Dick Harrell was a drag racing legend in the 1960s and 1970s with a loyalty so strong to the Bow Tie, it earned him the nickname “Mr. Chevrolet.” He was one of the few racers who both drove and wrenched on their cars. His expertise in developing his cars and parts, as well as his willingness to share his knowledge, led him to work with Nickey Chevrolet, Yenko Chevrolet, and eventually build his own modified Central Office Production Order, or COPO Camaros. Our feature car is one of five known surviving 1969 Chevy COPO Camaros modified by Dick Harrell.
This COPO Camaro was ordered new through Dick Harrell’s collaborating dealer, Bill Allen Chevrolet in Kansas City, Missouri. It is believed to have been one of the two shop demonstrator cars in 1969 and 1970. It is also the only example of the Harrell COPOs with an American Racing Products rear spoiler, the wide cowl induction hood stripe, and rear quarter and door stripes.
This COPO Camaro was the subject of a comprehensive restoration finished in 2019. Original parts were reused when possible. Resplendent in AkzoNobel Lesonal Glacier Blue Metallic over the original sheet metal, the body prep and paint are said to have taken an estimated 500 hours. The color was matched digitally to the OEM hue on the firewall cowl. Chrome bumpers have been refinished, and stainless trim has been lovingly polished. The Bill Allen Chevrolet emblem has been replaced on the rear panel, just left of the Chevy Bow Tie, and three of the four Dick Harrell emblems are original to the car. Cragar SS wheels with Firestone Wide Oval bias ply tires round out the original appearance.
The Central Office Production Order for this COPO Camaro specified 9561 specs, meaning the car came with the L72 iron block 427 cubic-inch Big Block, the CX-code 400 Turbo Hydra-Matic three-speed automatic trans, 12-bolt rear end, cowl-induction hood, a heavy-duty four-core radiator, the F41 high-performance suspension, and power front disc brakes. Currently residing under the hood is an LE-suffix replacement LS1 427 with a 512 casting that replaced the original engine in 1983. It exhales through chrome headers, and is cooled by a new reproduction of the four-core curved neck radiator.
The spartan interior of this COPO Camaro is finished in dark blue vinyl. The dash appears to have an aftermarket cover, and the carpets, door panels, and trim look to be original.
Hitting the auction block at Mecum’s upcoming Indy 2021 event, this COPO Camaro is being sold with a comprehensive digital photo portfolio of the restoration, a copy of the original invoice, and an NCRS shipping data report.