In the 1960s, if you needed a muscle car that could put other street machines to shame, you went to see Don Yenko. The Pennsylvania racer and Chevrolet dealership owner gained notoriety for turning already potent Camaros and Chevelles into 427ci-powered beasts.
But in 1969, even he was unsure of the monster that he had created – the Yenko Nova, a lightweight, compact car with the fury of a blazing 427ci V8. It’s no surprise he would later call it “a beast” and “almost lethal.” Nevertheless, Yenko built 38 of his SC 427 Novas that year, and you can bid on one when it comes up for auction at Mecum’s Kissimmee event in January.
Using lessons learned from his Super Camaros, Yenko ordered each of these vaunted Novas from the factory equipped with Chevy’s 396ci V8 under the hood, in order to gain the performance edge of their sturdier frames, brakes, and driveline.
But they wouldn’t last that way for long. Yenko ripped out the 396 and plopped a Corvette L72 V8 in its place, producing 450 horsepower and capable of providing zero to 60 mph sprints in less than five seconds. That kind of performance would put 427-toting Corvettes on the back foot.
With appearances in a number of magazines over the years and a slew of awards, this specific example has made quite a name for itself in the muscle car world. Its L72 V8 backs up to a four-speed manual gearbox, and it puts the power down thanks to a 4.10 Positraction rear end. The body-colored wheels, dog dish hubcaps, and sYc graphics make this an absolute looker.