Chevy's final 2012 COPO Camaro

Chevy's final 2012 COPO Camaro

At last year’s SEMA show, Chevy announced that it would build 69 COPO Camaros for the 2012 model year. The number was in honor of the original COPO (short for Central Office Production Order) Camaro, which hit the drag strip in 1969 as a factory-built race car.

Like the originals, the new COPO Camaros are built with one thing in mind: getting through the traps at the end of the quarter-mile as quickly as possible. In fact, the modern versions aren’t even street-legal, but that’s had no impact on the demand for the collectible race cars, since over 3,000 buyers have expressed interest.

To close out the production run, Chevy is building car number 69 in convertible form, sprayed in Inferno Orange Metallic. Under the hood is a 327 cubic-inch V-8 with a 4.0-liter Whipple supercharger, which makes an NHRA-certified 550 horsepower. Shifting duties will be handled by a bulletproof Turbo 400 three-speed transmission.

Like all COPO Camaros, it comes with an NHRA-approved roll cage, a solid rear axle,  and a full array of NHRA-mandated safety gear. COPO convertibles get fully-operational tops, too, which must be in place for racing per NHRA competition rules.

As for exclusivity, the car is one of two COPO Camaros built in convertible form, with the other going to Chevrolet’s collection. It’s the only COPO Camaro painted in Inferno Orange Metallic, and its the only one fitted with the Turbo 400 three-speed gearbox.

The car will be on display in Chevy’s SEMA booth, but from there it heads to Barrett-Jackson, where it will be sold to benefit the American Heart Association at the company’s January auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Chevy has also served up good new for those that missed out on getting a 2012 COPO Camaro; for 2013, the automaker will build another production run of 69 units, also available in coupe or convertible form.

If you just want to build a Camaro race car, the automaker points out that nearly all COPO Camaro components, from the body in white to crate engines, are available from your local Chevy dealer.