Members of the Yenko Sportscar Club Play Hard and Have Fun!

March 18th, 2011

Text and Photos by Bob McClurg

Ah, boys and their toys, of course, the older the “boy” the more expensive the “toy.” When it comes to Yenko Supercars the going rate for a fully restored example is on average 350-750K, but that doesn’t stop these guys from driving the hell out of them.

“Don Yenko intended for people to have fun with the cars bearing his name, and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” commented Yenko Sportscar Club (sYc) Executive Director Tom Clary. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s a survivor car, a restoration or a race car, everybody is welcome at the Supercar Reunion!”

The sYc is dedicated to the machines created by Canonsburg, Pennsylvania’s Yenko Sportscars Inc., but all types of American-built muscle cars are welcome at the Supercar Reunion. At previous events, we’ve seen Oldsmobile 442s, Pontiac T-series LeMans, GTOs, Firebirds and Buicks, and even the occasional Mopar.

Members of the Bow Tie persuasion roll up with anything from a Yenko Camaro, Nova, Chevelle or even a Corvair (Don Yenko built some badass Yenko Corvairs) to a Baldwin-Motion, Berger, COPO, DANA, Fred Gibb-Dick Harrell or Nickey Chevrolet muscle car. And dig this: They do it strictly for the fun of it. No classes, no prize money, no trophies!

Supercar Reunion XIII set up shop Friday, Sept. 3 at Madison, Illinois’s Gateway International Raceway, and was treated to some of the best weather participants could ever hope for. Track conditions were obviously ideal with temperatures in the high 70s with a slight breeze blowing, which made working on and tuning these oftentimes finicky big-block engine factory hot rods less of a chore.

Event performance numbers ran from Event Low E.T. set by Ed Rambeaux Jr. and his original Nickey Fathom Green ‘68 Camaro at 9.92-136.00 through the mid 13s. Though not the quickest, Tom Clary’s ex-Bob Hamilton “Red Alert” SS/DA ’70 Chevelle wowed the fans with its chassis-twisting launches. Big “Red” carded a Best Of 10.82-123.09.

In addition to the vintage iron there were numerous gen five ‘10 Camaros in attendance.  The factory IRS suspension seemed to hamper optimum straight-line traction, but Nickey Chicago is working on this issue. Speed E.T. for the latest hatchlings ranged from Jon Clary’s LS7 427-equipped Yenko/SC (the first of the new wave Yenko Camaros) at 11.75-116.23 to the mid-12s near 120 mph.

By late Friday afternoon everybody had had their fill of drag racing and gravitated to the bar inside Collinsville, Illinois’s Gateway Center, followed by dinner where former Fred Gibb Chevrolet Parts Manager Bob Lionburger was the featured speaker. Saturday’s agenda consisted of both an indoor concourse and outdoor show and shine, the latter of which is annually sponsored by the Gateway Camaro Club. With drag racing completed, the bench racing began at 8.00 a.m., and continued well into the afternoon. By 4:00 p.m. Saturday, Supercar Reunion XIII was a wrap.

If you’re a hardcore muscle car fan, and you’ve never been to one of these events, we recommend you check it out. Better yet, dust off that old muscle car sitting in the garage, or pull your old doorslammer out of mothballs, and take it to Supercar Reunion XIV. Who knows, drag racing may become “fun” all over again.

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