When Gene Schmidt of Bismarck, North Dakota stumbled upon a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a 2013 COPO rolling chassis (CRC) COPO, that Richard Rawling of Gas Monkey Garage was offering, he jumped on it.
Realizing the number 18 out of 20 serial rolling chassis, body-in-white would match perfectly with the number 18 out of 200 stamped aluminum ZL1 Ram Jet engines that Gene had laying around, he clamored to make sure he could marry the two halves together. Soon after, plans were in motion to build the first and only street legal COPO in the world, that is currently for sale right here on eBay.
Once Schmidt, a former Pro Mod racer, got ahold of the rolling chassis, he immediately incorporated a ’13 Camaro headlight wiring harness and set upon this COPO eligible to be a titled vehicle in North Dakota. “The plan was to make the COPO CRC the same way Chevrolet did back in the day, with a big-block aluminum ZL1, with the added bonus of being titled and street legal,” Gene said.
Jeremy Lee, a well-known chassis builder and owner of Jeremy Lee Race Cars in Bismarck, North Dakota, was tasked with the fabrication that helped make Gene’s dream a reality. The engine was moved back two inches further than factory and allowed for better weight distribution, and a TH400 crossmember mount was added. A elegant, yet convenient addition, are mounting brackets in the rear trunk space allowing the storage of the added swing-out door bars, providing more comfort when out cruising and not terrorizing the track.
“The car was designed to be to cruise night king and to compete in a True Street-style class at the Annual Street Car Showdown in Brainerd, Minnesota. Rules require a five-lap competition of the circuit at Brainerd International Raceway, and finishing up with a few passes down the Brainerd drag strip without any breakdowns to solidify a streetcar status” stated Gene.
The ZL1 big-block Ram Jet received all sorts of high-dollar goodies thanks to Harry’s Heads-Auto Machine Inc. out of Sioux City, Iowa, with a Callies forged 4.345 stroker rotating assembly topped with a set of custom Diamond pistons, resulting in a 504 cubic-inch, 11.5:1 big-block with a set of CNC’d Chevrolet Performance aluminum Bowtie heads. The EFI Ram Jet manifold got a full porting work-over to allow a smooth transition of airflow. The valvetrain is completely decked out with T&D shaft-mounted rockers, Pac springs dual valve springs, Isky lifters, and Manley 2.25-inch intake and 1.88-inch exhaust valves.
Engine management is provided by an MS3 Pro standalone ECU with custom tuning by Scott Clark (the legendary tuner behind Larry Larson’s Drag Week Chevy S10, the quickest street car in the world), culminating in a respectable 700-plus horsepower on the engine dyno while running on VP Racing C12. The six-gallon fuel cell is usually filled with 91 octane with a fuel additive to retain street-ablitiy.
The TH400 Chevrolet transmission was built with longevity in mind, utilizing a Reid case and all the goodies that are commonly found in applications over 2,000 horsepower. The transmission combination is finished off with a 4500 stall Pro Mod spec’d converter, billet three-speed manual valve body, and Precision Performance Products shifter to help control all this badassery.
The list of details are endless, from the custom hood with incorporated ZL1 emblems, the custom Hooker Headers with electric cutouts, and full 3-inch exhaust out the back. Gene seems to have tapped into every Chevy lovers dream of what a car should be to make this stunning automotive machine.
This street-titled CRC COPO is registered as a one-of-one in the COPO registry, according to Schmidt. Check out the eBay link and make sure to comment on this beautiful one-of-a-kind Camaro.