The General Motors Central Office Production Order (COPO) allowed the order of some very special cars in the 1960s.
Though the office was formed for fleet vehicle orders, some clever customers were able to spec out a few very specialized cars. Most notably among them was the 1969 Camaro ZL1 with an all-aluminum 427 cubic-inch V8, an engine which had been designed specifically for racing.
For 2013, Chevy is bringing the COPO Camaro back in a very limited run. Only 69 will be built. The 2013 COPO Camaros will be offered with three engines and two transmission options with a solid rear axle and gearing to match the various engine and transmission specs.
Chevy will bolt either a 350 ci V8 producing 325 horsepower, a 396 ci V8 producing 375 horsepower, or a 427 ci V8 producing 425 horsepower under the hood. Customers can opt in to help construct the engine at the assembly plant. For an extra cost, the customer can also order an extra motor that will be numbers-matched to the car, should they blow up the original powerplant. Bolted to the racing V8s will be an optional Powerglide automatic transmission or a new manual gearbox.
If this COPO Camaro program is beginning to sound like a throwback to American Pony cars of old, you’re right. Each COPO Camaro is fitted with an NHRA-approved roll cage and other safety equipment, along with racing chassis and suspension components. The classic American racecar is finished off lightweight Bogart racing wheels and Hoosier racing tires.
After 3,000 customers indicated interest in a new special run of COPO Camaros for 2013, Chevrolet has been urged to opened up the order sheets for a 2013 run of the distinctive racecars. Starting March 11th, interested parties will be able to sign up on the Camaro Mailing List at chevroletperformance.com.
Just 69 lucky customers will be randomly chosen to participate in the program.
Don’t rush to sign up willy-nilly, though, these rare rigs start at $86,000. So if you’re not ready to plunk down some Nissan GT-R-level money for a factory-built American racecar, don’t bother.
If you do have the money in the bank, though, you could be a part of one of the most hands-on and individualized car buying experiences this year.