One of the most talked-about releases of a car in recent automotive history has to be the new COPO Camaro being produced by Chevrolet Performance division. COPO, or Central Office Production Order, dates back to the 1960’s when an out-of-the-ordinary car could be built on paper by you and come out of the factory exactly how you wanted it. These cars, of which only 69 will be made available to the public, are offered in a similar manner their forefathers.
So a list was conceived of people who wanted in on this deal and from there, the list was whittled down to the final 69 buyers. The lucky 69 then got to choose from one body style, a Camaro SS, but could get the car in several color and stripe package combos, along with three power plants to choose from. Unlike all other production cars produced by GM, this one is for track use only with a custom VIN and cannot be plated for street use. These cars are built to compete directly against the Ford Mustang Cobra Jet and Dodge Drag Pak Challenger in specific NHRA and ADRL classes.
These factory-built race cars have an interesting mix of what you could see coming from a street driven vehicle and a chassis shop. Aside from being powered by either a naturally aspirated 427, a 327 with a 2.9L Whipple supercharger, or a 327 with a 4.0L Whipple supercharger, the cars are built nearly identical. There are a few touches that the supercharged cars receive over the N/A cars, but for the most part, these cars come together piece by piece like a mirror image puzzle.
Upon arrival of picking up a new COPO, you’re greeted by the brains and power behind the whole program and welcomed like your old car buddies reuniting. Walking in, the meeting room opens up to a spotless shop of body-in -white Camaros in various stages being put together. Divided into two sections, the shop has a fab area where all the weight of excess tabs and metal is removed and all the chassis work is done. Once finished up here, it’s rolled into the next room for final assembly, where the body is lowered onto the engine and is slowly overhauled into a finished race car.
Pumping out about five cars a week now, these guys are busy meeting the deadlines in getting the excited owners their new rides on Friday delivery. Sitting in the middle of the shop under a custom COPO car cover is the next delivery vehicle waiting to be moved to the owner. The cover gets peeled back and a healthy tour of the car inside and out is underway. It’s an unreal experience to think of how few people get to experience history like this, so when offered up I had to jump on it. And its one memory I wont forget any time soon. Check out the gallery of photos after the ad below.