Yenko Chevrolet, located in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, was one of largest custom muscle car shops of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Don Yenko, son of the dealership founder, first sold specially ordered and equipped Corvairs in 1965 through 1967 called the Yenko Stinger.
In 1966, Don Yenko was impressed enough with the late model Chevrolet Corvair’s handling, and decided to apply for SCCA approval of the Corsa model for racing. The sanctioning body approved the cars with back seat removed and upgrades to the Corsa engine increasing horsepower and torque. The 100 1966 Corsas that received certification were all painted white with blue striping, and were named “Yenko Stinger.”
Yenko continued to modify Corvair coupes as Stingers for the rest of the car’s production run. The last Stinger was a 1969 coupe, after which Corvair production ceased for good at Willow Run, Michigan.
When the Camaro entered the pony car fray in 1967, Yenko transplanted Chevrolet’s 427 cubic inch, 425 horsepower L-72 engine (along with other high-performance parts) and created the Yenko Camaro. The cars were so popular that, in 1968-69, Yenko used Chevrolet’s Central Office Production Order (COPO) system to have L-72 engines installed into Chevrolet Camaros, Chevelles, and Novas on the factory assembly lines.
In 1971 Yenko sold the Chevrolet Vega Yenko Stinger II with a modified Vega aluminum-block 2.3 inline 4 with a turbocharger and 155 hp. Chevy didn’t take the hint on its marketing potential as the Yenko-requested higher-compression engine blocks nor factory equipped turbo engines were ever built. The Stinger II was offered from Yenko Chevrolet through 1973. The high performance and limited production of all Yenko-modified cars makes them valuable and prized to collectors.