a lot of SCCA races back as pit crew for these people.
OK, OK, I concede. I still haven't found the pictures I was thinking were of a Yenko Vette. But I have found some of the Motion vette that look pretty close to them, I was very likely wrong - especially in light of all these knowledgeable posts!

:thumbsup:
 

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Longtimer said:
OK, OK, I concede. I still haven't found the pictures I was thinking were of a Yenko Vette. But I have found some of the Motion vette that look pretty close to them, I was very likely wrong - especially in light of all these knowledgeable posts!

:thumbsup:
consider it a day lost when you do not learn something new. :D
 

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Motion Motors was a delearship on Long Island, I think it was called Baldwin.....it produced Corvettes in Phases like the Phase I package, Phase II package and the almighty Phase III package...both Corvettes and Camaros. Again this is from memory...
 

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Ebvette said:
Motion Motors was a delearship on Long Island, I think it was called Baldwin.....it produced Corvettes in Phases like the Phase I package, Phase II package and the almighty Phase III package...both Corvettes and Camaros. Again this is from memory...
This will help refresh your memory...

Baldwin Motion

C'ya
D
 
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