In 1969 COPO Camaro program got its start from Illinois-based Chevrolet dealer Fred Gibb, who used the company’s special order system to build more competitive in Stock Eliminator drag race cars, which emphasizes production-based vehicles.Typically, the COPO system was used for fleet vehicle services such as special paint or truck equipment, but Gibb used it to equip the Chevrolet Camaro with the all-aluminum ZL1 427 V8 racing engine. After some internal support to get the order pushed through from Camaro team leaders, it was soon realized that at least 50 examples of the car had to be built to be eligible for NHRA Stock Eliminator racing.
Gibb ordered the required 50, but only managed to sell 13 of them due to their high price and limited usability. The remaining 37 were redistributed to other dealers. That’s when word caught on about this special COPO Camaro program, and another 19 were built, totally just 69 original cars. They’re among the most valuable, rare and coveted classic muscle cars available today.
Now, for the 2019 model year, Chevrolet is celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the original COPO Camaro. The formula is familiar, but for the 2019 model year the COPO Camaro comes with an Anniversary Blue Metallic exterior color, mirroring the original Laguna Blue offered in 1969. As another throwback, a 50th Anniversary Engine Appearance Package is also available for the LSX-based 427 V8 racing engine. It comes with an orange engine block, chrome valve covers and a black high-rise intake manifold. The 2019 COPO Camaro’s available engine lineup also includes a revised LSX-based 350 V8 engine with an improved 2.65L Magnuson supercharger, as well as a 302-cubic-inch V8 engine.
Keen observers may also notice that the fascia of the 2019 COPO Camaro is the same “concept” fascia design that debuted on the Shock Camaro SEMA concept that was revealed recently. But as we’ve learned – that fascia is more than just a concept, and likely by the 2020 model year, the controversial looks of the 2019 Camaro SS will be changed to reflect this.