Mention "Yenko" in GM circles and most will think of the Camaro Yenko. But Don Yenko is also known for another model, based on the Corvair--the Yenko Stinger.
It's this model that features in Jay Leno's latest video, and it's another car straight from Leno's own personal collection. Just 100 examples of the Yenko Stinger were produced, all built with the intention of racing, and each was painted in traditional American racing colors--white with blue striping. While rare cars like this are often copied and based on less exclusive models, Leno's car is one of the hundred originals--its chassis number and original details immortalized in print in the leading book on the model, by Charlie "Bud" Doerge.
Built in 1966, Leno is quick to draw comparison with a better-known flat-six, four-carb and rear-engined car built in the 1960s: The Porsche 911. The two may feature distinctly different styling, but each is mechanically similar and with Yenko's tweaks, the Corvair becomes a fun performance car with a surprisingly European flavor. Restored by its previous owner, fireman Jeff Guzzetta, Jay's Yenko Stinger features only a few modifications over standard. A set of 15-inch wheels wrapped in modern tires air handling and grip, while Guzzetta added a few engine enhancements to boost reliability and usability.
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Don Yenko himself added several modifications to Stinger models separating them from the regular Corvairs of the time, and each of the 100 cars features dual brake master cylinders (from a contemporary Cadillac), tougher suspension, a four-speed manual transmission, limited-slip differential and a quicker steering ratio. The steering wheel itself is an aftermarket unit of the time but now suits the car's character perfectly, as does the sympathetically retrimmed interior. Check out the video above for the full story.