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Dedicated to the 5th Gen COPO
Camaro Drag Cars
Back in time - Dick Harrell
Click - GM COPO Drag Testing
|5th Gen COPO's being built
Click - First COPO in the 8's
Click - Loading a new COPO
More COPO Camaros Coming in 2013. Breakdown of 2012 COPO Camaro Production
If you missed it, GM announced
in a press release published during the SEMA show last week that the company will producing COPO Camaros in 2013.
While 69 COPO Camaros were built in 2012, it is reported that there are still another 3,000 interested buyers out there.
That demand will continue to be satisfied in 2013, it is expected that another 69 will be produced.
See our news
and features on the COPO Camaro @ http://www.camaro5.com/index.php?s=copo+camaro
Below is the official breakdown of the the 69 COPO Camaros produced in 2012:
were coupes and two were convertibles
- 43 cars were equipped with the 427 naturally aspirated engine – including
the original proof of concept show car that debuted at the 2011 SEMA Show
- 20 cars were equipped with the 327 / 4.0L-supercharged
- 6 cars were equipped with the 327 / 2.9L-supercharged engine
- 8 customers ordered the collector’s
package, which includes all three engines number-matched to their car
- 32 cars were painted Summit White – including
the original show car
- 20 cars were painted Black
- 12 cars were painted Victory Red
- 2 cars were painted
Ashen Grey Metallic
- 2 cars were painted Silver Ice Metallic
- 1 car was painted Inferno Orange Metallic
cars were ordered without COPO graphics
Click - Cagnazzi COPO
|5th Gen. COPO's - 1 of 2 Converts built
Click - COPO #6 first run
2012 COPO Camaro
1955, NHRA Stock Eliminator has been a straight-line proving ground for the wildest cars ever to come out of Detroit. High-performance
Chevrolets have held a dominant position in this category, but none more so than the Central Office Production Order (COPO)
1969 427 Camaros. Among the most fearsome factory-built supercars of all time, the COPO 9561 and 9560 Camaros still hold national
ET and mph records over 40 years later. For 2012, the engineers at Chevrolet Performance turned their attention to the latest
Camaro, putting the finishing touches on a concept that was in development before the 2010 Camaro hit the streets of America.
This passionate team of motorsports experts is now led by Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports.
And, after several months of strategy and development, the newly formed Chevrolet Performance team is ready to share their
vision of what a fifth-generation Camaro Stock Eliminator should look like: the 2012 COPO Camaro Concept. It is potentially
the quickest Camaro ever built by Chevrolet, designed to dominate the competition in a straight line.
2012 COPO CAMARO CONCEPT FEATURES
To survive the rigors of the top classes in NHRA Stock Eliminator, the 2012 COPO Camaro Concept is equipped with several
high-performance features. Here's a look at just some of the custom pieces that set this car apart:
Vehicle: 2012 COPO Camaro Concept
NHRA Stock Eliminator/Super Stock, off-highway use only, no VIN
Production Camaro SS
Paint Color: COPO white
Hood: Custom high-rise, cowl induction
Proposed availability of two engine packages (see engine section)
System: Custom Aeromotive system with fuel cell and integral high-pressure fuel pump
Chassis Mods: Full, chrome moly roll cage certified by NHRA to 8.50 ET
Front Suspension: Coil over design with adjustable Strange Engineering struts
Rear Suspension: Custom design based on NHRA requirements with Strange adjustable
shocks, panhard bar, anti-roll bar
Rear End: Strange Engineering
S-9 unit with aluminum third member, 35-spline spool and 35-spline axles
Transmission: Powerglide 2-speed automatic
or 5-speed manual
Brakes: Manual, Strange Engineering, lightweight with Line Lock feature
Interior: Racing buckets, floor shifter, safety harness, Chevrolet Performance gauges by
Rims: Lightweight COPO rims
Tires: 29x9 radial slick
The 2012 COPO Camaro concept features a supercharged 5.3 liter (327 cubic inches) LS/LSX
engine; however, other engine packages are in development, including a naturally aspirated 7.0 liter (427 cubic inches) LS
V8. All listed specifications are for the 2012 COPO Camaro Concept vehicle. Pending approval. actual production parts, specifications,
shipping weights, and hp ratings may vary. Check with www.gmperformanceparts.com for up-to-date specifications and COPO Camaro
program status. You can use this engine spec sheet as a guide to which NHRA class the COPO Camaro will compete in.
Please e-mail COPO photos for
Yes, I know the 5th Gen. COPO Camaro's
are not GMMG's but they are so cool.
Neither are the Wild Cars Camaro's, TA's, Clones-Tribute-Fakes, Garages, License Plates but this is all interesting.
Delivering The Goods: COPO Camaro Shop Tour
One of the most talked-about releases of a car in recent automotive history has to be the new COPO Camaro being produced
by Chevrolet Performance division. COPO, or Central Office Production Order, dates back to the 1960′s when an out-of-the-ordinary
car could be built on paper by you and come out of the factory exactly how you wanted it. These cars, of which only 69 will
be made available to the public, are offered in a similar manner their forefathers.
So a list was conceived of people who wanted in on this deal and from there, the list was whittled down to the final 69 buyers.
The lucky 69 then got to choose from one body style, a Camaro SS, but could get the car in several color and stripe package
combos, along with three power plants to choose from. Unlike all other production cars produced by GM, this one is for track
use only with a custom VIN and cannot be plated for street use. These cars are built to compete directly against the Ford
Mustang Cobra Jet and Dodge Drag Pak Challenger in specific NHRA and ADRL classes.
These factory-built race cars have
an interesting mix of what you could see coming from a street driven vehicle and a chassis shop. Aside from being powered
by either a naturally aspirated 427, a 327 with a 2.9L Whipple supercharger, or a 327 with a 4.0L Whipple supercharger, the
cars are built nearly identical. There are a few touches that the supercharged cars receive over the N/A cars, but for the
most part, these cars come together piece by piece like a mirror image puzzle.
Upon arrival of picking up a new COPO, you’re greeted by the brains and power behind
the whole program and welcomed like your old car buddies reuniting. Walking in, the meeting room opens up to a spotless shop
of body-in -white Camaros in various stages being put together. Divided into two sections, the shop has a fab area where all
the weight of excess tabs and metal is removed and all the chassis work is done. Once finished up here, it’s rolled
into the next room for final assembly, where the body is lowered onto the engine and is slowly overhauled into a finished
Pumping out about five cars a week now, these guys are busy meeting the deadlines in getting
the excited owners their new rides on Friday delivery. Sitting in the middle of the shop under a custom COPO car cover is
the next delivery vehicle waiting to be moved to the owner. The cover gets peeled back and a healthy tour of the car inside
and out is underway. It’s an unreal experience to think of how few people get to experience history like this, so when
offered up I had to jump on it. And its one memory I wont forget any time soon. Check out the gallery of photos after the
Click - COPO first test
Click - COPO #8 run
Click - Cagnazzi COPO #1
Chevrolet COPO Camaro Goes From Concept to Production
Stock Eliminator drag racer the quickest Camaro ever offered by Chevrolet
– Chevrolet will build 69 COPO Camaros for 2012, the brand's first purpose-built Camaro drag-racing specialty car designed
to compete with the quickest in NHRA's Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes. National records for quarter-mile times in
these contests are in the nine-second range.
As such, the COPO Camaros are expected to be the quickest Camaro ever
offered by Chevrolet.
"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 Bowtie," said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance
Vehicles & Motorsports. "COPO builds off the strengths that have made the Camaro the best-selling sports car in America.
And while it was developed strictly for the drag strip, the COPO Camaro is infused with the same performance pedigree that
every Camaro shares."
The 69-car production for the 2012 COPO Camaro matches the number of "ZL-1"
COPO Camaros made in 1969. COPO stands for Central Office Production Order and was Chevrolet's special-order system in used
by dealers to build high-performance models in the 1960s.
The new COPO Camaros 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 their preferred Chevrolet dealer with delivery at the General Motors Performance
Build Center in Wixom, Mich.
Deliveries will begin early this summer.
Highlights of the new
COPO Camaro program include:
- A sequenced build number matched to the engine but sold without a Vehicle Identification
Number and cannot be registered for highway use
- Three racing-class engine are available, including a naturally aspirated
427 (7.0L) and two supercharged 327 (5.3L) V-8 engines
- Engine assembly at GM's Performance Build Center, where the
buyer can opt to participate in the engine assembly similar to Chevrolet's Corvette Engine Build Experience and the Chevrolet
Performance Build Your Own Crate Engine programs
- Engines pairing with a Powerglide automatic transmission designed
for drag racing
- Five colors: Flat Black, Summit White, Victory Red, Silver Ice Metallic and Ashen Gray Metallic
- A COPO graphics package similar to the one introduced on the concept vehicle available in Metallic White, Semi-Gloss Black,
Inferno Orange Metallic and Chevy Racing Blue
- Pricing starting at $89,000
- A special collector's package offering
the purchase of all three engines with the COPO Camaro including one installed in the car at delivery – with each engine
serial number matched to the car
The COPO Camaro concept was first shown
at the 2011 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas, where the overwhelming response by more than
2,000 racing enthusiasts shaped the decision to produce a limited number of COPO Camaros.
To ensure fair access
to the limited number of COPO Camaros, an independent third party was used to identify the first individuals who would be
offered the opportunity to buy one of the new COPO Camaros. Those selected will receive a confirmation letter with instructions
on how to fulfill the purchase contract, choose the engine option for their intended racing class, and take delivery.
Designed to win
The COPO Camaro is designed to NHRA racing specifications including a solid axle and
a full chrome moly roll cage. Inside, most of the standard sound deadening and power accessories have been deleted in order
to optimize weight for NHRA racing. 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 were developed to align with the top classes in NHRA's various Stock Eliminator and Super Stock ranks. 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 2012 COPO Camaro is being offered
as a performance part, with a specific part number (P/N 20129562). It cannot be registered, titled, licensed, or driven on
public roads or highways. COPO is specifically offered for off-highway, competitive NHRA use only.
interested in more information can go to www.gmperformanceparts.com to sign up for COPO Camaro updates through the Fuel online
newsletter. Production updates will also be posted on Chevrolet Performance's Facebook page.
Founded in 1911 in
Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more
than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance,
expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
2012 COPO Camaro Build Process: Behind The Scenes
2012 Chevrolet COPO Camaro drag race car. Images via The Block.
Chevrolet's COPO Camaro drag racer
is under construction, and this is an inside look at the cars
as they undergo conversion from run-of-the-mill Camaro
bodies-in-white into full-on race cars.
The photos, from The Block
, a Chevrolet
Performance website, show the cars in various states of completion, and, for the first time, in colors other than white.
Only a handful of colors are available, including black, Victory Red, Silver Ice Metallic, and Ashen Gray Metallic.
2012 Chevrolet COPO Camaro drag race car. Images via The Block.
Only 69 COPO Camaros are to be built this year,
and even given their non-highway use (they don't come with a VIN number) and $89,000 price tag, there's likely to be a bit
of clamoring going on over any that aren't already reserved.
The 2012 Chevy COPO Camaro drag racer is available
with one of three engines: a normally-aspirated 7.0-liter V-8, and a pair of supercharged 5.3-liter V-8s. A special collector
package including all three engines, with one pre-installed in the car
, is available.
Click - Jimmy Vasser 1/4 mile run
Jimmy Vasser Chevrolet to enter COPO Camaro in Factory Stock Showdown at U.S. Nationals
Friday, August 10, 2012
Jimmy Vasser Chevrolet, in Napa, Calif., announced today that the dealership will enter a Chevrolet
COPO Camaro in the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown at the 2012 Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus at Lucas Oil Raceway
at Indianapolis, Aug. 29-Sept. 3.
Jimmy Vasser Jr., the 1996 IndyCar World Series champion and co-owner of KV Racing
Technology, which competes in the IZOD IndyCar Series with Chevrolet power, along with his father, Jim Vasser Sr., a longtime
drag racing aficionado, former racer, and general manager of Jimmy Vasser Chevrolet, will operate the team. The car, The Jimmy
Vasser Chevrolet King Kong COPO Camaro, will be driven by Bay Area drag racing star Eric Reyes.
“We are very pleased
to be able to compete in the Factory Stock Showdown at the U. S. Nationals,” said Vasser Sr. “NHRA is a passion
of mine, and this is a tremendous marketing opportunity for the dealership.”
Vasser Jr. said, “I am very
excited that Jimmy Vasser Chevrolet is entering a car in one of the most prestigious racing events in the world. Given my
long history with Chevrolet, both on the track and with the dealership, to be able to represent them at the U. S. Nationals
in the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown is both an honor and a privilege.”
"Chevrolet Performance is excited that
motorsports professionals such as Jimmy Vasser have selected the COPO Camaro as their vehicle of choice for NHRA Sportsman
drag racing," said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports. "COPO builds off the
strengths that have made the Camaro the best-selling sports car in America and brings the heritage of Chevrolet Performance
to the dragstrip. Fans have a great new reason to cheer on the Bowtie.”
Reyes, 46, was born and raised in Oakland
and recently relocated to Petaluma. He owns and operates Eric Reyes Designs, which does motorsports graphic work. Reyes has
been involved in drag racing almost all his life, starting out by attending his father’s races at Fremont Dragstrip.
Reyes has earned 11 Wallys, NHRA Drag Racing’s most prestigious and highest award, the most recent last year in Sonoma.
He has Wallys for three national event wins, two division championships, and six division races.
“A few months
ago, Jim Vasser Sr. came to see me about designing the graphics for his COPO Camaro,” Reyes said. “Before I started
to work on the design, he came by my shop again. When he stopped by the first time, he noticed the shelf above my computer
had a row of Wallys. He asked me about NHRA racing and how much it cost to hire a driver. I bit my tongue, and I thought,
‘I hope he considers me to drive his COPO.’ I explained the process, and he said, ‘People tell me that I
would be making a good decision if I got you to drive the car.’ I was shocked and so honored.”
“Meeting Jimmy Vasser Jr. was like meeting motorsports royalty. The best part is that he is from the Bay Area, something
that I am very proud of. To say that I am excited about driving the COPO Camaro at the NHRA U.S. Nationals under the Vasser
colors is a huge understatement.”
Click - Lingenfelter COPO first run
Lingenfelter COPO Camaro sets record
of 8.64 at 159.12 mph
Lingenfelter Performance Engineering has set the record for the world's fastest COPO Camaro just four days after picking up
the drag car from General Motors. Lingenfelter ran their COPO Camaro during the company's inaugural Lingenfelter Performance
Nationals event held Sept. 21-23 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
The Lingenfelter COPO Camaro
made an 8.64 quarter-mile pass at 159.12 mph this past Sunday, Sept. 23. After receiving the car and making a couple test
runs as delivered by GM, the team made a few modifications - including installing a Lingenfelter LNC-2000 Adjustable RPM Limiter
and Timing Retard Controller and changing the calibration - before running the record time.
Performance built a great car and with a little bit of Lingenfelter magic we were able to pull extra power out of it,"
said Ken Lingenfelter, owner, Lingenfelter Performance Engineering. "At Lingenfelter, we're experts at LS engines, and
what we were able to do with the COPO Camaro in four short days is an extension of the experience and commitment we make to
the LS package. We believe there is more power left in this COPO Camaro, and we know our performance team will get it."
(courtesy Lingenfelter Performance) [9/24/2012]
Lingenfelter debuts COPO Camaro at LPE Nats
Our friend Ken Lingenfelter was a happy guy this past weekend. His company launched its first annual Lingenfelter Performance
Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park. And just in time for the event, he also took delivery of a brand new 2012 COPO Camaro.
another version of this story by MCG appears at The Block, the interactive Chevrolet Performance website.
Ken’s new event evolved from a company tradition,
an annual customer appreciation day at the local drag strip. (Muncie Dragway, not far from LPE HQ in Decatur, Indiana.) This
year Ken decided to kick out all the stops, moving his event to the NHRA national event-level facility at Norwalk, Ohio and
transforming it into a full-service performance extravaganza.
The three-day event featured bracket racing, a car show,
an eight-car Outlaw Pro Mod shootout, a manufacturers’ midway, and an Optima Challenge Qualifier autocross event presented
by RideTech. While open to all makes and models, naturally the event is built around the company’s core business, GM
vehicles and LS V8 engines.
Buy a car, get a coat. Ken Lingenfelter models the unique COPO jacket included with each COPO Camaro. This is fashion
Even with all these attractions, Ken’s shiny new COPO threatened to steal the
show. Unveiled at SEMA in 2011, the limited-production model is a callback to the ‘60s COPO Camaros of song and story,
and it parallels the concept of the Mustang Cobra Jet and Dodge Challenger Drag Pak cars. Shipping weight for the virtually
race-ready “package car” is 3250 lbs. complete with roll cage. Ken’s Victory Red job is number 19 of the
69-car production run, and is equipped with the 327 LSX V8 with 4.0L Whipple blower, the strongest of the three available
COPO engine combinations.
“It’s incredible to see all the interest and excitement the car generated this
weekend,” says Ken. “And I understand it completely. I was pretty excited myself when we visited the facility
and took delivery. It’s so cool to be able to buy a fully prepped race car like this straight from GM. The COPO history
is magic. Everyone wants to get a look at the car.” Indeed. Chevy performance enthusiasts swarmed around the red Camaro
Unfortunately, persistent rain messed with the schedule for much of the weekend, but it failed to dampen
the enthusiasm of Ken and his crew, who promise to return next year with an even bigger and better show. Meanwhile, between
the rain showers, the unlettered COPO fell out of the trailer running strong, recording a best of 8.64 seconds at 159 mph.
Now Ken and his engineering crew at LPE will draw up a battle plan for the COPO Camaro. “We haven’t
decided where yet, but of course we’re going to race it,” Ken says. “Racing is what we do. You know, we
were out first racing the fifth-gen Camaro as soon as we could get hold of one, developing a number of critical parts. And
we’re going to race this car. It think that’s key for us as a company, and it’s key for GM, too.”
Stephanie McDonough: Live from the COPO Assembly Facility
If you've been keeping up to speed with The BLOCK over the last few months, you've more than likely
been introduced to Stephanie McDonough, a.k.a. your new favorite LSX reporter. During that time, we brought you up to speed
and gave you a little background on this young engine builder on the rise through her "12 Things You Should Know About Stephanie McDonough" introduction.
For her first assignment, Stephanie headed up from her home in St. Louis, Missouri, with her Dad
and friends, to the GM Build Center in Wixom and made her way through the all stations on the assembly floor — even getting an opportunity to install her first
Come on, though, Stephanie's a bona fide LS fanatic, you didn't think her journey ended there, did you?
No way. From the GM Build Center, Stephanie went on over to the COPO Assembly Facility to see what the gang had cookin' over
there. And, of course, she was pretty well blown away. With some the world's most insane dragsters being built before your
very eyes, we suspect most any gearhead would feel the same way.
So, without further ado, we invite you to cruise along
and check out Stephanie's latest report as she recounts her one-of-a-kind visit to the COPO Assembly Facility.
After spending a good portion of my day at the GM Build Center, I was extremely hungry so we decided we couldn't
go anywhere other than the Detroit staple — the "world famous" American Coney Island Hot Dogs. It definitely
sounded like it would be just the thing I needed after taking in all the incredibly awesome stuff at the Build Center. So,
I mentally prepped myself for the next big stop with a traditional Coney … and, let me tell you, it was insanely delicious.
But, enough about my lunch!
After lunch, we made our way across town, all while getting lost two or three
times, but finally arrived at the mystical place where the incredible, modern day COPO Camaros are born. The first thought
to cross my mind when I stepped foot out of the truck was "this doesn't look like an automotive factory!" And I
will tell you – it is definitely not a factory!
This building was just like every other building near it, very clean, orderly and bright white on the inside. Never
in a million years could a person believe that this place at one time housed all 69 COPOs, plus all of their insides. When
I finally made my way back into the shop, I got goose bumps. Sounds weird, right? You must remember though— COPO isn't
just another Camaro — it's the epitome of what raw, nasty horsepower should look like. And it's got great styling, to
After taking in everything I saw initially, I got down to business and started checking out each and every COPO
within the walls. Some were near completion, while some were still in their skeletal state. There were some painted black,
and others red. Some had a 327 heart with a 4.0 blower, some housed the naturally aspirated 427 – the combinations seemed
endless. These cars were literally made to the exact specifications of what their soon-to-be new owners wanted.
I got the chance to speak with (and even do a bit of helping!) the guys building the COPOs. I actually watched parts
being fabricated for a specific car. How cool is that? This isn't your everyday assembly plant, folks. These guys may be wearing
everyday street clothes, but they're literally building one-of-a-kind vehicles by hand. To me, seeing normal guys in an inconspicuous
warehouse building the new COPO, it was almost like they were secret agents. From the outside, absolutely nobody would guess
that some of the world's most bad-to-the-bone drag cars were being built in this nondescript locale. And that just added another
layer to the mystical nature of the COPO.
Each builder within the confines of the warehouse had a duty to attend to: welding, assembling the body, installing
the engine, and wiring the electrical, you name it. Every single last piece of each of the 69 COPO cars has been, or will
be, touched by the hand of an extremely talented human — passionate about the blood, sweat and tears going into this
Walking through the warehouse, my gears really started turning, and I thought to myself the COPO plant is really something
special. Why? Not only is it a place where only a small number of specially built racecars are being assembled, but also that
it may not remain there forever.
Not many people will get the same chance that I had to visit and see what goes on behind the scenes of a specialty
automotive facility. Maybe COPO will be rebuilt again, sure— but will it have the same mystical allure of the first
run of the COPO— resurrected after over 40 years of dormancy? We may never know…
I spent the rest of my day reminiscing on the incredible visits earlier in the day –and I can assure you, I did
lose sleep that night, because I just couldn't slow down the gears in my brain.
I felt as if I saw something secret, that not many could ever know about. And I did… I saw a very special place
where a very special car is being built. Some people may think I'm crazy for seeing it the way I do, or being as passionate
about it as I am. But, I feel very fortunate to have been invited to see where COPO is born, and even more so to have the
opportunity to share what I saw with the performance community, here on The BLOCK.
I can't wait to see the COPO in real life (as well as many of you!), pummeling the strip at the LSX Shootout! Looking
forward to catching up with everyone in Indy!
Make sure to check out some more of the
awesome pics from Stephanie's COPO Assembly Facility visit below. And, don't forget to chime in on the COPO Forum with any questions you may have for Stephanie. She's going to be in there answering 'em!
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