Chevrolet Nova Yenko 350/360 LT1 1970

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Nova Yenko 350/360 LT1 1970





The 1970 Nova was basically a carryover from 1969. The side marker and taillight lenses for the 1970 Nova were wider and positioned slightly differently. This was the final year for the SS396 (actually, a 402 cubic in. engine now). All other engines were carried over including the seldom-ordered four-cylinder which was in its final year. The car finally became simply the Chevrolet Nova this year after two years of transitional nameplates (Chevy II Nova in 1968 and Chevrolet Chevy Nova in 1969). Out of 254,242 Novas sold for 1970, 19,558 were the SS 350 or SS 396 version. Approximately 177 Central Office Production Order (COPO) Novas were ordered, with 175 converted by Yenko Chevrolet. The other two were sold in Canada. The Nova was used in Trans-Am racing this year.

Premiums on any big-block car associated with Yenko's name went through the roof in late 1969. However, Chevrolet had just placed the finishing touches on the 350 CI LT1, the latest version of the legendary Chevy small-block design. For the new year, it was slated to only go into the Z28 Camaro (replacing the race-bred high-compression 302) and Corvette (as the new top-of-the-line small-block). Yenko and Vince Piggins of Chevrolet Product Promotions agreed to a COPO-installed LT1 in a run of Novas. The COPO code assigned for the engine install was 9010, and also added to this was a new COPO 9737 Sports Car code, which got some of the Nova SS suspension equipment and an otherwise-unavailable 4.10:1 differential, among other changes to what Yenko termed his Deuce (after the song “Little Deuce Coupe” and the Chevy II nameplate for economy Novas).

Retired race car driver and muscle car specialist Don Yenko of Yenko Chevrolet in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania refitted a series of Third generation Novas, as well as Chevelles and Camaros for optimum performance to compete with the frontrunning Ford Mustangs, Plymouth Barracudas and Dodge Challengers. The specially redesigned Nova (sometimes known as the "Yenko Supernova") had a stronger body frame and suspension system to house the powerful and heavy 427cid (7.0L) V8 engine that powered the Yenko Super Cars. Only 37 were known to be produced with an original selling price of $4,000.00. Today, only seven units are registered and known to exist. In 1970, emissions standards and fuel economy were taking a toll on muscle cars. To counter this, Yenko requested a high-output Chevy 350cid V8 in his special line of Novas, the same engine that the new Z-28 Camaro and LT1 Corvette shared. Additionally, the new "Yenko Deuce", as it was known, had extensive suspension, transmission, and rear axle upgrades along with some very lively stripes, badges, and interior decals.

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