Don Yenko knew he had a good thing going in 1967 when he dropped that Corvette engine into a Camaro body, creating a muscle car that really could muscle out the competition that it was previously being smoked by. The Camaro was Chevrolet’s answer to the popularity of the Mustang, but GM’s restriction on engine size meant that it was more Shetland pony than racehorse. Using the Camaro SS, Yenko upgraded the engine, and built roughly 100 of the vehicles. Chevy wisely saw how folks snapped them up, and made their own upgrades, which were then badged with the Yenko striping and plate. The Yenko remains a collector’s item, and a fondly remembered entree into DIY power. (For more on the original Yenko, check out our TBT post on it: The Yenko Camaro).
So it was with surprise and delight that the press watched the unveiling at SEMA 2014 of a limited edition 2015 Yenko 427 Supercharged 700hp Camaro produced by SLP Specialty Vehicles, Inc. The pony car has been back on the radar the past few years with the new Camaro, the newly aggressive Dodge Charger and Challenger, and the 50th Anniversary of the Mustang, and this seems like a fitting tribute to the age of muscle.
The Yenko will be based off the ZL1 Camaro, and will utilize the 427ci LS7 custom built engine, along with various internal and external upgrades that will commemorate the original build. 50 of the Yenkos will be manufactured, and will be available as a coupe or convertible, with automatic or manual transmissions. Each will be numbered with a Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin.
The car is pretty stunning in person, a sleek, beasty Camaro and it will be interesting to start hearing first hand accounts of driveability, power and performance. For now, we’ll wait and see if, horsepower aside, this collector’s item is more than a sophisticated piece of nostalgia, or a truly unique player in the horsepower game.
Tell us what you think. Is a new Yenko on your must-have list?