The 1969 Chevy Nova Yenko SC 427 may have been a step too far, and Don Yenko knew it. He was quoted as saying he knew the cars were “lethal,” with the brawny 450-horsepower 427 Big Block stuffed into what was otherwise considered a lightweight economy car. Insurance companies balked at insuring such a beast. Emissions regulations were on the way courtesy of the Clean Air Act. The writing was on the wall. Mr. Yenko decided to build a somewhat tamer Nova for the 1970 model year, using a Small Block 350. Despite utilizing the Mouse Motor, the Nova still had to be worthy of the Yenko name.
To live up to the standard of the models that came before it, the Yenko Chevy Nova for 1970 would have to use the LT1 found in the Corvette LT1 and Camaro Z/28. The new Yenko Chevy Novas would be known as the Yenko Deuce. It would be ordered through the Central Office Production Order, or COPO, program. They were advertised as “mini muscle cars.” Even with the high-compression 350 cubic-inch LT1 engine, producing 360 horsepower, the Yenko Deuce managed to skate under the performance car insurance premium.
The Chevy Nova Yenko Deuce LT1 had a solid lifter cam, aluminum intake manifold, finned aluminum valve covers, F41 Sport suspension, a 12-bolt Posi-Traction rear end with 4.10 gears, Rallye wheels without trim rings, and could be had with either the Muncie M21 four-speed manual or the Turbo Hydramatic 400 three-speed auto. Color choices were Fathom Blue, Forest Green, Citrus Green, Gobi Beige, Hugger Orange, Sunflower Yellow, Cranberry Red, or Cortez Silver. A black vinyl bench seat was the sole interior choice. Only 175 Chevy Nova Yenko Deuces were ever produced, 122 four-speeds, and 53 automatics. The final 50 copies of the Yenko Deuce were sent to Hurst for final assembly, and are noted by an “H” in their VIN.
Our feature car is Yenko number HYS-171. It is one of only ten built in Sunflower Yellow, and the only copy in Sunflower Yellow equipped with the TH400 automatic known to exist. It has been the subject of an extensive restoration in 2018. A date-code-correct LT1 engine with the correct carburetor, intake manifold, exhaust manifold and other engine components was joined to a correct TH400 3-speed automatic transmission and the car’s original CBW-code 12-bolt rear end. The Chevy Nova’s original F41 suspension is also in place, as is its original hood tachometer.
It received a 98.8% in judging at the 2019 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals in Chicago. It is listed in the Yenko Deuce Registry, and it is being sold with documentation at the Mecum Auctions Indianapolis sale May 14th-22nd.