Few things are more synonyms than American muscle cars and drag racing. Whether it be at a quarter mile strip or between street lights, rumbling V8’s duking it out is pure Americana. Of the great drag racing machines from the golden age of muscle cars, few are more sought after than the COPO Camaro.
In order to celebrate the original COPO Camaro of the 1960’s, Chevrolet has been offering a limited run of a new factory drag racing Camaro, dating back to the 2012 model year. Just 69 examples of the COPO Camaro are built each year, matching the number of the original ZL-1 powered cars that once roamed the strip.
Unlike the big block powered cars of the past, new COPO Camaro owners had the choice between three different engines: a 360 horsepower 302 CI LT-based V8, a 470 horsepower 427 CI V8, or the 580 horsepower Whipple-supercharged 350 CI V8 for an extra $8,000. But before they even get to choose, customers have to enter a lottery system to get the chance to buy one of the 69 produced, and that process has repeated itself every year since the COPO Camaro came back.
While those power figures don’t seem very high in the age of the nearly 800 horsepower Dodge Challenger Hellcat RedEye or the Mustang Shelby GT500, this COPO Camaro is designed to make the most of that power. Put the TH400 automatic transmission in gear and stomp the gas, and a quarter mile is dispatched in a mere 8.5 seconds, more than a second faster than the Dodge Demon. That kind of speed requires some serious safety equipment, which is why the COPO Camaro came with wheelie bars and a parachute package, as well as a full roll cage. Needless to say, it’s not road legal.
This particular COPO Camaro is number 45 out of the 69 car run for 2017, and is optioned rather nicely. Perhaps most importantly, the original owner of this COPO ordered the car with the aforementioned $8,000 engine upgrade. The bright yellow paint color is shared with only four other COPO Camaros, which were all hand built by Turn Key Automotive in Oxford, Michigan.
The car will be offered for sale at Mecum Auction’s Monterey 2019 show, which will take place from August 15-17. It’s estimated to go from anywhere between $120,000 to $140,000.