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1966 Yenko Stinger (YS-071)

I bought this exceptional car from a gentleman in Chicago in November 2003. It is YS-071 which puts it in the original 100 white cars that Don Yenko produced to qualify for Sports Car Club of America D Production racing.

The Yenko Stinger had a highly successful outing in SCCA D Production racing in 1966. With drivers like Dr. Dick Thompson and Jerry Thompson at the wheel, these Corvair-based sports cars set lap records throughout the East and Mid-West. Dick Thompson took on the famous Group 44 Triumph Racing Team and, after a tough battle, came out on top of the quick Bob Tullius to win the Northeast Division. Jerry Thompson triumphed in the Central Division.

In 1967, Jerry Thompson set the high water mark in Yenko Stinger racing when he took first place in D Production at the Daytona American Road Race of Champions (AARC) in November 1967. The ARRC was the SCCA's super bowl where regional champions raced for the top trophy.

I have included pictures of my Yenko Stinger below including one of my Stinger alongside Candace's Porsche 911S and another of the Stinger on display in Los Gatos, California. Additionally, I have included a scan of the certification of the Chevrolet Central Production Office (COPO) orders for this vehicle. Also included are scans of the first few pages of the Yenko Stinger Tech Manual which provide interesting racing results and details on the Yenko Stinger as well as pokes at Ralph Nader's opinions. Finally, after the picture links, I have added some facts from the Virginia International Raceway (VIR) lap record history to provide an idea of the racing performance of the 1966 Stinger against other sports cars of the same era.


The Yenko Stinger - how fast was it?

When Don Yenko initiated the Yenko Stinger project, he had hoped for an SCCA E Production classification. When the SCCA approval telegram came, Yenko was elated that the SCCA had accepted his 100 car production, but he was also worried because D Production was owned by the Triumph TR4, which had won class D for four years in a row. Not one to shy away from a challenge, Yenko went to work on a more powerful engine, and the rest is history. The Yenko Stinger was a hot competitor in D Production as you can see from reading the Tech Manual pages.

I found an interesting insight into the Yenko Stinger's 1966 racing capabilities on a web site that lists the lap records at Virginia International Raceway (VIR). I have included some examples below. These lap times provide an insight into the relative performance of various sports cars driven by some very good drivers. A quick glance at the table shows that the SCCA made a good decision in matching the new Yenko Stinger against the reigning champion TR4 in D Production. The CP production Porsches are 4-cam flat-four Carreras. The EP production Porsches are push rod flat-four 356s.

Class Driver Car Date Time
AP Ed Lowther Cobra Apr 1967 02:14.4
AP Ed Lowther Cobra ? 02:16.8
AP Mark Donohue Cobra Apr 1964 02:21.3
BP Don Yenko Corvette May 1966 02:22.1
BP Don Yenko Corvette Apr 1964 02:29.2
CP Bruce Jennings Porsche May 1966 02:24.0
CP Bruce Jennings Porsche Oct 1963 02:33.2
DP Bob Tullius TR4A Sep 1968 02:26.4
DP Dick Thompson Yenko Stinger ??? 1966 02:26.9
DP Bob Tullius TR4 Oct 1964 02:33.0
EP Peter van der Vate Alfa Duetto Sep 1968 02:28.5
EP George Frey Porsche Apr 1966 02:30.8

VIR Stinger Race Photos (1966) I came across three old photos of Dr. Dick Thompson's #43 Yenko Stinger at the 1966 VIR National Race. I have also included a few links for Bob Tullius's #44 TR4, which raced against the Stinger. Here are the links:

  • Dick Thompson follows the CP Porsche Carreras with "King Carrera" Bruce Jenning in the CP lead in the combined CP & DP race. Thompson easily won the DP trophy, however, Tullius dropped out of the race. Don Yenko also drove a Stinger in this race finishing 5th in DP. I think that might be his Stinger just coming into sight. Thompson also won the main event in a Ford GT-40.
  • Thompson's #43 Yenko Stinger has a big lead over the rest of the DP pack. I think this photo was taken just after the previous photo. You can clearly see Don Yenko's Stinger now.
  • Yenko Stinger #43 sitting in the paddock.
  • Group 44 Triumph Headequarters - where the Stinger competition hung out. That's Bob Tullius on the left next to his TR4.
  • Triumph #44 at speed with Tullius at the wheel.
  • Link to the home for all of the 1966 VIR National Race information. There are some great old photos here from a simpler era in racing.
  • Here is a link to some interesting technical history behind the development of the TR4A which featured independent rear suspension. Notice that they don't mention the Yenko Stinger when they talk about dominating D Production racing.