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Chevrolet to offer factory drag-racer Camaro

69 cars will be sold at $86,000 each, and none is road-legal.

By James_Tate Mar 7, 2013 1:04PM

If you’re really into Chevrolet and drag racing, and you loved the '60s, you’re in luck – Chevy is offering a factory-built drag racer called the COPO Camaro.

You’re in luck, that is, if you’re one of the 69 people selected to buy one, and for that matter, lucky enough to have $86,000 burning a hole in your pocket.


COPO stands for “central office production order,” and according to Chevrolet it was used in the '60s to denote buyer-customized builds from the factory. If you were thinking the idea is ridiculous, know this is the second time a Camaro like this has been offered. Last year, around 3,000 people raised hands despite only 69 cars sold.  

Oh, and that 86 large is just the starting price. Things start to get more interesting (read: expensive) when you start tacking on the options. For example, there are three available engines: the 350-cubic-inch, which gets you 325 horsepower, the 396-cubic-inch, which adds 50 horsepower to that, and, of course, the 427-cubic-inch, which has 425 horsepower. If you’re feeling so inclined, you can even get a manual transmission this year, which, along with the engine offerings makes the COPO Camaro eligible for more NHRA Stock Eliminator classes.


Regardless of your engine and transmission choice, rear gearing will be optimized for ripping off ridiculous quarter-miles. And hey, if you’re feeling ambitious, you can choose the Engine Collector’s Package, which buys you all three engines, all serial-matched to the car -- which has no vehicle identification number, so it's not road-legal. If you don’t have the coin right now, you can buy a serialized engine later, too (up to one).


Changes for the 2013 car, as compared with the 2012, according to Chevrolet, are:


  • A ‘heritage’ grille and standard-production (non-HID) headlights
  • New exterior graphics choices with engine-size callouts
  • Revised interior package with custom carpet and new switch panel
  • Dedicated racing wiring harness
  • Revised front springs that enhance performance
  • Transmission cooler integrated with radiator


The COPO Camaros are hand-assembled, with workers installing NHRA-approved roll cages, safety equipment and a host of racing-specific goodies including a solid rear axle -- your box-stock Camaro has fully independent suspension -- Bogart racing wheels and Hoosier slicks. The engines aren’t exactly stock either, of course, featuring Holley Hi-Ram intake manifolds and fuel-injection management.


If you want one, get your name on the COPO Camaro mailing list at today -- literally, today, March 7. If you’re randomly selected to be one of 69 buyers, someone from Chevrolet will contact you, starting next Monday, March 11. Then, you can order all of the goodies you want, and get a neat little Willy Wonka ticket to take to your nearest dealer.

Production is set to start in April, which means you could have your new baby as early as this summer; you’ll need to drive to Detroit to get it. You won’t have a VIN, of course, but hey – you’ll have a piece of history and a hell of a head start into drag racing.

Didn't make the cut? Most of the COPO Camaro parts are available separately from Chevrolet Performance. You can even buy the “COPO Build Book,” so you can copy it right out of the catalog -- and drive your dream Camaro off the drag strip on the road.

[Source: General Motors]

Mar 8, 2013 6:56AM

Are those engine sizes and hp figures right? They sound very much like what was available for the first gen Camaro, not the current model.


GM hasn't made a 350 or 396 in years, the only engine size listed that they currently make is the 427, which is the 7.0 from the Z06, which makes no less that 505hp.


I would imagine any Camaro called "COPO" would be north of the 600hp mark.


Pretty awesome car though, and I love the idea. I wonder how these stack up against the Ford Mustang "Super Snakes" by Tasca.

Mar 12, 2013 12:21PM

Those numbers are right. They use GM Performance Parts motors. You can also get two blown 327's, one at 500 hp and the other at 550 hp. Both use the LSX block and are good for mods up to 1200hp. The ones in the article are complete rolling cars. You have been able to buy a complete COPO camaro body for the last 3 years.

Mar 8, 2013 1:38PM
I wonder how Dodge will respond especially with the Barracuda on the way. History appears to be repeating itself.
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