1969 Yenko Camaro

1969 Yenko Camaro

As the story goes, veteran drag racer Dickie Harrell showed veteran Trans Am racer Don Yenko how to fit a 427 big block into a Camaro using a Corvette stinger hood … and the rest is history. The Yenko Camaro, born in 1967, came of age in 1969 when Yenko Chevrolet began ordering factory built COPO Camaros and adding a special Yenko paint job. Today these rare Yenko Camaros have appreciated 7,600 percent in value from the original dealer price. (A base priced Yenko Camaro in 1969 cost $4,245, about $500 more than the factory price of a COPO.)

A beautiful example of a 1969 Yenko Camaro was just listed by a collector from Virginia. He says the 12,000 miles are original. “We have all the documentation to prove that this car is what we say it is,” he tells us. “All of the major components are accounted for with numbers and photos. The car has been appraised by one of the foremost experts on Yenkos in the country, Brian Henderson, who also did the work to bring the condition of the car as you see it here. As with many Super Cars of the era, the original engine block did not survive. So, it was replaced with a documented correct CE block with an affidavit explaining the replacement that was needed. All other engine components are original to the car.” It has had a repaint in the original Hugger orange color. Hugger orange was the most popular color for ’69 Camaros.

These cars came with a COPO L72 427/425 hp engine and mandatory disc brakes. This one is a 4-speed. Although Chevrolet rated this iron block, solid lifter big block at 425 horsepower, Yenko said himself that he figured they were at least 450 horsepower. You can just barely see the Hurst shifter in the photo (click link above.) They say these cars could do 13-second quarter miles right off the showroom floor. Yenko Chevrolet usually ordered them with 15-inch Rally wheels, COPO 9737 bigger 13/16″ front sway bar and 140-mph speedometer. In addition to the factory D80 spoiler, this Yenko was ordered with the very rare VE3 special rubber bumper. Yenko installed the Stewart Warner 970 tach.

There is more info about the numbers and documentation on this Yenko. Brian Henderson of the Super Car Workshop in Latrobe, Pennsylvania is an expert on Yenko Camaros. He appraised this particular Yenko. He said, “With no body damage and the bulk of the performance items still with the car, it makes it a very solid Yenko. One of the best I have examined in recent years.” They say Henderson has restored more Yenkos and high performance Super Cars than anyone in the industry. His website is www.yenko.net. He says that all the factory original sheet metal is still present on this car. The original date coded glass is still in the car. He says the 12k on the speedometer is accurate and has not been tampered with.

In his appraisal report Henderson shows a photo of the special COPO BE rear end, a 12-bolt, is original. His photo shows the rear end stamping. Photos are also available of the 499 hi-performance distributor, dated water pump, date correct 4346 carburetor and 621 code big block bellhousing (see all three shown here.)

Yenko driveline componentsHenderson says all the major original driveline components are present on the car.

This car has been SOLD.

Only 198 Yenko Camaros were built in 1969. How many were built in Hugger orange? Is this the lowest original mile ’69 Yenko Camaro in existence? If it isn’t, we’ve yet to find one with lower miles.


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2 Responses to 1969 Yenko Camaro

  1. wayne hampton May 31, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    When I was at the GM Nationals 2001 in Carilisle Penn in the GM display building a person had 6 one of each colour 69 Yenko Camaros all in perfect condition.
    They were the only real Yenko Camaros I’ve seen, a lot of clones out there and to see 6 was quite a thrill. I also still have them on vhs and watch it once in a while.

    • larry k June 2, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

      Wayne, you’ll be interested to know that there is a Super Car Reunion held at the home of Fred Gibb Chevrolet in LaHarpe, Illinois every year. Cars On Line.com has it in their online calender.

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