Inspired by and Dedicated to the Man and the Myth, our friend Don Yenko
With 54 years in the business, automobile "refreshtoration" began at Yenko Wildfire about the same time that the oldest vehicles we now craft were originally manufactured. Since combining our expertise on the renowned '69 Yenko Camaro, Don and I became best friends. We raced, we boated, we flew, we dined and we exchanged many brain cells until Don's untimely death in 1987. By 1982, Don had given one last shot at his "in house COPO" program with his ill-fated Turbo Z Camaro. I had opened Wildfire Motorsports in Dallas, where I resurrected 335 Camaro, Firebird, Monte Carlo SS and S-10 pickups from their severe lack of horsepower and handling problems. With up to 650 hp, we built cars to show and/or go. We shipped cars to 26 states plus Norway, Germany, Australia and Canada. The next epiphany hit me on the return trip from SEMA in Vegas in 2001. GM had just brought out the latest edition of the Camaro/Firebird and the C5 Vette was doing well. Chrysler had endowed us with the mighty PT Cruiser and the Hummer H2 was just over the horizon. The brainwave hit me....What would Don build if he were around today? To keep it somewhat brief, upon getting all the necessary blessings from the Yenko family, estate executor, Steel Town Corvette Club [founded by Don], several of his old crew, mechanics and the Pink Lady herself, Donna Mae Mims, we began cranking out a series of 25 YENKO Wildfire Commemorative vehicles that exemplify state-of-the-art classics to be. As the #25 neared completion, 6 were already in museums, 4 get raced regularly and successfully. Our Chevy SSR was named Best SSR in the world by the very team that designed it. 6 are in the hands of YENKO collectors while 1 travels the roads of Norway. The others pop up at various venues around the U.S. In and among the commemorative collection, we have accepted and completed over 315 restorations, restomods or refreshtorations for discerning clients worldwide.
AND NOWnearly 4 years after the transformation of our 2006 GTO into a fire-breathing Brazen Orange, 533 hp. beast, none other than Lynn Yenko and I are conspiring on the next generation of Yenko-Wildfire Commemorative vehicles. Why???? In 1967, Don put 54 1967 Yenko Camaros on the road. WE put 25 Yenko-Wildfire Commemorative vehicles on the road. Simple math dictates that we need to build 29 more units to fully acknowledge that initial 1967 run by Don. Lynn, Don's daughter suggests we do this as an ultimate tribute. 2017 - 2019 equates to the 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF DON'S GLORY YEARS. We would like to have the production run completed by December 31, 2019. a STRANGE PROJECT became cYs #26.
A SAAB 9-7x, [1 of 180] LS1 equipped units has been contracted and is now complete and on the streets of Dallas. See early shots of her on our site.
#27 is an upgraded Trailblazer SS putting out 433 hp at the wheels.
#28 is a GMC Envoy about to receive an LS3 w/500 rwhp.
#29 seems like we're in a rut as she's another Envoy Denali.
#30 is an all purpose GMC 2500HD pickup sporting 450 rwhp.
A Cadillac CTS Sportwagon, 1957 Chevy, 1966 Nova SS, 1940 Ford Coupe, 1996 Impala SS, a 1999 Trans Am and another 1987 Monte Carlo SS are between the "cloud" and the ground.
At 75, not sure what will roll down the road and what will evaporate in my mind. Clients, health and bucks will dictate. The Sportwagon and a rare Envoy XUV are already underway.
One decision is to build wild but subtle, fast but comfortable, unique but affordable vehicles. Where we've built and sold pretty special vehicles topping over $300,000, most of the Yenko-Commemoratives from #25 to #54 should be in the $20,000 - $75,000 range.