The COPO Camaro is what legends are made of. And if you watch Fast N’ Loud, the Gas Monkey franchise on Discovery, you’ll learn more about them soon. They recently sold a Gas Monkey decaled COPO Camaro in Reno, through Barrett-Jackson Auctions. And are doing some more by way of Chevy’s “Build Your Own” program.
Back in the 60’s, slick dealers could order cars made by Chevrolet in unique configurations using a Central Office Production Order (COPO). A dealer, Fred Gibb in Illinois, thought making a 69 Camaro with an aluminum 427 ZL1 power plant making 425 horsepower was a great idea. So ultimately he ordered 69 of these fabled cars, with Chevrolet requiring a minimum of fifty to make a COPO. With a price tag of over $7,200 (twice what a stocker cost), Gibb could only sell thirteen at his dealership and he sent the others out through a network of dealers.
These cars were intended for racing on the strip and they are rather rare and pricey. I first saw one owned by Reggie Jackson back in the 90’s. One sold at Barrett-Jackson in 2012 for $451,000
In 2012 the COPO name and concept was revived by Chevrolet at the SEMA show and was introduced with a white paint job. Only 69 ( a recurring number you see) were produced. It sold starting at $89,000 and was strictly for the NHRA’s strips with no VIN being issued and lacking a bunch of NHTSA mandated stuff. You had a choice of three engines; a 427 V8 or a 327 V8 with a either a 2.9L supercharger or a 4.0L supercharger
In 2013 it again premiered in SEMA, this time in a unique convertible (which most tracks wouldn’t allow)! It started at $86,000 and offered again three engine options. a 352 horsepower V8, a 375 Horsepower 6.5L V8 or a massive 7L V8 making again the 425 horsepower. Plus along with the racer’s standard Powerglide it came in a 4 speed manual. The convertible was later sold at auction with only one other convertible made in 2013.
Yet again for 2014, Chevrolet trotted out their COPO at SEMA in a light blue color. This year, lucky winners can choose from a 427 V8, a 350 V8 with a 2.9L supercharger, or mere V8’s with either a 350 or 396 cubic inch displacement. For 2014 a solid rear axle appears in place of the independent rear end.
Build Your Own
Each year only 69 COPO’s are offered by way of a lottery system. But that is not the only way to get a COPO. Chevrolet has offered a “Build Your Own” program were you can open a parts book and build up from a rolling chassis. Again these are designed for the strip and lack a VIN and are definitely not “street legal”. For 2013 they were offered at a starting price of $55,000.
That’s essentially what Gas Monkey Garage did. They got their hands on twenty of these babies and offered them for $89,000 minus a engine and transmission. So far they have sold 14, with one more set to be auctioned in January at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale AZ. Keep an eye out for more information about the COPO on their show soon. In the mean time, enjoy some views of the recent editions of the COPO Camaro
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