The Yenko Camaro
The Camaro has long been associated with speed, power, and respect on the road, however, there was a time when it simply could not compete with the Ford Mustang and Plymouth Barracuda. At the time that the Camaro was first produced, General Motors had a limit which prevented using an engine larger than a 400 cubic inch V8, much unlike its competition, which had no such restriction. Things changed under Don Yenko, who understood that there was a market for more powerful cars, and so began the story of the Yenko Camero, a modified version of the famous car line, produced under Yenko Chevrolet.
In 1967, after Yenko ordered SS Camaros, which were L-87 equipped, he swapped in the Chevy Corvette’s L-72 427 cubic inch V8 engine. This allowed for a 423 horsepower rating. It is rumored that just one 1968 Camaro actually “came from the factory…with a 427 cubic inch engine,” which, if true, means it is one of the most valuable cars in existence.
Produced from 1967-1969, the Yenko Camaro was assembled in Van Nuys, California and Norwood, Ohio and was available as a 2-door coupe and a 2-door convertible. It was given three different transmission types: a 4-speed manual, a 2-speed automatic, and a 3-speed automatic. Only a few hundred of the cars were produced, and most featured the 4-speed transmission. Only 2 known automatic transmission 1969 Yenko Camaros existed as of fall, 2008.
The Yenko Camaros have grown in price significantly, some going for well over $2.2 million at Barrett-Jackson auctions. Given their huge value and place in history as a great muscle car, a new Yenko Camaro was introduced in 2010, featuring a new supercharged version of the LS3 engine, which is a standard feature in the Camaro SS.