'67 Corvair Yenko Stinger - Blue Cheer

Geoff Stunkard Jun 23, 2010 0 Comment(s)
View Full Gallery

The Corvair option list was being reworked for 1967, and in July of 1966, Yenko sent a letter to GM president Ed Cole. The 140-inch engine was being dropped altogether; Don asked if it would be possible to keep the mill available for Yenko as a COPO package since it was the basis for everything in the Stinger engine lineup. Don went on to tell Cole that he was still trying to sell 50 of the original white Corsas and was looking for a west coast outlet, and that shipping them west at $250 per car in lots of six had proven prohibitive. Cole agreed to sell the engines as COPOs, cut the cost to $125 per car, and dropped it to a minimum of three.

Sucp_1006_06_ 1967_chevy_covair Engine 2/16

According to a news story in Competition Press & Autoweek from November 1966, it was then announced Dana would be handling Stingers for the West Coast in exchange for Yenko selling Dana's new 427 Camaro conversions back East. This business combination was advertised in the December 2, 1966 issue of National Dragster on a full-page ad. No one is really certain how far that agreement went; it is now thought that Dick Harrell did almost all of the '67 Yenko 427 cars himself after leaving Nickey in early '67. What is known is that three COPO-coded '67 Corvair Stingers ended up being sold through the Dana dealership, and that this is the only one known to still exist.

Sucp_1006_16_ 1967_chevy_covair Rpm_gauge 3/16

With specific vehicle ordering details set up by Yenko's office manager Donna Mae Mims, this trio did not go through Yenko's regular Stinger program for refitting but were delivered right to the West Coast for the upgrades. With the changes to the Corvair, the car Vandenberg owns had four COPO packages on it-the performance 160-horse 140-cid engine was COPO 9551-A for Yenko but is 9551-B for the Dana models, the 3.89 PosiTraction rear was still 9513-A, and although the dual master cylinder was now on the option list, the third COPO 9981-A was for deleting the wheel covers since aftermarket rims would be part of the final sales conversion. A fourth COPO was the K-19 air injection layout, COPO 9570-A, which no Yenko got but may have been required as part of emissions control efforts in California; as a result, the Dana 9551-B engines were stamped QF.

Sucp_1006_09_ 1967_chevy_covair Engine_filters 4/16

Dana got the three cars, and three additional 'QF' crate motors with 9570-A package on them; with just six units built, this may truly be the rarest COPO package of the era. Since the Corsa was dropped, the body was the upscale Monza design, and the Stinger fiberglass rear window inserts were not used, nor was the back seat removed in this car.

Sucp_1006_05_ 1967_chevy_covair Interior_steering_wheel 5/16

Yenko himself ordered 25 similar '67 cars that February for Stinger conversion; due to changes in the SCCA rules, the white-with-blue-stripe USA colors were no longer required and Yenko selected red and blue for this final batch. This Dana car was code FF Marine Blue with American Racing 14-inch rims and was sold new to a buyer in Hollywood. Kasey bought it restored from noted collector Kevin Suydam, complete with a lot of documentation telling the story, an original license plate frame, aftermarket '60s-era Stewart-Warner gauges like Yenko used, and more. That connection was made by Tim Lopata, who has also had the rare car come to his Forge Invitational Musclecar Show over the past two years.

Today, Kasey is actually enjoying his piece of one-of-possibly-one history, doing some autocrossing, road racing on occasion, and showing it during the warm months; we shot it as he enjoyed a weekend of fun at the Year One Experience in Braselton, Georgia.

It is not often that a car with real history and rarity becomes this visible on the collector scene, so it's good to see it being used as was intended when it came from the fertile minds of the Yenko and Dana franchises all those years ago

COMMENTS

TO TOP