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Yenko beginnings


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Here is where I watched the first Yenko cars being built in my small home town of Bentleyville, PA.

"Red" and his son turn production cars into muscle cars.

 

"Red" has long passed. but his son, Sonny, still owns the garage.

 

Back in the day, teen-age Sonny painted the logos/stripes on the cars.

He is now working on a '57 Chevy.

 

I went back home for my 50th class reunion and used that opportunity to again run the foothills in my Kaiser Darrin.

At the reunion, stories were abundant about my crazies in that car.

 

My day owned the brick building that was once a Kaiser Frazer dealership (long forgotten by me)--very ironic!

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post-156014-0-91780200-1454633943_thumb.

 

post-156014-0-36991500-1454633965_thumb.

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Mr. K. F. Carguy, you should write an article

for your local club newsletter on your memories

of Yenko.  You might have some insights that

no one else has, and it certainly would be an

interesting article for muscle-car fans.

 

Do you belong to an A.A.C.A. region, or some other

club, where you could do this?

 

Insights like this need to be written down for posterity!

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By the way, I notice the old "Kaiser-Fraser"

sign painted on the side of the brick building.

It looks as if a newer vinyl (plastic) window in the wall

intrudes a bit into the Kaiser sign.  And the current

owner should move that plastic laundromat sign

to reveal more of the historic Kaiser sign.

 

Oh, if only people appreciated history more!

 

Do you have any old pictures of the dealership to post here?

Your thread has lots of interesting potential.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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I am a member of the Kaiser Frazer club, Darrin Registry Manager.

 

I have asked fellow high school alumni for old pics of the buildings.

 

Two families were involved with the first Yenkos.  Red's Garage, that did most work, and Zerambo's Service Station.

They are 10 yards apart in Bentleyville.

While talking to Sonny (Red's Garage), JR (Zerambo) joined us to add to the Yenko stories.  He and his father did the "road tests" of the cars.  He told about having to out run the "fuzz" while on these tests.

These guys have lived in this little town their whole life.  And I am sure that these stories were told over and over, much like the stories told at my class reunion about me and the Darrin running the back roads.

 

I am truly thankful to see your responses because this story has been whitewashed out of the Yenko history.  Yenko is associated with Canonsburg, PA, a more glamorous location than a coal mining town out in the hills.  That was the second dealership that Frank, Don's father, opened.  His first dealership was in Bentleyville. The Canonsburg location is where the latter modifieds were built.

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  • 4 years later...

Before the COPOs, Yenko built the Stinker (I was deep into Corvairs including an autocross Corsa and Fitch Sprint turbo in the early 70s). Close friend raced a Stinger for many years.

Something is trying to trip a synapse about a Yenko Corvette ca 1964 at VIR. Think Bob Tulius had a TR4 there.

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On 2/5/2016 at 6:11 AM, John_S_in_Penna said:

Mr. K. F. Carguy, you should write an article

for your local club newsletter on your memories

of Yenko.  You might have some insights that

no one else has, and it certainly would be an

interesting article for muscle-car fans.

 

Do you belong to an A.A.C.A. region, or some other

club, where you could do this?

 

Insights like this need to be written down for posterity!

There is 'The Yenko Era...Canonsburg & Beyond by Mark Gillespe published a few years ago.

 

Craig

iphone1 097.JPG

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On 4/23/2020 at 3:27 PM, padgett said:

Before the COPOs, Yenko built the Stinker (I was deep into Corvairs including an autocross Corsa and Fitch Sprint turbo in the early 70s). Close friend raced a Stinger for many years.

Something is trying to trip a synapse about a Yenko Corvette ca 1964 at VIR. Think Bob Tulius had a TR4 there.

A Stinger from a few years ago, and another uncommon Yenko offering.

 

Craig

Yenko_Stinger_1.jpg

72_Yenko_Vega_1.jpg

72_Yenko_Vega_2.jpg

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