Updated: Jan 24, 2021
While attending and speaking at the 2020 Pittsburgh World of Wheels, author Matt Avery met with Denny Ford, a technician who worked at the legendary Yenko Chevrolet in the early 1970s. Ford, who still resides near Cannonsburg, PA, recounted his time at the dealership, which spanned from 1971 through 1974.
Many of the gearhead's memories concentrated around Don Yenko's final COPO vehicle performance program, the Yenko Vega Stinger. Produced in 1971 and 1972, the Stinger was Yenko's attempt to have a strong contender in the growing import and tuner car market. Four-hundred were produced with some receiving turbochargers installed in the onsite speed department.
Ford also shared recollections of Yenko's vehicle delivery system and also specific details about the dealer's car hauler which shows up in various historical photos.
In turn, Avery shared a photo from his extensive research showing Yenko's staff photo. The photo, taken in 1972, includes Ford who hadn't seen it in decades.
"It's always a treat to meet with people who were at these iconic locations firsthand,' said Avery. "To hear their stories, memories and experiences is such a special opportunity. So much valuable insight and credibility comes from these rare opportunities." The author gave the veteran technician a copy of COPO, personalizing the inside cover with a special inscription.
Avery met with Ford in the Super Car Workshop display area, which featured two fully restored 1969 COPO Camaros. Both of these 427-equipped legends came about from Yenko's initiative and leveraging of Chevy's Central Office processing system.