1969 L72 Yenko Camaro
Denying the popularity and iconic status of the '69 Camaro in the Chevy world is like trying to deny the sun comes up every day. It's the car that, short of the '57 Chevy, is the most well-known profile of the Bow Tie line. Inside the '69 Camaro realm, there is a mystique that surrounds the famous COPO cars, and more specifically, the famed Yenko "super Camaros" that rolled out of Don Yenko's Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania, dealership.
This particular Yenko has an even more unusual status-it was the first '69 Yenko Camaro ever built. Owned by John Miller, this Camaro was built early in the fall of 1968, and sent from Detroit by Vince Piggins to Yenko for use in mocking up all the special items being designed for the '69 Yenkos. Watch for a dedicated feature on this historic Chevy in a future issue.
Powering the COPO Camaros that were the foundation of Yenko's cars was the L72 big-block. The 427 debuted in the 1966 model year, and would be top dog until the LS6's arrival. With 425 horsepower in iron block, single carb form, these engines were terrors on the dragstrips, still dominating various NHRA Stocker classes to this day. It used the same solid lifter/dual valvespring combo of the L78, high flowing rectangular port heads, forged rods and 11:1 compression forged pistons.
Since this was the last car we tested (at a shop in North Carolina), we were curious to see how the L72 compared to the vaunted LS6. Both cars had 4.10 gears, which will show less horsepower than, say, 3.23s or 3.08s. But the F-body had the benefit of a manual transmission. Ultimately, it rolled the Dynojet to 2.5 more horsepower than the LS6, and slightly more torque at the peak.
|On the Dyno|