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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale August 15th-17th at Russo and Steele’s 13th Annual Monterey, California Auction. Please contact us for more information.
The Chevrolet Camaro was already a big hit after its introduction for 1967 and by 1969, Chevrolet had updated it with lines that remain timeless today. Chevrolet designed the Camaro to accept a wide variety of engines all the way up to the L78 375-hp, 396 cubic-inch V-8. However, the “horsepower wars” continued on the strip and the street and while Chevrolet did have its larger 427 big-block, that motor was only factory-available for the Corvette and in milder tune for the full-size Impala SS.
The COPO or Central Office Production Order system was the mechanism where General Motors took special orders for police cars, school buses, and fleet vehicles like taxicabs. Within that small area, GM offered to build on a very limited basis Camaros loaded with the 427/425 hp engine that was used in the top-of-the-line Corvette. Known as the L72 motor, it had solid lifters, a big cam, open chambered heads, and 11.0:1 compression. The engine was rated initially at 450 hp in the 1966 Corvette but despite being identical, it was rated at 425 hp in the Camaro. These cars came with heavy-duty suspension, a 4:10 Positraction 12-bolt differential, and front disc brakes. They were unmarked without all the badges and were true “sleepers,” that is until you started the engine. COPO cars were quick out of the box but were capable of sub-12-second performance in the quarter mile with headers, slicks, and tuning. They returned Chevy to the top of Stock Eliminator and Super Stock drag racing circles and on Main Street, the COPO cars carried a fearsome reputation.
The example offered here is an original Rally Green/Black COPO car. It is one of the very few with an automatic and a console and it is an all-matching numbers car including the original engine block, transmission, and differential. It is an original Canadian-delivery car with documentation, with only an approximate 12,000 original miles and now offered for sale by the 3rd owner, who purchased the car in 2000.
Since then, it was sent to Ontario, Canada’s Legendary Motor Car of “Dream Car Garage” TV fame for restoration. The car was completely repainted to the bare metal, and there is zero rust anywhere. It is period correct in all respects including undercarriage, engine bay and trunk. Chrome is in excellent condition all around, and door gaps are better than new. In addition, the car had all-new shocks and bushings, and it was completely “nut and bolt” restored to factory-correct specs. The 427 engine is original and was rebuilt, balanced and blueprinted by Legendary. The transmission and differential were rebuilt during that time as well. The engine was dyno-tested at 468 hp on its original cast-iron headers. It is completely stock in specification. The interior is original except for a replacement dash. There is little wear on the interior surfaces and it remains excellent.
The car is fully documented and the owner has all receipts and pictures taken during the restoration. The only “non-stock” piece is the period correct Rosewood steering wheel. The original is in the trunk. A window sticker and build sheet come with the car. A “best-of-the-best” and a real, “no excuses” car, this excellent COPO marks an outstanding “blue-chip” collectible at auction and it will certainly anchor any serious collection of the hottest race-bred factory supercars ever built.