We can think of no better way to welcome in the New Year than to do so in a huge plume of raw tire smoke! Thanks for joining us again here at The Hollow in 2014, today we’re heading back to the Beverly Corners Show and Shine 2013 with our running photoblog series “The Toads At The Sportsplex“. The car show was a terrific experience for us this past summer, even though we only visited briefly we came away with some really great shots of some terrific cars. The one we’re featuring here today is a 1969 Camaro RS SS Yenko “Tribute” car. Meticulously built, you’d be seriously hard-pressed to notice the differences between this car and one of the real originals.
This is the stuff that myths are built on, my friends. And for really good reason, too.
In the late 1960’s Don Yenko owned Yenko Chevrolet, a Chevy dealership on the east coast of the US. In 1967 he started taking the new Chevrolet Corvairs, which seemingly impressed him with their handling due to the rear-engine design, and began to modify them and sell them to a hungry group of car enthusiasts. This was the same time that Chevrolet was releasing their version of the pony car, called the Camaro. Don immediately recognized that this was a very special platform, perfectly suited for high horsepower, big block engines.
And thus was born the legend.
The original Yenko’s are going for astronomical amounts of money these days, partly due to their rarity and partly due to the history behind the badge. It’s common to see replicar versions, like the one we feature here today, selling for $50,000-$100,000. In some cases, the guys who build them spend that much to make the car spot-on perfect.
In this shot, of particular note, is the cue ball 4-speed shift knob. This is a classic throw-back to the 60’s muscle car era and lets the world know that under the hood of this car is a pure tire-smoking, fire-breathing beast that does not like to sit still. At all.
If you love cars half as much as I do you can’t help but be struck by the incredible condition this car is in, including under the hood. No attention to detail has been missed to create the most authentic rendition of a Yenko I’ve seen in many years. During the time these cars were prowling the streets, Detroit was well-known to fib on the performance specifications, widely believed to be a way to circumvent some of the issues that were being raised by insurance companies concerned about the speed and power of this generation of cars. The 425HP sticker on the air filter is really more of a way to placate concerned insurance executives than it was meant to advertise the truth.
And for good reason, too. This one fact alone is highly responsible for the limited number of cars from this era. Today, many of them live out their days in a wrecking yard after having come to an abrupt stop by meeting a telephone pole at velocity. Sadly, many lives were also lost during this time.
The Yenko stripe was quite prevalent on many, if not all, of the modified cars that Don Yenko built and shipped from his dealership. Today, avid enthusiasts can recognize a Yenko from hundreds of yards away with a glance of these stripes.
This was also true for the badging. The Yenko badge affixed to the back of the car denotes that under this gorgeous sheet-metal lives the heart of a true dragon. This is further bolstered by the 427 badge, one that lives on today in infamy in car circles everywhere. One glance at these badges, and most people looking for a challenge in the form of a race just throw up their hands and walk away. No one likes to be embarrassed.
I find it so exciting to discover that there’s still a large and enthusiastic audience for cars of this caliber and generation. So much history is lost these days as new generations come and lose interest in the things that matter to the previous generations. Cars appear to be immune from this. To find proof, all you need to do is find a local car show, usually hosted in the summer months, and spend some time wandering around and talking to the owners. You’re guaranteed an experience you won’t soon forget.
Thanks so much for visiting us here today on our first post of 2014! As always, we love to hear from all our visitors, so please do feel free to leave us any comments you may have. Until next time, my friends!!