1969 COPO Camaro - The Canadian COPO

This 1969 427 Camaro Once Roamed The Great White North

Paul Zazarine Feb 18, 2009 0 Comment(s)
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COPO 9561 Camaros were some of the wildest sleepers to ever cruise the stoplight drags. Unless dressed in Yenko or Berger trim, these Camaros were rabid wolves posing as innocent sheep, with no exterior badges to give warning they were about to bludgeon with a 425 horsepower, gut-busting big-block. COPO Camaros looked like vanilla, six-banger econo ponycars with no stripes or decals. The only concession to style was an Argent Silver grille with a large blue bow tie in the center and another blue bow tie in the tail lamp panel. The only tip-off was the presence of the steel ZL2 hood that scavenged cold air from the cowl area and ducted it to the thristy Holley carburetor.

Camp 0812 04 1969 Copo Camaro Taillights 2/8

According to Chevrolet Engineering records, the base curb weight for the Camaro two-door V8 coupe was 3,135 pounds. Add the L72 engine (311 pounds), M21 transmission (16 pounds), power front disc brakes (26 pounds) and radio (eight pounds) and the curb weight was now 3,496. Factor in the L72’s 425 horsepower and the COPO 9561 had a power to weight ratio of one horsepower for every 8.2 pounds, far below GM’s unwritten “one horsepower per ten pounds” rule.

The COPO 9561 package was available to any Chevrolet dealer, and that included dealers in Canada. Chevrolet records reveal that 75 were shipped for sale north of the border, including this Hugger Orange coupe that is part of Rick Treworgy’s collection in Punta Gorda, Florida. The theme of Rick’s collection is “hottest factory option” cars, so there are no Yenkos under his roof. Instead, the collection abounds in COPOs, and engine codes like L71, L72, L78, L88, L89 and other exotic hardware that was available through any Chevrolet dealer.

Camp 0812 03 1969 Copo Camaro Front Headlights 3/8

Rick purchased this COPO 9561AA several years ago from Mecum Auctions. What attracted him to the COPO was that it was originally sold in Canada which means GM of Canada was able to provide documentation for the car. Knowing it was a legitimate COPO Camaro, and not a well-done clone, sealed the deal for Rick.

The GM of Canada paperwork revealed that the COPO was shipped from the Norwood assembly plant in Ohio on May 19, 1969 to Central Chevrolet/Oldsmobile Ltd., in London, Ontario. It was ordered with the D80 front and rear spoiler package (RPO D80), front power disc brakes (J52), close ratio four-speed transmission (M21), F70x14 white lettered tires (PL5), heavy duty coolant (V48), special wheel hubcap and trim ring (ZJ7), front and rear spring option (ZN1) and Freedom battery delete (ZV7).

Camp 0812 05 1969 Copo Camaro Engine 4/8

Interestingly, the car was ordered with no radio, and instead of the ZJ7 Rally wheels, the Camaro is today equipped with stock hubcaps, which seem more in keeping with the COPO’s Q-Ship image. It was restored to concours condition, and scored 996 out of 1,000 points at the Chevy VetteFest, and was also chosen as Editor’s Choice at a regional Super Chevy show. It’s now one of the crown jewels in the Camaro wing of the Treworgy collection, a thundering example of how Chevrolet chose to build some of the most powerful, limited-edition big-block Camaros to ever smackdown a 426 Hemi.n


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