The number is significant as it pays homage to the 1969 Camaro ZL1, of which just 69 examples were ever built. The COPO name is also a nod to the past, as the Central Office Production Order (COPO, for short) allowed racing-savvy dealers to build Camaro models (like the ZL1) not otherwise available.
For 2013, the not-legal-for-road-use COPO Camaro will be offered with two new engines (three in total) and a new manual transmission, aimed at making the car fit a wider range of NHRA Stock Eliminator classes. All three engine options are naturally-aspirated, but come with the latest in programmable fuel injection systems from Holley.
The least-powerful COPO Camaro gets a 350-cubic-inch V-8 rated at 325 horsepower, while the mid-range model uses a 396-cubic-inch engine rated at 375 horsepower. Atop the range is a 427-cubic-inch V-8, good for 425 horsepower.
Each model gets rear gearing optimized for performance, as well as the buyer’s choice of a manual transmission or the Powerglide automatic transmission. Those wanting to get hands-on during the build process can participate in Chevy’s Performance Build program, and collectors can order one of each number-matched engine at the time of purchase.
Other performance bits new for 2013 include revised front springs, a wiring harness designed for the rigors of racing competition and a transmission cooler integrated with the car’s radiator.
Outside, the 2013 COPO Camaros are available in Black, Summit White, Victory Red, Silver Ice Metallic and Ashen Gray Metallic, and all get a “heritage” grille with production headlamps. Buyers get a choice of exterior graphics, including a package that broadcasts the engine size beneath the hood.
Last year, some 3,000 customers indicated interest in the COPO Camaro, and that pool of potential buyers isn’t likely to get smaller in 2013. Pricing starts at $86,000 this year, and those interested in buying a 2013 COPO Camaro should have already signed up on the COPO Camaro mailing list (found on the Chevrolet Performance website).
From there it’s up to fate. Buyers are chosen at random by a third-party agency, and those selected will be contacted by a Chevrolet Central Office representative beginning on March 11. Production is set to begin next month, with the first deliveries taking place in Detroit early this summer.