The Mecum auction in Kissimmee last week from January 16-25, 2015, had some high-dollar excitement going on. Here are a couple of rare Chevy rides worth noting that have crossed the Mecum auction block in Florida, one of them bringing in a nice chunk of change.
Don Yenko is famous for some of the highest performing muscle cars of the ’60s and ’70s. One bad mamma jamma built by Don Yenko was the 1969 Yenko SC427 Nova which he once referred to as “barely legal at best” and “the wildest thing we ever did” after GM wouldn’t build them through its COPO program due to product liability issues with the car.
Sure, they produced 427-powered versions of the Camaro and Chevelle but that kind of power was too hot for a car as light as a Nova. While GM didn’t jump on board, Yenko Chevrolet went ahead and converted 38 SC427 Novas.
For 1967 and ’68, Don Yenko bought factory cars sharing the 396-cubic-inch engine due to the heftier brake setups, suspensions, frames and drivelines. After purchasing them straight from the factory, he then added an 11.0:1 compression L72 427/450 HP engine which launched these cars to a neck-breaking quarter-mile in sub-11 second times. One of the Novas Yenko tested ran 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds reaching 120 mph.
What makes this Yenko SC427 Nova super rare is that less than 10 are known to exist today. With a frame-off restoration over 15 years ago, this LeMans blue coupe featured contrasting yellow stripes and graphics which intimidated competitors once they realized what they were up against. This coupe is equipped with the L72 engine mated to a 4-speed manual trans and 4.10:1 Positraction third member.
It also has power brakes that hide behind body-colored steel wheels hidden by dog-dish hubcaps. Inside the car sits a big black bench seat complete with AM radio.
This car is well-known in the muscle car world with a lengthy list of accomplishments with features in publications including Chevy Rumble magazine (January 2005), Muscle Car Enthusiast Magazine (January 2006) and Collectible Automobile (October 2010).
It also isn’t lacking in awards. Accumulated awards include the Gold Spinner Award at the ’04 Chevy VetteFest, invitations to the ’08 Milwaukee Masterpiece and the 2011 Eyes on Design show and Best of Class at the ’12 Ault Park Concours. In the book “Yenko: The Man, The Machines, The Legend” by Bob McClurg, you’ll see this bad boy gracing page 156.
The car was estimated to sell between $400,000 – $500,000 with a sale price coming in just a bit shy at $380,000.
This ’70 LS6 Convertible Chevelle was the work of Ralph Truppi, Tommy Kling and driver Ray Allen. Sponsored by Briggs Chevrolet of South Amboy, New Jersey, it ran an undefeated season in 1970.
It was the winner of the ’70 NHRA Northeast Division Championship, ’70 NHRA World Finals and ’70 Supernationals at Ontario Motor Speedway. It was good for leaving Mopars in the dust.
Stuffed inside the engine compartment is a 454/450 HP big-block LS6 V-8 engine with an Edelbrock Tarantula intake manifold, Holley carburetor, Hooker Super Competition headers, L88-spec solid-lifter camshaft, Vitar torque converter, Zoom 5.14:1 gears, M40 Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission, Hurst shifter, Distributor driven tachometer, fuel cooling can, heater delete, and ZL2 cowl hood.
The exterior features hand-painted graphics with a gold-leaf Truppi-Kling bowtie and Cragar SS wheels. The build sheet is intact and there is a copy of the original title to Truppi-Kling Performance Inc.
This car was predicted to sell between $500,000 – $600,000, but the bidding goes on for another day, as the car didn’t meet the reserve.