The best yenko muscle cars… what are they exactly?
If you never heard of a yenko car, allow me to introduce them to you.
The yenko cars are modified Chevrolet Camaros that were prepared by Yenko Chevrolet, a dealership that was created and owned by racer Don Yenko.
What he did was actually genius as he found a loophole in the design during a time where American muscle cars were competing for the biggest and fastest car.
There was a limitation by General Motors to carry an engine larger than 400in3 (6.6L) V8.
As a result, the Camaro was at a disadvantage in terms of engine power compared to other market competitors such as the Ford Mustang, Plymouth Barracuda and the Dodge Dart.
To compete, Don Yenko ordered L78 equipped SS Camaros and swapped in the Chevrolet Corvette’s L72 427in3 (7.0L) V8 engine.
The L78 equipped SS Camaros came with a 4.10 rear end and a heavy-duty suspension, making this merger non-problematic.
Best Yenko Muscle Cars
- 1975 Pontiac Yenko
- 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Yenko
- 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Yenko
- 1981 Chevrolet Camaro Yenko
- 2017 Corvette Yenko
1975 Pontiac Yenko
This is the only one built and it comes with an amazing story!
By 1975, Chevy abandoned the muscle car wars but many engineers and technicians still hungered for a more powerful car.
The owner of this Pontiac Firebird Trans Am continued his search and agreed on a deal with Don and Frank Yenko from Yenko Chevrolet.
By installing Chevrolet’s L88 427/430 HP racing big block, capable of producing upwards of 550 HP, and including a 4-speed and 4.10 gears for max performance, Yenko created the only Yenko Trans Am ever built!
1969 Chevrolet Camaro Yenko
This is a rare Jack Douglass Yenko Camaro.
But that doesn’t seem right.
Wasn’t the Yenko Camaro made in Chevrolet?
Let me tell you a story…
Chevrolet did create 350- and 396- powered Camaros with a Corvette-sourced L72 427/425 HP big block engines starting in 1967.
However, in 1969, Yenko convinced Chevy’s marketing manager Vince Piggins at the time to sell 500 427-powered Comaros nationwide.
But some of the Yenko Super Camaros were not produced at Yenko’s Canonsburg, Pennsylvania dealership but at Jack Douglass Chevrolet in Chicago.
No one knows really how many Yenko Camaros were produced in 1969 but it is estimated to be around 25.
For a long time, the Yenko community was wondering whether or not Jack Douglass Yenko Camaro were considered a “fake” Yenko Camaro if it was not made in Yenko’s dealership.
It was later revealed that a Douglass technician discovered that only a few modifications made via the 3M vinyl graphics and badges.
There are many varying tales of what exactly this technician found but regardless, an agreement was struck and Douglass continued to make and sell Yenko Camaros under the license from Yenko.
1967 Chevrolet Camaro Yenko
Your eyes are looking at the first camaro ever delivered to Yenko, making it a one of a kind yenko muscle car.
What is interested about this car is that it was built on the first day of production and it was delivered to Yenko Chevrolet on September 1st, 1966.
It was originally produced as a V8 coupe, most likely for a smaller block car since big block production did not start until Novemeber 1966.
It packed a 427 Cl engine block that needed to fit with the Corvette L72 427/450 Hp components.
Also included were the Muncie 4-speed with Muncie shifter, a 12-bolt 3.73 Positraction rear end, factory traction bars, Yenko Green-face custom tach, gauges, and fiberglass Stinger hood.
1981 Chevrolet Camaro Yenko
This was the last Yenko Camaro from the original series ever built.
The series was revisited again in 2012 but this marked the end of a dynasty of powerful and slick cars from Yenko.
This Yenko Camaro was built with turbo charge and had a 350 ci/300 hp engine.
2017 Corvette Yenko
This Yenko was made in 2017, 1 of only 50 that were ever created.
This is a Corvette SVE, specialty vehicle engineering – meaning that though it probably won’t be for sale for the general public, it is just a major flex for engineers to build and for Yenko muscle car enthusiasts to seek out and own.
The engine built was a 6.8L/800 HP along with a 8-speed paddle shift automatic transmission.
These are your best yenko muscle cars, ranked by their unique story and car design.
They all have powerful V8 engines and are built to be muscle cars so they were not ranked on those criteria.
So, how did I do?
What is your favorite yenko muscle car?