You can think of Don Yenko as Chevrolet’s performance counterpart to Carroll Shelby over at Ford. Not only did Don race Corvettes in everything from Sports Car Club of America regional races to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France — but at his Chevy dealership in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, he targeted performance enthusiasts by adding serious firepower to some of his fleet. You could get a Camaro with a big block 427 under the hood from him. Indeed, manipulating Chevy’s Central Office Production Order (COPO) programme was his forte and one of his best creations came in 1970; it was the Nova Yenko Deuce aka ‘the Insurance Beater’.
Customers were having a hard time insuring their Yenko-fettled cars with their massive motors and tyre-shredding torque but he found a way of offering enthusiasts loads of power for the value-minded Nova by shoehorning a 350 V8 under the bonnet along with a host of extra goodies. The motor was mated to a Muncie M-21 four-speed manual and the little Chevy also got a 12-bolt rear end, 4.10 gears with a posi, front and rear sway bars, beefy F-41 suspension and some go-faster decals — but the insurance companies took one look at the small-block LT1 and passed the coupe off as just a good-looking grocery getter. Little did they know that the Nova Yenko Deuce was packing 360 horses! The huge output combined with the lightweight body sure made for a thrilling ride. That year, 175 were produced and were all snapped up.
If you find this rare, mini muscle car today, it’ll cost in excess of Dh400,000.
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