High-Dollar Yenko Chevrolet to be unveiled in Chicago.

November 17th, 2006 by William

1969 Yenko Nova
In the last 10 years muscle car prices have gone through the roof. As baby boomers began snatching up their childhood dream cars with increasing frequency, others began pulling rare muscle cars out of barns and junkyards to restore and sell while the market was still at a high point. These rare muscle cars are still commanding top dollar, and just to prove it a car valued at over $250,000 is being unveiled after a complete restoration and taking center stage at the 25th Anniversary Chevy Vettefest in Illinois.

By now you’ve guessed that this car is no hand-built Italian exotic. Why no, it’s a plain old mass-produced 1969 Chevy Nova. Well ok, it isn’t exactly plain. In fact it is incredibly rare. This Nova was given to Chevy guru extraordinaire, Don Yenko to perform his magic touch. This usually means that there is a monster under the hood waiting to get out. In this case the monster takes the form of a 427 V8. This motor in such a light car isn’t a combination to bat an eyelash at. In fact Don Yenko himself called the 427 Nova “lethal”.

1969 was the only year Yenko produced a 427 Nova, and in that year they only made 30. Of the 30 produced this is one of only 8 or so cars accounted for. This type of rarity certainly demands a hefty price, but I still don’t understand paying this much for a car that was stamped out on an assembly line (269,988 total Novas produced in 1969) and then had an engine swap done to it at the dealership. I really don’t mean to bad mouth the car, in fact I love the concept of putting a huge motor in a lightweight vehicle. I just feel like $250,000 is a lot of money to pay for something that you could recreate for a 1/4 of the price or less.

It’s one thing when you see old European cars, like a Fiat 8v, where they only produced several hundred vehicles for the entire line, each one built by hand with bodies (also hand built on stumps and English wheels) from different coachbuilders, going for a quarter-million dollars. These cars are true masterpieces; beautiful, handcrafted and unique. The Yenko Nova is unique but it lacks the craftsmanship and history in its construction to command such a high price in my humble opinion. The only comparison that comes to mind is a famous architect and designer hand building a really beautiful house vs. a famous contractor taking a prefab house and doing up the inside with an awesome kitchen and entertainment system. Both are cool in their own right, but there is certainly a difference in value.
Fiat 8v, body work by Fabio Rapi. Copyright Corsa Research.
Of course the high demand for rare muscle cars causes these astronomical prices which makes my opinion on the matter moot. For what its worth, and I know it’s nowhere close to $250,000, I think the owner of this Yenko has one super cool, extremely fast and tremendously over-valued Chevrolet.

-Bill Mertz

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One Response to “High-Dollar Yenko Chevrolet to be unveiled in Chicago.”

  1. Yenko Says:

    Il progetto “Yenko” nasce dalla mente di un giovane designer e dalla volontà di creare una propria linea di abbigliamento per esperire nuovi orizzonti della creatività e per ribadire la qualità che da sempre caratterizza il prodotto italiano.
    Il design è il motivo ispiratore della linea.

    “Yenko” va al di là di un semplice logo, rappresenta un modo abituale di essere, all’insegna della libertà di movimento e dello stile; la linea infatti è pensata per una clientela dinamica, che ama vestire casual, ma che è attenta al dettaglio.

    L’imperativo della “Yenko” è di offrire un prodotto nuovo che si distingua dalla concorrenza grazie al design e all’alta qualità, motivo per cui la cura dei capi è affidata a ditte collaudate da anni di esperienza nel settore tessile.

    La produzione potrebbe presto arricchirsi di monili e accessori che seguano le linee proposte dalla “Yenko” design e che quanto prima possano valicare i confini nazionali.
    Il mercato internazionale sarebbe un’occasione in più per ribadire, ancora una volta, la qualità del prodotto italiano, vincente rispetto a ogni concorrenza asiatica

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