Auctions and Brokerage
A Highly Documented Example | One of Approximately 64 ProducedBrian Boutwell, Kansas City, Missouri (acquired new in August 1968)William Dyer, Chicago, Illinois (acquired circa 1994)Current Owner
Entering the 1968 model year, Chevrolet had plenty of reason to take notice of dealer Don Yenko. The onetime Corvette racer and entrepreneur experienced much success with his Corvair-based Stingers. In 1967, he tossed aside GM’s factory displacement limitation by installing a large-bore 427 cid L72 crate motor into approximately 54 examples of the big-block Camaro. Yenko’s modified muscle cars sold quickly and he ordered several more cars for 1968, prompting GM to further reconsider the concept of the Super Camaro.
By this time, the small shop at Yenko’s Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, dealership had become quite skilled at the L72 conversion, particularly with the advent of Chevy’s offering of a 396 cid motor, the L78. With a similar porting arrangement to the L72, the L78 offered a compatibility that the 350 cid engine did not, allowing the mechanics at Yenko to retain the Holley carburetor and headers of the original L78 engines, which they easily remounted onto the L72’s short block, and then revised the exhausts.
Chevrolet undertook some updates of their own for the 1968 Camaro’s suspension, reducing the necessity of extreme re-tuning by Yenko in comparison to the 1967 cars. As with the 1967 examples, the new Yenkos received performance instrument packages and special wheels to accommodate larger tires, as well as a new fiberglass vented hood. Approximately 64 examples of the 1968 Yenko Camaro were eventually produced and their popularity, coupled with the growing success of high-performance cars at Ford and Chrysler, prompted GM to reconsider its displacement rules.
For the 1969 model year, Chevrolet took a more official form of collaboration in the Yenko project, equipping COPO Camaros with the 427 cid motor at the factory and reducing the dealer’s tuning role in the process. The 1968 examples were, therefore, the last of the hand-modified, small-batch Yenko Camaros, and each of the approximate 64 cars received a unique Yenko identification number starting with YS-8001. Still prized for their unbridled horsepower, stout specifications, and rarity, the Yenko Camaros remain one of the halo thoroughbreds of the American muscle car heyday.
This impressively restored 1968 Yenko boasts strong documentation and impressive authenticity, making it a particularly distinguished example of the famed large-bore Camaro. According to a copy of the shipping data report from the NCRS, this Camaro was constructed on April 15, 1968, and was officially slated for distribution to Yenko Chevrolet. Significant documentation, such as the MSO, dealer’s invoice, and first title application, clarify that after being delivered to Yenko Chevrolet on April 20, 1968, the modified Camaro was then sold to Sight Chevrolet in Kansas City, Missouri, and subsequently purchased in August by local resident Brian Boutwell.
Still benefiting from an older restoration by a Camaro specialist, YS-8022 was shown several times, winning a Gold Spinner i at the Chevy Vettefest Nationals, and scoring 981 out of 1,000 points for a Gold Award at the Camaro Nationals staged by the US Camaro Club. The car continues to exhibit concours quality, from outstanding depth of finish to the Fathom Blue paint and fresh black vinyl interior, which is beautifully offset with black carpets and the classic wood-grain center console.
Wearing correct redline tires and proper Yenko badges, this remarkably powerful Camaro comes dealer-equipped with a Posi-Traction rear axle, power metallic brakes, heavy-duty suspension, Stewart-Warner gauges, Pontiac rally wheels, and the Yenko lightweight vented hood. Its performance provides glimpses of a different era when large-bore torque fueled the glorious height of Detroit’s muscle car showdown. YS-8022 is a faithfully restored and rare example that would be the envy of any muscle car gathering.