How to Tell a Real 1969 Yenko Camaro

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    Background

    • In 1969, General Motors had a corporate ban on installing engines larger than 400 cubic engines into intermediate-size cars. Don Yenko, a former race driver and the son of the Yenko Chevrolet dealership founder, used a little-known loophole to install a performance 427-cubic-inch V-8 into Camaros and other Chevys. GM's Central Office Production Order, commonly known as a COPO, permitted Chevy dealerships to order special combinations of engines and chassis components on production cars. The COPO allowed dealerships to get around the engine ban without drawing attention to GM management. Dealerships ordered about 500 Camaros under COPO 9561, with Yenko Chevrolet responsible for about 200 Camaro orders. COPO 9561 was almost identical to the COPO 9560, with the exception of the front springs, ignition and engine. Factory COPO documentation has yet to surface, but Yenko Chevrolet has sales orders on file.

    Specs

    • The 1969 Super Yenko Camaro 427 developed 425 horsepower and 460 foot-pounds of torque. Equipped with a four-speed manual transmission, it could reach 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and cover the quarter mile in 11.9 seconds at 115 mph. Buyers could order an M-20, M-21 or M-22 Muncie four-speed manual transmission or GM's TH400 automatic. Yenkos with the manual transmission numbered 171, while approximately 30 Yenkos had the automatic. The Yenko Camaro featured 4.10-to-1 Positraction rear end, disc brakes, and heavy-duty front anti-roll bar and radiator.

    Mechanical Visual Cues

    • The 1969 Yenko Camaro came only as a coupe. Its vehicle identification number, or VIN, provided no information that it was a Yenko Camaro. The engine block code was MN for 427 matched with a manual transmission, or MO when matched with the automatic. The engine block casting number was 3963512. It featured a single fuel line to a Holley 4346 carburetor. The heavy-duty radiator had a 23-inch, four-row core. The optional tachometer had a 7,000 rpm limit. The speedometer cable passed through the Camaro's firewall on the right side of the steering column for the manual transmissions and on the left for the automatics. The rear axle was a 12-bolt version. The anti-sway bar measured 11/16th or 13/16th inches. Only in 1969 was the Yenko equipped with 2.25-inch dual exhausts mounted on a welded reinforced steel plate on the rear frame rail. The hood featured a ZL2 cowl-induction scoop and extra insulation underneath. It rode on 14-by-7-inch wheels and F70-by-14 tires.

    Body Visual Cues

    • Visually, the Camaro featured front and rear spoilers, "427" badging on the back panel and cowl, and twin racing stripes on the body side panels and hood. There was additional "sYc" badging, which stood for Yenko Super Car, on the cowl, back panel and seat headrests.

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