What is a 1966-67 Yenko Stinger?
The 1966 Yenko Stinger Corvair is a special edition of the Chevrolet Corvair, modified by Chevrolet's Central Office (making it a COPO) with further enhancements done by Yenko Chevrolet, a dealership in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, that was well-known for its performance upgrades in the 1960s.
The Yenko Stinger Corvair was designed to compete in SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) racing, and it featured a range of modifications to improve its performance, including a special suspension system, performance tires, and a modified engine. Yenko Chevrolet also added a range of visual modifications, including distinctive striping and badging, to make the Stinger stand out from other Corvairs.
The Stinger was available in several different versions, with different levels of performance and modifications. The most powerful version, the Stinger Stage II, had a turbocharged engine that produced over 220 horsepower, making it one of the fastest Corvairs ever produced.
It's estimated that approximately 100 Yenko Stinger Corvairs were produced in total for the 1966 model year. However, it's important to note that production numbers are not entirely clear, as records from Yenko Chevrolet during that era were not always precise.
The Stinger was offered in two body styles: a coupe and a convertible. The majority of Stingers were coupes, with only around 20 convertibles produced. The production numbers for each version and trim level are not clear, but it's known that the Stage II model was the rarest and most desirable.
One major change was the introduction of a new engine option, the 165-horsepower 6-cylinder engine from the Chevrolet Camaro. This engine replaced the turbocharged engine from the previous year's Stage II model, which had proven to be difficult to maintain and tune for many drivers.
Another change for the 1967 model year was the addition of a new trim level, the Yenko Stinger II. This model featured a range of performance upgrades, including a high-performance camshaft, an upgraded carburetor, and an improved suspension system. The Stinger II was estimated to produce around 190 horsepower.
Overall, production numbers for the 1967 Yenko Stinger Corvair are not entirely clear, but it's believed that fewer were produced than the previous year's model. This is partly due to the fact that Yenko Chevrolet was shifting its focus to other performance vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Camaro and Chevelle.
Today, surviving Yenko Stinger Corvairs are highly collectible, and they can command high prices at auction or in private sales.
Their story and creation is covered extensively in Matt Avery's best-selling book, COPO.
Recently, at the Muscle Car & Corvette Nationals, a 1966 Yenko Stinger was unveiled for the first time and won Matt Avery's Celebrity Pick Award.
In his column for the Chicago Daily Herald, Avery interviewed the car's original owner, providing insight into the car's history and the modifications made by Yenko Chevrolet.
The article provides a fascinating look into one of the most sought-after muscle cars of the 1960s and its enduring legacy in the collector car community.