Don Yenko built the 427 Camaro that Chevrolet wouldn’t


When Chevrolet refused to build the big-block 427 Camaro that people wanted, Don Yenko stepped up to answer the call. His speed shop in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, turned from race car support to production line in 1967 as new Camaros received heart transplants by the dozens.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/04/29/don-yenko-built-a-427-camaro

Even today there are companies that do this very same thing to cars. Hennessey is an example that still does this for Camaros, other dealers like Berger in Grand Rapids also used to do do conversions. On the Ford side of things companies like Roush and Saleen have been taking new Mustangs and converting them to HP monsters for more than 25 years.


Even today, there are a number of Yenko Camaros running the streets and highways of Western PA every summer going to and from car cruises, still turning heads and still showing us how badass they were…and are.


Amazing to be reminded that back in the day 450 HP was a big deal! of course it was torque that made all the difference in these sweet rides! any numbers on that?


I remember one of those Yenko 427 Camaros. It was brand new and bright red (with black interior) and lived in my college dorm’s parking lot. It belonged to a fellow from Pittsburgh (I am not sharing his name here without permission) and had a 4-speed but no side pipes, and I prefer that look. The rear end was 4.88:1 and he complained that it really roared at highway speeds. I’ll say. If I recall correctly the indicator on the side was not the “427 TurboJet”, two-flag badge (as shown in the article and on Corvettes and Chevelles) but rather simply the digits 4 2 7 in a slight Italic, I think under the word “Yenko”. I wouldn’t mind having that car today (or any day since then). I wonder if it still exists (or if it rusted away or, more likely, was driven into a tree, though the fellow who owned it is still alive).