Untouched 1969 Yenko Chevy Nova Found in Western PA, Only Known Automatic in Existence!


Since the modding culture predates the muscle car era, it was common for the already savage machines of the 1960s to become even meaner thanks to gym visits such as those performed by Don Yenko, a Pennsylvania racer and Chevy dealership owner whose custom work quickly became famous.


Well, you are now looking at one of the 37 1969 Novas (this number represents the general consensus) fitted with the L78 396 that Yenko was planning to convert via his Supercar Program, but this one has quite a particular story, starting with the fact that it never received the L72 427 motor of the said scheme.

Yenko built his reputation by building Camaros and Chevelles with the help of the said 427 ci (7.0-liter) V8, a motor that GM deemed as too powerful for the compact muscle car that was the Nova. However, back in 1969, the gearhead’s Yenko Super Car program saw him ordering 396 ci (6.5-liter) Novas, which came with stronger frames, brakes and driveline components, leaving the factory engine behind for the Corvette’s 427 behemoth (yes, the Nova was lighter than the ‘Vette). As such, the 450 ponies allowed the Nova to complete the 0 to 60 mph sprint in under five seconds.

As it turns out, the example we have here was initially acquired by Dennis Michalo of White Oak, PA, on April 4, 1969. And while many believed Yenko only worked on four-speed manual cars, this one is a three-speed auto (column shifter and all). However, Michalo never followed the plan and when the car was put to rest in 1978, with reasonable mileage (more on this below) it still had the factory 396, being put to rest only 35 miles away from the dealership it originally came from.

American muscle seeker Pat Nichols purchased the vehicle in May 2018, with the car having been driven for 74,386 miles. And while the car lover did share his uber-rare discovery during that year, we’ve just come across this thanks to Instagram label rottingmusclecars, as you’ll notice in the Instagram post below.

Regardless, we’re not just talking about the standout nature this unconverted 69 Yenko Nova has thanks to its slushbox – this is also one of the only three documented to come finished in Rally Green. Talk about a time capsule…

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