Chevrolet said today it would build 69 ‘COPO’ Camaros for 2012, the Bow-Tie brand’s first purpose-built Camaro drag-racer designed to compete in NHRA’s Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes. COPO means Central Office Production Order. It was Chevrolet’s special-order system used by dealers to build high-performance models in the 1960s.
The new COPO Camaro, if it is competitive, should be fastest Camaro ever offered by Chevrolet since current national records for quarter-mile times in these classes are in the nine-second range. The Camaro – starting price at $89,000 – cannot be registered, titled, licensed, or driven on public roads or highways. COPO is specifically offered for off-highway, competitive NHRA use only.
The COPO Camaro is built to racing specifications, including a solid axle and a full chrome moly roll cage. Inside, virtually all of the standard sound deadening and power accessories have been deleted in order to reduce weight. Also included is a pair of racing bucket seats (no rear seat), a safety harness for the driver, a competition floor shifter and Chevrolet Performance gauges.
The three engines offered in the COPO Camaro program are for the top classes in NHRA’s Stock Eliminator and Super Stock rankings. They are:
- An LS7-based naturally aspirated 427 (7.0L) V-8
- A supercharged, LSX-based 327 (5.3L) V-8 featuring a 2.9L supercharger
- A supercharged, LSX-based 327 (5.3L) V-8 featuring a 4.0L supercharger
The 69-car production for the 2012 COPO Camaro matches the number of “ZL-1” COPO Camaros made in 1969. They will be built using factory “body-in-white” body structures produced at the Oshawa, Ontario plant that manufactures regular-production Camaros. They are the same body-in-white body shells available to all racers under Chevrolet Performance part number 19243374.
Customers will order and complete the transaction for their COPO Camaro at a Chevrolet dealer with early summer deliveries at the General Motors Performance Build Center in Wixom, Michigan. The COPA Camaro buyer can also participate in its engine assembly. Basically it’s the same as Chevrolet’s Corvette Engine Build Experience and the Chevrolet Performance Build Your Own Crate Engine programs. The 2012 COPO Camaro is actually a performance part, with a specific part number (P/N 20129562).
“The COPO Camaro is going to shake up the sportsman drag racing ranks this summer and give Chevy fans a great new reason to cheer on the Bow Tie,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles & Motorsports.