The last year of the
2nd-generation F-body showed little change from the '80 model, save for the
addition of the Electronic Engine Control System. All automatic transmissions
now featured a lockup torque converter.
The RS model was again dropped from the lineup, leaving only the Z28 and the
Berlinetta along with the base coupe. Sales of the '81 model lagged, with the
3rd generation Camaro on the horizon...
Don's Last Hurrah...
Don Yenko returned late in 1979, during a joint project with Holley. They
modified a '80 Camaro, but after it was toasted on the drag strip by a 301 Turbo
Trans Am, the partnership was terminated (the 301 Turbo Trans Am ran the 1/4
mile in 16.7 @ 86 mph...)
Yenko came back in 1981, this time forming a partnership with Turbo
International. The Yenko Turbo Z was born, considered some of the rarest Camaro's
ever built. The cars were visually very similar to the '81 Z28, but featured an
IROC-style front air dam and special "Yenko Turbo Z" graphics adorning
the doors, nose and rear end. The Turbo Z was available in black, blue, red,
white, silver and brown.
The Stage I Turbo Z featured a Turbo International turbocharged 350 small block,
automatic transmission and Stage 1 wheels. Stage II's added Turbo Z floor mats,
fully adjustable leather seats, and a competition steering wheel to the
interior, with Camel or Black as color choices. Koni shocks, modified sway bars,
and modular wheels featuring Goodyear Wing-foots aided handling. These Turbo Z's
could turn the 1/4 in mid-high 14s, impressive for this era. The Stage I package
stickered at $11,300 and the Stage II at $17,500... and both met California emissions.
Production initially called for 200 cars, but only 20 (or 40-50 depending upon
the source) were actually built. Don Yenko sold Yenko Chevrolet in 1981, making
this the last Yenko car ever built.