David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/5/18 2:55 p.m.


Story By David Wallens • Photos By Tom Suddard

It was specifically built for racing and features a competition-tuned, six-cylinder, air-cooled engine in the back–and, no, it’s not a Porsche. Meet the 1966 Yenko Stinger, the first fortified, competition-tuned car built by Don Yenko, the Pennsylvania Chevrolet dealer who’d eventually become a darling of the muscle car world.

Like a certain Texan with a penchant for wearing bib overalls and a cowboy hat, Yenko was simply trying to build a better mousetrap. His quarry? SCCA Production-category competition. His raw piece of clay? The Chevrolet Corvair. His impetus? Thanks to the Shelby GT350, the Corvettes that he had been campaigning in SCCA B Production were no longer competitive.

Yenko wasn’t heading into totally unchartered waters. Soon after the Corvair’s debut, John Fitch–the championship driver, World War II fighter pilot and highway safety advocate–released the Fitch Sprint. Fitch’s creation added more power, better handling and a few European dashes of flavor to the Corvair’s basic package, and Yenko was one of the first dealers to offer the Fitch Sprint. He figured that with the right modifications, the Corvair could be a road race contender, too.

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GTXVette
GTXVette Dork
1/5/18 6:26 p.m.

Be Still My Pounding Heart !!!!!!    Oh God a wave of Memories from my Early years 69-71,   Wallens did you ever ride the back way from Virginia Highlands over to Emory, Great roads.  'Cause you said Automod.

hurstad
hurstad New Reader
11/15/19 3:12 p.m.

The wheel looks just like the one I got for my Dad's 64 Chevy SS convertible from JC Whitney!

 

elramaed
elramaed New Reader
11/15/19 6:14 p.m.

Great memories. I grew up a few miles from Yenko Chevrolet although I was a diehard Ford fan. In the late 60’s western PA was car crazy.  My buddy’s brother was the racing mechanic for Pankopf Ford a few miles away.  They were big into drag racing and their 427 big Fords were hard to beat at nearby Heidleburg Raceway.  I got into road racing when Shelby came along and watched many races from the pits at Cumberland airport which doubled as a racetrack.  A friend raced a 289 Cobra and it was unbeatable.  My girlfriend, now wife of 51 years, and I spent every Saturday night at the dirt track in South Park    This article brought back a lot of memories.  We still have a 92 Miata, 58 Bugeye, and a Fox body Mustang gt in the family

mikecortina
mikecortina New Reader
11/15/19 6:33 p.m.

In my area there is an original non molested one.Beautiful as the day it was new.

wspohn
wspohn Dork
11/16/19 4:12 p.m.

A friend raced one - said they had a penchant for shedding fan belts at inopportune moments....

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/22/19 9:02 a.m.
GTXVette said:

Be Still My Pounding Heart !!!!!!    Oh God a wave of Memories from my Early years 69-71,   Wallens did you ever ride the back way from Virginia Highlands over to Emory, Great roads.  'Cause you said Automod.

You know, I believe I did. I lived in Virginia Highlands and had a good friend at Emory. Back then I had my Sentra SE-R. Great car. 

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