Caught On Craigslist: Built ’73 Vega That’s A Yenko At Heart

00101_lzKt31rK3M7_600x450Don Yenko was to Chevrolet what Caroll Shelby was to Ford. He lived the hot-rodder’s dream, working in conjunction with Chevy to take factory cars and transform them into big-V8-wielding, adrenaline-pumping supercars.

00707_6ZQMhLPZFmq_600x450The Yenko cars were instantly recognizable as the baddest of their respective models. This was thanks to Yenko’s boredom with the tame powerplants that Chevy limited its compact and mid-sized cars to. Dropping big-block 427’s into cars like the Camaro, the Chevelle and the Nova, Yenko became the name associated with the highest of Chevy’s high-performance machines.

The Yenko legend was forged over a close-to 20 year period, and now the Yenko-built cars are among the most desirable of all the late-’60s to mid-’80s muscle cars. Tipping his metaphorical-hat, the seller of this Craigslist ad turned his ’73 Vega into Yenko-clone street machine.

Yenko’s original project with the Vega, dubbed the “Stinger II”, put a turbocharger on the car’s factory four-cylinder motor. However, the car never truly came to fruition due to the EPA’s thumbs-down on the engine.

However, Yenko turned around and made a V8-conversion kit for the car, resulting in many a home-built, muscled-up Vega. While it’s likely that this particular Vega isn’t using Yenko’s conversion kit, in theory it is a close replica to what would have resulted from the real deal.

The Yenko styling – with decals, front splitter and massive hood cowl – paired with the 350 small-block, 350 turbo transmission and tall-geared rear end give this car a truly Yenko spirit. And priced at only $17,500, the buyer will be getting a lot of car for a small amount of money.

But what do you think? Does this built Vega capture the essence of Yenko’s cars? Or is it nothing more than a V8-swap with a misleading exterior? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

Joshua Phillips

Josh has always been captivated by cars, from legendary classics and late-model American muscle to European supercars.
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