Text courtesy of Mecum Auctions
This unrestored and highly original 1969 Yenko COPO Chevelle, one of only 99 built, qualifies as centerpiece material for the collector searching for original cars with good provenance.
Chevrolet built a total of 323 COPO Chevelles in 1969, all based on the base Malibu coupe rather than the SS version. All were equipped with the solid-lifter L72 427/425 HP big-block V8, a choice of heavy-duty 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmissions and a specific 12-bolt 4.10:1 Positraction rear end. Heavy-duty suspension, power front disc brakes and heavy-duty cooling were also part of the COPO, as were SS-style blackout front grilles and tail panels, a Super Sport hood and bucket seats. Like its Camaro counterpart, the COPO Chevelle was aimed at NHRA Super Stock SS/D competition, but many made it out onto the nation’s boulevards and back roads, where their plain-Jane looks surprised many a challenger with their ferocious performance.
The 99 COPO Chevelles sold under the banner of Yenko Chevrolet in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, are among the rarest of the COPO Chevelles. No plain wrappers here; instead, they were emblazoned with the same contrasting 3M vinyl graphics as the Yenko Super Camaros, and sharing their prestige as some of the most exclusive artifacts of the muscle-car era. Uniquely, this example was ordered new through Grossman Chevrolet in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Yenko enthusiasts will recognize this 1969 Yenko 427 Chevelle as one of the finest, most original examples of the total of 99 built. Listed with the Supercar Registry and featured in Randy Leffingwell’s excellent book “American Muscle: Muscle Cars From The Otis Chandler Collection,” it was ordered with both 9562 and 9737 COPO packages, the former specifying its factory-original L72 427/425 HP big-block engine and 4-core radiator, the latter giving the car 15-inch Rally wheels. It is also equipped with heavy-duty suspension, power steering, dash-mount tachometer, Yenko-branded Stewart-Warner gauges, a special 4.10:1 12-bolt Positraction rear end and M40 400 Turbo 3-speed automatic. Yenko Chevelles ordered with the automatic transmission arrived with a column shifter; like most of those cars, Yenko converted this one to the Hurst Dual Gate floor shifter.
Still adorned in its original LeMans Blue paint, White Yenko body graphics, “427” fender badges and Rally wheels, this 1969 Yenko 427 Chevelle remains unrestored and shows just 30,087 original miles. The build sheet, broadcast sheet, Yenko pre-delivery checklist, order form and new-car invoice from Grossman Chevrolet and owner’s manual will accompany the car. It is exceptionally well documented and widely known in the Yenko community as an excellent example of Don Yenko’s historic line of iconic muscle cars.