1969 Camaro Yenko Sport Coupe

Hugger Orange 1969 Camaro Yenko Sport Coupe
Hugger Orange 1969 Camaro Yenko Sport Coupe. Photo by Mark Gittelman

Take a look at this amazing example of an all original 1969 Camaro Yenko Sport Coupe. This particular Hugger Orange car is up for sale at a local classic car dealer. With an asking price of well over $700,000 it will probably remain on the market for some time.

I touched on the subject of the Yenko project cars in a recent post about the third-generation Chevrolet Nova Super Sport. In this article we'll focus on the YSC Camaros.

Join me as we explore why these cars are so rare and try to rationalize the enormous amounts of money the cars pull down at classic car auctions.

What is a Yenko Camaro

Don Yenko is a person that owned a Chevrolet dealership in Pennsylvania. The ex-race car driver is also known for his expertise in the high performance world. In 1967 he started taking big block Camaros from dealer stock and upgrading them. His favorite thing to do was to pull the 396 V8 and replace it with the L72 427.

The team considered the high compression L72 version of the 427, rated at 435 HP, as the clear engine of choice from 1966 through 1969. When Yenko Chevy started to upgrade the first generation Camaros in 1967 they had to remove the factory installed engines. This meant the car was no longer a matching numbers automobile. Thanks to the Yenko super cars website you can still verify the authenticity of a 1967 and 1968 Camaro up fitted at Yenko Chevrolet.

In 1967 the team upgraded 108 Camaros in total. For 1968 this number fell to 33. Thankfully, in 1969, the last year of the first generation cars, the number of up fitted units reached an all-time high of around 200. Some say the number is exactly 201 and others say the exact figure is 198. The number of cars still in existence remains unclear.

Why is the 1969 YSC Camaro Special

A verified 1967 or 1968 Yenko Camaro can bring as much money as the 1969 models, because of the small production numbers. However, many consider the 1969 model year the cream of the crop. One of the major differences from the first two years is the L72 427 V-8 is now installed on the factory assembly line. This is thanks to the discovery and implementation of the COPO (Central Office Production Order) system.

In the first two years a limited number of options were available. As an example, all of the 67 through 1968 cars had a Muncie M-22 Rock Crusher 4 speed manual. On the 1969 models you could order a 400 Turbo Hydromatic automatic transmission. Another important point to make is the Yenko performance team continued to evolve. They learned from their mistakes and each car seemed better than the previous one.

They realized these cars could benefit from a 4 core radiator, a 4.10 Positraction rear differential and a beefier suspension. Improvements also carried over to the appearance, package applied to the interior and exterior of the automobiles. The team applied larger decals and more identification badges on the 1969 Camaro Yenko Sport Coupe's. They also applied what they learned to the YFC 1969 Chevrolet Super Sport Chevelle.

Should I get a Yenko Clone

Generally speaking, the word clone is not viewed upon favorably in the world of classic cars. However, many believe this rule doesn't apply when you're talking about a Yenko clone or replica. If the car isn't represented as authentic or original you can save around $500,000.

In fact, the asking price will probably be under $100,000 depending on the build quality. It's hard to look at a 1969 Camaro with a 427 and say it's a bad thing. Another advantage is the Yenko replicas are currently enjoying steady resale values in a turbulent collector car market.

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Gittelman, Mark. "1969 Camaro Yenko Sport Coupe." ThoughtCo, Jan. 27, 2016, thoughtco.com/1969-camaro-yenko-sport-coupe-726041. Gittelman, Mark. (2016, January 27). 1969 Camaro Yenko Sport Coupe. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/1969-camaro-yenko-sport-coupe-726041 Gittelman, Mark. "1969 Camaro Yenko Sport Coupe." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/1969-camaro-yenko-sport-coupe-726041 (accessed November 23, 2017).