Hidden treasure: The last 1967 Yenko Camaro
Yenko Chevrolet holds a special place in Bow Tie collectors’ hearts, just like what Mr. Norm’s Grand Spaulding Dodge, Royal Pontiac, and Tasca Ford do for fans of their respective brands. Like those aforementioned dealers, Don Yenko wasn’t one to let factory options limit what his dealership sold to his customers, promising—and delivering—higher performance on the street and the strip with tuning and then some.
Yenko Chevrolet’s most well-known service was swapping 427-cubic-inch Chevy big-blocks into vehicles that Chevrolet only saw fit to equip with 396-cubic-inch big-blocks, and the most well-known recipients were first-generation Camaros.
When John Weaver was in the market for something a little more potent than his small-block-powered 1965 Chevelle, an advertisement for 1968 Yenko Camaros caught his eye. It was March 1968, but Yenko Chevrolet hadn’t yet started the 427 conversion on any ’68 model year cars. However, an unsold 1967 396 Camaro was available, and although it had an odd color combo of blue exterior and red interior, Weaver was sold.
It was the final 1967 Camaro to undergo Yenko’s 427 swap.
The car proved to be much quicker than the heavier, less-powerful Chevelle, but it didn’t stay “stock” for long. It was painted red, which was what Weaver wanted all along, and it got a bigger cam and ported heads in the quest for lower E.T.s on the drag strip. The car was parked in 1973 after the modified big-block eventually had its way with the automatic transmission causing the car to sit for decades.
After 45 years, the car is off to a new owner who promises to complete a full restoration. Head over to HOTROD.com for photos and more on the story.