1963 Chevrolet Corvette - All In The Family

Once A Yenko, Always A Yenko

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Euclid, Ohio, manufacturing engineer George Lesefky's last name may not legally be Yenko, but he's about as hardcore Yenko as any Yenko can get! We'll explain. George's grandmother Kate was Frank Yenko's sister. The oldest of two Yenko daughters born to nineteenth century Slovenian immigrants Katarina and Johann Jenko, Kate would marry one George Lesefky. The couple's only son, George Lesefky Jr. was Don Yenko's cousin, and the father of George Lesefky III. And yes, there's also a George Lesefky IV. Take that, George Foreman! Anyhow, George III owns this beautiful Code 932-A Saddle Tan '63 Corvette Sting Ray VIN # 30837S108115; and in a manner of speaking, it too is a Yenko; as the '63 split window was sold not once, but twice through Canonsburg, PA's Yenko Chevrolet. But we'll let second cousin George tell the rest of the story.

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"To make a long story short, my father and I grew up loving Corvettes. When the '63 Corvette Sting Ray came out, my father George decided he had to have one. Like my second cousin Don, my father really loved fast cars, especially Corvettes. In 1963, my father ordered a black '63 Corvette convertible from Uncle Frank who was one of the biggest Corvette dealers on the east coast. Unfortunately, once my grandfather George found out that my dad was buying a Corvette, he said, 'Hell no, you have a wife and seven kids; how do you plan on fitting them all inside a Corvette?' That was the end of that. Actually, I think I was more broken hearted about it than my father was!"

Undaunted by the setback, second cousin Don Yenko did his level-headed best to keep the fire burning inside both father and son. In fact, Lesefky will never forget one particular Corvette incident. "We used to take my grandmother Kate to visit her brother Frank quite often in the summer time. Back in 1966, my dad ordered a brand-new '66 Chevrolet Impala SS from Uncle Frank. In fact, every car we ever had was bought from Yenko Chevrolet. Once a Yenko, always a Yenko! Anyhow, I remember it took quite awhile to get this car because of the special order teal exterior color and white interior color combination. Chevrolet kept kicking the order back, but that's the way dad wanted it. Finally, cousin Don flew up to Detroit and made the deal happen!"

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"I remember it was almost like yesterday. Uncle Frank picked us up at the train station driving a brand-new blue-on-blue '66 390 HP, 427 Chevrolet Caprice four-door; so here it is Sunday, and the family is inspecting Uncle Frank and Aunt Martha's house which had just appeared in Home & Gardens magazine. Suddenly, cousin Don stands up and asks the family if they were ready to go down, pick up their new car, and take a tour of Yenko Chevrolet. That was one (of many) tours I'll never forget!"

"We pulled into the parking lot, and on one wall there must have been thirty brand-new big-block '67 Corvettes. They had just been delivered! Then we went inside. Cousin Don's showing us all around the showroom and garage, and then he says, 'c'mon around back, I've got a Corvette I want to show you that we're getting ready for Daytona!' And there sat the (just completed) Sunray DX '67 L88 Corvette coupe which was sitting up on jackstands."

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EDITOR'S NOTE: This was the very same '67 L88 Corvette that Don Yenko and Dave Morgan finished 1st in the GT class and 10th overall at the Daytona 24-HR, as well as winning 1st at Sebring, and 10th overall. The following year, the same car set the class record with Dave Morgan & Jerry Grant driving at 190 mph, a record which stood for quite a few years.

Lesefky continued. "As near I can remember, that thing has 3 1/2-inch side pipes on it. I mean, that car was a monster! Then cousin Don says "You want to hear this thing run?" He didn't have to ask us twice. He whacked the throttle a couple of times and before you know it, he blew all the window panes out of the shop. In the process, he scared the heck out of my grandmother. I don't think she ever heard correctly after that!"

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Grandma Kate may have suffered a temporary loss of hearing, but there's no mistaking that George II and George III heard the message loud and clear!

Lesefky continued. "A year later, (1968) we had an opportunity to buy another Corvette. It was a triple black '63 Corvette roadster. My dad met some guy that was selling a '63 Corvette that had been stolen and recovered. The guy had bought the car back from the insurance company, but he had such a bad taste in his mouth he just wanted to sell it! That was the first Corvette we owned," said George. "We thoroughly enjoyed that car. It was in the family up until 1998.




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