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2016 COPO Camaros Hit the Dragstrip with Style and Performance

Straight Line Spotlight

Bruce Biegler Dec 9, 2016
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COPO Conspiracy Thickens!

It was about mid-season last year when the newest wave of COPO Camaros, the 2016 models, hit the dragstrips.

Michigan’s Rich Rinke, in conjunction with Chevrolet Performance, has been involved directly with every COPO car built since conception, has himself taken to racing a 2016 model. Rinke, who is the driving force behind COPO Parts Direct, debuted his spectacular machine about midsummer last year and is one of four COPO team cars fielded by his racing group. Rich’s car features a 4.125-bore (409ci) steel LSX engine program equipped with 7.0-liter LSX heads. He uses a Turbo 400 transmission to race in the NHRA’s Factory Stock/C category. Rich is quick to point out, “Our team cars proudly showcases both the technology and parts available direct from Chevrolet through COPO Parts Direct.” He affirmed, too, that his engineers design and build between 450-500 parts that are used within each and every COPO assembly. Rich’s success in his new 2016 model came swiftly, too. In his debut at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals event at Indy, he was the class winner!

2016 Copo Camaro 2/4

Todd Patterson, who is recognized as being among the elite Sportsman drag racers, has taken the wheel of the Omaha Track-sponsored 2016 COPO Camaro. Patterson, who is based out of Augusta, Kansas, has been a longtime and very successful Chevrolet-brand proponent and races a car that is owned by Terry Peterson (owner of Omaha Track). Patterson’s machine is No. 2 of the 69 COPO cars manufactured for 2016. It has competition within NHRA’s Factory Stock Showdown class as its main target. After debuting the car during the NHRA race at Chicago last spring with a factory-built 350ci engine, Patterson began to move forward with one of his own highly reputed engine building facility creations: a 350ci supercharged option, which he hopes will put him into the thick of things during 2017.

“We think we know now what it takes to win in Factory Stock, and our plan is to move forward with our own engine ideas,” Patterson affirmed.

Two Very Cool Chevy IIs!

The immense and international popularity of vintage Chevy II race cars continues …

1966 Chevy II Launch 3/4

Indiana’s Scott Deffenbaugh certainly turned heads during 2016 when he debuted a nicely prepped 1966 Chevy II Super Gas car. Deffenbaugh, who has owned and raced this machine for about a decade, decided to give his car an amazing makeover prior to last season. That included an immaculate red paint scheme, complete stock chrome installation, and a totally-unique-to-the-class vinyl roof! Scott uses a self-built 555ci big-block Chevrolet, which had its machining done at Woody’s Machine Shop (Thorntown, Indiana). The car’s tube chassis was built by Bill Carter (Automotions Race Cars) and within that, Scott employs both a ladder bar suspension setup and a 9-inch rearend. Deffenbaugh’s normal performance target for his little red beauty is the 9.90 index; however, he reports that unleashed the car will run 8.50s.

1965 Chevy II Burnout 4/4

The central Canadian province of Saskatchewan has a thriving Pro Street racing scene that includes the slick little 1965 Chevy II of Colin Gee (from the provincial capital city of Regina). Gee first converted his car for Pro Street racing four years ago after buying it from his father, Doug, who owned it for 12 years, running it as a Super Pro ET car. Now powered by a fuel-injected 408ci LS engine and using twin Precision turbochargers, Colin comes to play at western Canadian dragstrips with about 1,100 horsepower. After help from sponsor Precision Machine (Regina), Colin did all the car’s construction (including lowering it significantly) and he also does all his own tuning. Using a two-speed Powerglide transmission, the car has run as quick as 8.48 seconds at 150 mph.

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