COPO Camaros are not legal for street use, but that hasn’t stopped at least a couple from getting license plates. We don’t know what wrangling it takes to do it but trust us; it has been accomplished. For the uninitiated, a modern COPO Camaro is a factory-built hot rod. It’s made for NHRA Stock Eliminator classes and can lay down 8-second passes with ease. But again, it’s for racing and not for street use. The thought of flinging a COPO Camaro on the street would surely give you an illegal smile.
What is a COPO Camaro?
COPO stands for “Central Office Production Order” used by racers in the day to circumvent GM’s ban on offering engines over 400ci and 395 hp. COPO was for fleet ordering but was used to order Camaros with 427ci engines. They were sold through key dealerships in the loop on the workaround set up by Chevrolet Product Promotions manager Vince Piggins.
Today Chevy hand-builds a small run of 69 COPO Camaros each year. It has been doing these somewhat secret racers since 2012. This particular 2019 COPO is a 50th Anniversary Edition version. It can now be yours. All you need to do is pony up $147,500. What’s so special about this one? You’ll need a bit more background so here goes.
This 2019 COPO Camaro has the 427ci engine
For 2019 Chevy offered the COPO with the buyer’s choice of three different engines for three different NHRA Sportsman classes. You could opt for a 350ci, 302ci, or 427ci small-block V8. Because this was meant to honor the 1969 Camaro’s 50th anniversary the engines could be ordered with a 50th Anniversary Engine Appearance Package. Those engines were painted Chevy orange with chrome valve covers just like a ‘69 Camaro.
Not all 2019 COPOs came with the 50th Anniversary Edition package. Customers could take it or leave it. Those that were ordered came painted in Anniversary Blue metallic like the original 1969 Laguna Blue. There are always a couple of COPO Camaros being offered up usually in the $100,000 range but they’re still plenty rare.
It is number 55 of 69 COPO Camaros built in 2019
The one for sale here is number 55 out of 69 built. It has never been raced and even has the plastic wrapping on the steering wheel and stickers on the tires. Chevy is usually good about selling these to hardcore racers as it doesn’t want to see its COPOs like this. It’s not in the business of selling elaborate door stops. Nonetheless, that is what you’re looking at here.
With the Anniversary package number 55 got the 427ci engine. Besides that, it also was ordered with the Racer Package. That includes a parachute, dual batteries, and a weight box. The interior is done in black vinyl. Typically COPOs come with fairly stripped interiors to save weight.
It was originally sold through Berger Chevrolet in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Because the original COPO Camaros had to be special-ordered from the factory Chevy only authorized a few dealerships to handle COPO Camaros. Berger is the only one still in existence so the significance of this Camaro being ordered there is part of the provenance.