In 1964 the Ford motor company brought out the Mustang, to do battle against the 1964 Corvette, and Ford quickly discovered that the Corvette had a definite edge and usually won the race, the edge was of course in the suspension, and braking systems, not to mention the car was about 300 pounds lighter, because it was built out of fiberglass, which gave a Corvette a huge advantage.
In their efforts to beat down the General, Ford motor company tried a lot of different things over the years, and General Motors is still the General, but back to the regularly scheduled program, Ford would bring out monsters like the GT-350 R, which was by all rights a race car that was adapted for street use, the “R” even stands for race, even this beast could not beat down the Corvette.
The General would continue to upgrade the Corvette and continue to beat down everything in it’s path, until 1967 that is the year that Chevrolet would have a plan, they would introduce that Camaro to their already huge line of cars, the Corvette had already built a good name for it’s self on the race track, and now the Camaro was here to carry on the General’s name on the track.
The Camaro became an over night success story, everybody wanted one of these new Chevrolet muscle cars, well at least all of the GM fans did, and the Camaro was destined to go down in the history books as one of the biggest and baddest muscle cars ever built, of course Ford would continue it’s efforts to beat out the General in the muscle car wars, and they like all the other car companies had some memorable moments.
The whole muscle car era became a legendary time in automotive history, with the Corvettes, Camaro’s, Mustangs, Challengers, GTOS, and the list goes on for a long time, but I need to refocus on the subject at hade here, during the first generation run of the camaro Chevrolet and the Chevy dealers would do some experimenting with the camaro, and a legend they would build.
Sure the camaro name already had the Z/28, SS, RS and the combinations of these models to its credit, but a dealer in Canonsburg, PA named Yenko Chevrolet would have an idea that would spawn madness in the muscle car ranks, this car would be called the “sYc” or super Yenko camaro, and super would truly describe what this car was, as it would perform way above the expectations of Chevrolet and Don Yenko.
The car would be called “COPO 9561” “Central Office Production Order”, when you wanted to order one of these cars that’s what you’d ask for at the dealer, and you’d get an “sYc” camaro, the car came with an L72 427/425 hp engine, a Muncie M21 or M22 rock crusher transmission (or an M40 Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 automatic transmission); front disc brakes; a special ZL2 cowl inducted hood; a heavy duty radiator; special suspension; and a 4.10:1 posi-traction rear end.
Don Yenko would hire tricky Dick Herrel to campaign this car on the race track, and a good job he would do “Tricky Dick” would power the car down the ¼ mile and make racing history by tripping the lights in 11.48 seconds @ 115.5 mph, and with some race tuning he would get this number even lower times in the ¼ mile race.