Don 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.
The 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.