What we definitely know about the big names of Supercar construction during the 1960s and early ‘70s, Yenko, Dana and the like, is that by the time the EPA starting reinforcing smog regulation during the early-to-mid 1970s, most of the said names started to fall off of the radar. After all, how much horsepower could one build, under the smothering of EPA law?
But if you’ve ever studied Don Yenko in particular, then you must know that the Camaro “Turbo Z” of the early 1980s was his very last creation. As a result of the ever-changing automotive climate, particularly in those days, all of the dealership-based tuners threw the towel in on performance around this time.
This of course, was also true of the Chicago, Illinois equivalent, Nickey Chevrolet. Ever since the 1950s, Nickey was heralded as one of America’s premiere performance shops, and by the time the first Camaro was introduced in 1967, Nickey Chevrolet had built a more-than-tangible business out of L-88 Camaro conversions.
Sadly, Nickey would become Keystone Chevrolet by December of 1973. By that point, Nickey had ceased all L-88 car production, but even so, a 1974 Stage III Camaro was assembled one month later, a 427, F-Body creation that is said to be the very last Nickey Camaro ever to be built.
Originally a 1974 LT model, this last assembled Stage III car will be hitting the Mecum auction block at Indianapolis. That auction will be happening from May 12th to 17th of this year, and though guesses are afloat as to how much money the Camaro will garner, there are already those who are assuming that this historic F-Body may fall somewhere between the $135-175K range.
This asking window may seem, of course, a little outlandish, when one considers that our featured pony is one of the dreaded “smog era.” But as there were rock bands of the 1960s who got phased-out by the Beatles and Stones, so there were, American muscle classics of the Smog Era who have also been forgotten!
Fanatical about everything LS and Buick Turbo-6, it goes without saying that Sal Alaimo Jr. is on it, when it comes to covering anything late-model. But his musclecar roots can be traced back to Chevelles, Skylarks and the rest of the A-Body family of GM performance!