Don Yenko the man
Stingers in Print
|DON YENKO the man|
Who was Don Yenko? Well, he was an adventurer, a dreamer, a guy that really liked to get things done and have fun while he was doing it.
Don was born on May 27, 1927 in Monongahela Pennsylvania of Frank & Martha Yenko. He helped his mom & dad at their Chevrolet dealership in Bentleyville for years and as a young boy found his love for flying. He graduated Bentleyville High School and went on to graduate Pennsylvania State University. He served as a meteorologist in the USAF and came back home to Canonsburg, where his dad had opened Yenko Chevrolet on Pike Street.
He loved Corvettes and racing them. The dealership became a center for high performance Corvettes in the 50’s and Don was in the midst of it. In the 60’s he road raced the early model Corvair and by the middle of the decade decided to create some competition using the all new redesigned for 1965 Corvair.
The Stinger was born in late 1965, early 1966 and was an unqualified success. He next took on Chevrolet’s new Camaro and succeeded with that. Later on the Nova, Chevelle, Vega, and Citation all fell under the touch of Don. The last few years of his life found him playing with Porsches and Hondas.
Everyone who met Don noted the fun he had with them, whether it was him playing jazz piano, riding dirt bikes, flying, driving, or whatever… He died while on a business trip flying his Cessna 210M from Clarksburg to Charleston West Virginia on March 5, 1987. He will always be missed by his many friends, family, and hordes of high performance automobile lovers the world over…
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