1 of 175: 1970 Chevrolet Nova Yenko Deuce

Don Yenko was an American race car driver turned dealer who become known for creating high-performance automobiles. He first had success with the Yenko Corvair and then Camaro, so he set his sights on the Chevy Nova, creating the limited-production Yenko Deuce using the Corvette LT1 engine. These cars were crazy fast, capable of doing the quarter mile in just 13 seconds. So, if you’re a Nova fan, perhaps these cars are your Holy Grail. This ’70 Nova Yenko Deuce is finished in Cranberry Red and is largely original, unrestored and numbers-matching. It can be found in Loves Park, Illinois and available here on eBay where the auction has reached $50,100 for this impressive car. But the reserve is still waiting to be met.

Yenko is said to have built 175 Deuces using the same basic features they came with directly from the factory. None had vinyl tops, but they all had vinyl bench seats and basic floor coverings. Each one also had COPO (Central Office Production Order) # 9010 LT1 engines which – at 350 cubic inches – put out 360 horsepower in Yenko trim, and the COPO # 9737 Sports Car Conversion Package which included 12-bolt rear ends with 4.10 gears and F-41 suspension with special shocks, springs front and rear sway bars. 122 of the special cars had a Hurst-shifted 4-speed manual, while the other 53 had the TH-400 Hurst-shifted 3-speed automatic. These cars were available in eight colors with striping and sold through several Chevy dealers, not just the famous Yenko dealership in Pennsylvania.

According to the Yenko Deuce Registry, only about half of these cars are known to survive, but another pops up from time to time. Based on registry numbers, the seller’s Deuce may be only 1 of 3 to still be around in red with the automatic tranny. Based on those figures, it would hard to disagree with the seller that this car is one of the most original Yenko Deuces known to exist. Rather than refer to them as owners, the seller calls these lucky folk “caretakers”, so this one is currently looking for its third caretaker in 50 years. It recently came out of a collection of other rare or significant super cars.

This seems to be a well-cared-for Nova that comes with loads of documentation dating back to its sale at Wallace Chevrolet in Linden, New Jersey in 1971. The paperwork trail includes the original POP, window sticker, build sheet, dealer invoice, NCRS shipping report and copies of the original titles. It was also awarded Legends Vintage Certification in 2011. The Deuce looks outstanding both inside and out, and you’d have to be picky to single out little things like the handles on the window cranks that have yellowed rather than being clear.

We’re told the Deuce runs really well and has lots of original, working parts such as its exhaust system and smog components. It seems to be a well-mannered car that can effortlessly be put through its paces. There is no mistaking that this is no ordinary Nova, with its contrasting vinyl graphics, hood mounted Dixco tachometer, and Yenko wheels with the “Y” in the center cap. Apparently to make the cars they sold stand out even more, those purchased from Wallace Chevy also came with trim rings, bumper guards, hood locks and the deletion of the trunk lid emblem, which we’re told was unique to Wallace.

The Yenko Deuce would not be the last of the unique cars that Don and his crew peddled. In the mid-1970s, Yenko began to modify the Chevrolet Vega with spoilers, turbochargers and design graphics, calling it the “Yenko Stinger II” (as a nod to his Corvairs a decade earlier). Due to difficulties with the EPA, the modified Vega was actually shipped without the turbocharger and the dealer sold and installed it separately for the buyer. So, what’s a Yenko Deuce worth today? Not to sound trite, but since there were so few to begin with and they turn up infrequently, they’re worth exactly what somebody is willing to pay for one. Barrett-Jackson had a Deuce a few years ago that went for $82,500.

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Comments

  1. 70kingswood

    pretty sure Don Yenko first produced a 69 Yenko Nova that was equipped with the L/88 427 but it was just scary fast, thus the Yenko Deuce was introduced for 70. These cars are like a rocket! It will fetch a lot more than 50 large!

    Like 12
    • smokeymotors

      your right on about the 427’s the big thing was no one would give you car insurance!

      Like 6
  2. Skorzeny

    Russ, good point at the end. They are worth exactly what someone will pay for them… Great car. Have never seen one.
    Question, if it’s got the LT-1, why is it a ‘deuce’ and not an ‘eins’?

    Like 7
    • BlondeUXB Member

      Chevy II (?)

      Like 13
    • RayT Member

      Maybe the 427s were the “first”?

      I’d like to build a clone of this, for sure, only with the manual transmission. That way, I could drive it the way it was intended to be driven, without fear of turning something so valuable into a pile of useless bits.

      If I did, I’d make sure the VIN plate was REAL clean if/when I sold it. Don’t like cheatin’.

      Like 7
    • Joseph

      Chevy II. Nova.. Deuce. Get it?

      Like 3
  3. JoeNYWF64

    The only old Nova through at least ’72 (or even ’79?) with a rear swaybar? Those door mirrors look like the ones on the AMC SCRambler, just w/o the chrome.
    I believe the floor’s big rubber mat is actually heavier than carpet. Would have been better to just put in carpet w/o the somewhat heavy insulation pads underneath.
    If it wasn’t such a valuable car, i would try a lil auto trans fluid on a smooth sponge on a small area where the racing stripes have faded. That stuff can do wonders on faded paint/plastic trim & scratches, but will wash away after a good rain & you may notice the odor. lol

    Like 1
    • Gus Fring

      Seriously? Anyone that would put transmission fluid on any car, let alone a Yenko Deuce, does not have any business owning one. Also, all 9C1 Novas had sway bars and, I would guess, others with the F41 option.

      Like 9
      • JoeNYWF64

        It’s an old used car salesman trick. I have a 30 yr old car whose paint is ok except for 1 small section of paint scratches – i use the trans fluid after every car wash on that small area. & on another small area of peeling clearcoat. Also on the faded plastic trim. Works better than armour all or wd40.

  4. Mike

    I have an elderly friend who has a numbers matching yellow yenko nova in his barn. Has been tinkering with it for years.

    Like 5
  5. Steve

    I still kick myself for selling the clean 70 Nova 2 door I picked up for $1,000 in the early 90’s. It was an off white/ beige color. It had a six cylinder and 3 ott. The only issue with the car was lack of maintenance. LOL. I rebuilt the carb and tuned it up with a new cap rotor wire plugs and points in my apt. Parking lot. Took it to my dad’s to install a new throwout bearing and shocks. I drive it a little but it had 3.73 or so rear gears (due to six cylinder) and not highway friendly. It had no rust ir dents and chrome was nice. Previous owner was a lady that weighed about 300 lbs. The driver side if the seat was so worn out it was almost like sitting in the floor! I replaced it with one from a friends personal nova parts hoard. I compounded and waxed it, a sit had water stain/ rust streaks in the paint. Still had the dog dish hub caps. The plan was to sell my 71 el camino for money for school and keep the nova and 86 for tempo (which was my daily driver) but when a co-worker offered me $3500, i bit. 😢 sold the elco as well. The plan was to install a 350 and four speed to build a yenko deuce clone. Don’t get me started in the two 57 Chevys (one hard top, one sedan) or the 62 impala ss. All were projects but had potential. And my wife onders why i dont sell anything now!

    Like 8
  6. Rick

    A gazillion clones out there too.

    Like 4
  7. Scuderia

    six figure car. If not, should be.

    Like 3
  8. Don Dames

    I had a 70 Nova for 18 Years, it was a Original non restored car. It was in many Concourse shows in which won 8 Gold Concourse Awards, it was featured in the 2010 Collectible Automobile Magazine Centerfold. Over the 18 years I have seen so many car that the claim to be Original Big block Novas, Camaros, Vegas, Impalas, that there are more today then were ever built. When I first got my car I found someone in Hemmings
    Magazine that for $500.00 He could make your car all numbers matching.
    How many crushed cars came back to life as true factory muscle cars?

    Like 1
  9. RPOL80

    Great Car, nice job. Like all the other cars, with hood mounted tachs, how many times will you close the hood, before the tach gets screwed up., just say`n. NOVA stands for ???

    • Bill McCoskey

      RPOL80,

      “NOVA stands for ???”

      Well in Spanish, it can be interpreted as “No Go”. This is why the Nova was sold new as the “Chevy”, south of the US border.

  10. ACZ

    I remember working on one of these, in the dealership, when it was new. An incredibly well balanced and fast car.

    Like 1
  11. Steve

    Great car, but the whitewall tires have got to go!

    Like 2
    • its1969ok

      And those bumper guards gotta go!

      Like 1
  12. Madlad

    Don is probably rolling over in his grave seeing what these cars go for now.
    Back then, his idea was to help anyone who wanted to get into racing. When you bought one of these cars it was the cost of the build plus $100 profit.
    I knew him then and had every chance to buy one but never had the money. I was still driving my junkers. Young and dumb!

    Like 4
  13. Browndog

    It’s kind of odd that Don Yenko would name these “Yenko Deuce” meaning Chevy II they were all Nova’s after 1968

    • BlondeUXB Member

      You’re over-think’n it.
      Or your under 50…

      Like 5
    • ACZ

      He made them. He could call them whatever he wanted.

      Like 2
    • TJ

      They were called Chevy II Novas. They had a II on the leading hood edge moulding…

  14. Bing

    Yikes… 5 Days to go and it is at 90,100 and the reserve has not been met…
    Great car and history, and original as all get out, but me? Give me a 67 Vette with 427 and 4 speed…

    Like 1
  15. RPOL80

    @ Bill McCoskey Don`t care much about south of the border names. What did Chevrolet base the name NOVA of.

    • Bill McCoskey

      RPOL80,

      A nova is a transient astronomical event that causes the sudden appearance of a bright, apparently “new” star, that slowly fades over several weeks or many months. Causes of the dramatic appearance of a nova vary, depending on the circumstances of the two progenitor stars.

      Pontiac had the Star Chief, Ford had the Galaxy, Chevy had the Nova.

      Like 4
  16. Terrylee86

    Nova means NEW and that is where Chevy got the name. In Spanish No Va means in won’t go and it is a myth that the did not sell well in Spanish speaking countries. It is one of fastest developed cars in GM history. 18 months from design table to dealership. Built in Willow Run assembly plant in Ypsilanti, MI.

    Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey

      Terrylee86,

      Thanks for the correction. I’ve been hearing about that Spanish No Va Chevy problem for over 40 years. The example is also taught in numerous marketing textbooks and college courses [That’s where I first heard it.] When your college prof tells you it’s real, it has to be so!

      Absolutely sure I was correct, I did further research, only to discover it’s one of the biggest urban myths out there! It’s now being discussed in college courses concerning myths & legends, and how they persist.

      Now I’m pissed I can’t use this as an example of poor name choice for automobiles!

      Like 1
  17. BigBlocksRock

    Owned 3 Novas & a 68
    Chevy II with the L-79 327 4sp. Boy that car was crazy fast. Wish I’d kept it. Teenagers aren’t the brightest sometimes. Still own a 69 with an injected 396 & T400. No plans to ever sell it. I love these cars!

    Like 3
  18. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Nice….looking to top $100,000……

  19. RPOL80

    @ Bill McCoskey & TerryLee86 Your both, dead wrong. Sorry

    • terrylee86

      Dead wrong about what? Spanish myth? Look it up. You will find about 50 sources. Nova? Astronomically speaking a nova is a exploded star a Super Nova is an exploded super giant star and the gaseous remains are called a nebula. Nebulas are the birthplace of small to medium size stars like our sun called a yellow dwarf. Thus the new connotation. Where GM picked up the name is conjectured.

      Like 3
      • Bill McCoskey

        Terrylee86,

        Some people who ask a question, and are given answers, refuse to believe them. Given the ability to do the research, yet they don’t. Telling others they are wrong, yet they themselves don’t [or won’t] provide their reasoning behind the claim others are wrong.

        You can lead a horse . . .

        Like 4
  20. terrylee86

    Good words from a wise man. Wisdom is so much more important than knowledge.

    • Bill McCoskey

      Terrylee86,

      It takes one to know one, [wink, wink!]

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