AJ’s “Badass Friday” Car of the Day: 1970 Yenko Chevrolet Nova

AJ’s “Badass Friday” Car of the Day: 1970 Yenko Chevrolet Nova

Car: Yenko Chevrolet Nova

Year: 1970

What makes it special: Starting in 1957, Chevrolet dealer and race driver Don Yenko set up a performance shop for Chevrolet cars. Customers could either order high performance parts or have their cars modified in-house by Yenko’s own mechanics. Yenko began to modify Chevrolet products like Camaro Super-Sports, but then included Chevelle’s and Nova’s giving them L-72 V8 upgrades.

What made it famous: When the 1970’s started to see the decline in muscle cars due to the heat of higher insurance and tighter emission rules, Yenko countered buy putting a unique touch on the 1970 Chevrolet Nova. Instead of putting a big-block 427 cu in V8 in his version of the Nova, he convinced General Motors to place a very potent small-block 360hp, 350 cu in V8 that was shared by the new Z-28 Camaro and the Lt-1 Corvette. Adorning the Yenko body were dealer specific decals and badging.

Why I would want one: These were made in limited numbers making them fairly rare, plus these were given enough performance upgrades to make them faster than the ordinary Nova offerings for 1970.

Fun fact: In 1972, Yenko stopped selling modified Chevrolets and started to publish a catalog from performance to cosmetic modifications. One of his more notable products was the ZL-1 engine, which was produced under permission of Chevrolet.
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