Back in the day, Yenko was well known for stuffing the largest engines they could get their hands on into some of the best muscle cars of the day. From the 427 in the ’69 Super Yenko Camaro to the 454 stuffed between the fenders of the ‘70s Nova, Yenko earned its reputation as one of the baddest builders of the muscle car era. Alas, Yenko eventually went the way of the dinosaur and faded from the horsepower landscape, but not our hearts.
Fast forward to 2018, and Yenko is back—or at least the namesake is. Specialty Vehicle Engineering, founded by none other than the former owner of Street Legal Performance (SLP) Ed Hamburger, has taken up the mantle of the Yenko monicker and is doing the brand proud with vehicles such as the 1,000 horsepower Yenko/SC Stage II Camaro. We think Don Yenko would be proud to see what Ed is doing with his namesake and wouldn’t mind having his badges on the cars either.
And while the Yenko name can now be seen adorning modern muscle cars such as the Camaro and Corvette (we’ll just call it a muscle car, ok?), there is one vehicle old Don probably never imagined seeing his name on, a Silverado. But, nevertheless, SVE will start production of just 25 unique Silverados that will carry the Yenko name into the history books. But if you think this is just a ploy to sell as many vehicles as possible, you’d be wrong. This Silverado has earned the name Yenko.
SVE didn’t just slap some wheels and badges on it and call it a day, no. They started by ripping out the Silverado’s 6.2-liter L86 heart. The powerplant is replaced by an aluminum LT1 that has been stuffed with a longer 4.0-inch throw 4340 forged steel crankshaft. Forged H-beam rods and aluminum pistons finish off the short block and the whole thing is topped off with a set of CNC ported cylinder heads. Obviously, the fuel system and tune are updated while they are at it.
The strengthened mill is then fitted with a twin-screw supercharger to stuff atmosphere down the Silverado’s throat. Evacuating spent exhaust gases are a set of stainless steel headers, high-flow cats, and a stainless steel cat-back dual exhaust. All of the work under the hood amounts to a whopping 800 horsepower, earning it the right to be called Yenko in the process. And the Yenko treatment doesn’t stop under the hood.
To ensure the Silverado can whoa as good as it can go, a set of six-piston Brembo brakes bite on 16.1-inch vented rotors. Not only do they look great through the six-spoke, 22-inch Torque Thrust wheels, they are capable of slowing this Silverado from speeds well over 160 mph. The entire truck is sitting lower thanks to a set of progressive-rate lowering springs that bring the front end down 2-inches and the rear as much as 5. The stock front sway bar is also ditched for a 1.5-inch diameter bar the firms up the truck’s handing during street duties.
The rest of the truck is finished off with custom Yenko badging, embroidered seats and floor mats, and a stripe package letting you know that it is, in fact, a Yenko. As we mentioned earlier, only 25 examples of the muscle truck will be produced, though they all carry a 3 year/36,000 mile warranty—not bad considering the savage power this truck produces. So, if you really want a Yenko truck, you better put in your order now, these things aren’t going to last long. Ford Lightning? Never heard of her.