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						Yenko Deuce

Unrestored Yenko Deuce

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, eBay

In the world of GM performance, there are few more recognizable names than Don Yenko. Famously combating GM’s engine size restrictions through the Central Office Production Order system, Yenko routinely offered the stripped-down 427 ci muscle machines that Chevrolet wouldn’t build. But by 1970, Yenko was facing a whole new problem. Insurance companies were turning their noses up at Detroit’s flashy, big cubic-inch muscle machines, and slapping huge rates on their owners that made the cars far too expensive for most to own. So what Yenko needed now was a muscle car that ran under the radar, a car that looked average on paper, but could still grab a premium price. His answer came in the form of the 370 hp LT1-powered Yenko Deuce.

Having built 37 425 hp L72 big block Novas in ’69, Yenko knew the platform well, and also knew that the L72 engine ran the ragged edge of what the Nova could handle. The LT1 small-block on the other hand, offered excellent performance in a lightweight package. With the use of solid lifters and a Holley four-barrel, the Corvette’s LT1 put out 370 hp, and the 350 ci displacement would look good on paper for the insurance companies.

Buyers got their choice between the Muncie M21 close-ratio four-speed and the Turbo400 automatic, with just 53 selecting the auto. Each Deuce also received powered discs up front, an improved cooling system, heavy-duty suspension and a 12-bolt differential. To set his creation apart from the heard, Yenko installed a signature graphic package, a hood-mounted Dixco tachometer and aftermarket wheels.

A total of 175 Deuces rolled out of Yenko’s facility in 1970, and the cars quickly gained a reputation for punching outside of their weight class. Despite the action on the street, it’s said that Yenko’s plot to avert the attention of the insurance companies was somewhat successful.

Given the feisty nature of these hot Novas, it’s no surprise that a good percentage of them have been lost to the sands of time. Good Deuces can fetch astonishing prices, over $150,000 in some cases, which makes this unrestored example on eBay an intriguing find. It’s a two-owner car with just 53,000 miles on the clock, and it remains in good condition with its original cranberry red paint. The driveline is everything you’d want, as it retains its original LT1 engine, M21 four-speed and 4.10 gear set. Allegedly this baby turned out low 13-second passes back in the day at English Town in New Jersey, and some of the slips remain with the car today.

The auction for this Deuce ends Tuesday here on eBay, where the current high bid is $110,000.

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Chevrolet Yenko