If you’re a fan of early Camaros, or muscle cars in general, then some of your favorites have to be the Yenko-modified examples, built for those who wanted more than what Chevrolet was willing to offer through its dealers. Yenko’s Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, dealership would order up just the right Camaro from GM, often a 396 big-block car, and stuff a 427 big-block under the hood, an option that wasn’t on the menu from GM. The creation was called a Yenko Super Camaro, and they even offered a tuned version that put out even more power.
This 1967 Chevrolet Yenko Camaro RS/SS coupe, one of three known to exist, is an early product of the partnership between racer Don Yenko and “Mr. Chevrolet,” Dick Harrell. A pioneer in the business of building “dealer specials” to fulfill the pent-up demand for competitive Chevrolet muscle cars, Yenko began by modifying 100 Corvair coupes for SCCA competition. With the entry of Chevrolet’s new Camaro into the growing performance wars, Yenko hired Bowtie expert Harrell to manage the Yenko Chevrolet racing program and develop custom high-performance packages that unleashed the huge potential of Chevy’s growing range of midsize muscle cars.
One of the most successful of the early Yenko conversions was the Yenko Camaro SS427. The Yenko 427 began as an SS Camaro equipped with the L78 375-hp 396ci V-8 (one of 1,138 built), 4.10 rear end, Muncie M21 (or M22) four-speed transmission, front disc brakes, and heavy-duty suspension. The factory 396 was then replaced with the Corvette’s RPO L72 427ci engine and supporting components. The Super Camaro 450 standard upgrade cost $677.27 (in 1967 dollars), and included replacement of the 396ci short-block with the aforementioned L72 427ci unit, metallic brakes, heavy-duty clutch and pressure plate, high-capacity cooling system, and suspension upgrades. Other items included a Stewart Warner tachometer and instrument package, a fiberglass hood, hood pins, and “427” emblems. Further Yenko options included Traction Master traction bars, tuned headers, scattershield, and special spark plug wires. It sounds cheap today, but that was a lot of cash back in the mid-’60s.
A Corvette Stinger-style fiberglass hood replaced the original unit, and subtle Yenko 427 badges were added to the hood bulge and front fenders. While most Yenko Super Camaros carried the L72’s factory rating of 425 hp, a select few, including this 1967 example, benefited from Harrell’s considerable expertise to the tune of 450 hp at 6,000 RPM. The product of a comprehensive nut-and-bolt restoration, this very special Camaro’s beautiful Butternut yellow paint is adorned with the signature Yenko Stinger hood and badges, along with the badge of the original selling dealer, Queen City Chevrolet in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Running a single Holley four-barrel carburetor, a mechanical-lifter camshaft, and specially tuned exhaust with headers and Corvette side pipes, the 427 big-block V-8 drives its power through a close-ratio Muncie M21 four-speed manual transmission. An RC bellhousing, power front disc brakes, F41 special purpose suspension, tachometer and auxiliary Steward Warner instruments, Yenko traction bars, and Firestone Redline tires on 15-inch Rally wheels complete the conversion to Yenko specifications. This one-of-three YS707 Yenko Camaro RS/SS is well-documented with a GM/Yenko statement of wholesale charges, two shippers, Dick Harrell work order, a period advertisement, and an NCRS shipping data report.
This super-rare Yenko is going up for sale, so if your wallet is fat and you want to add something special to your collection, check it out at the upcoming Mecum Auctions event in Indy (Lot S197) and be sure to check out all the action on MotorTrend+ (sign up today for a free trial!)
- Yenko YS707 Super Camaro 450
- One of three known to exist in RS/SS configuration
- Conversion and tune performed by Dick Harrell
- Documented with GM/Yenko statement of wholesale charges, Dick Harrell work order, two shippers, period advertisement, and NCRS shipping data report
- Butternut yellow with black standard interior
- Nut-and-bolt restoration
- 427/450-hp engine with mechanical lifters
- Specially tuned exhaust
- Special purpose suspension
- M21 four-speed manual transmission
- Power disc brakes
- Signature Yenko hood, badges, hood pins, and full instrument package
- 15-inch wheels and redline tires
- RC bellhousing
- Yenko traction bars
- Corvette-style side exhaust and headers
- Console and simulated wood wheel