1969 CARS Inc COPO Camaro Recreation - Rebuilding The Copo Past

Thanks To CARS Inc. And GM Performance Parts, You Can Build A Brand New '69 ZL1 Camaro Just The Way You Want It.

Patrick Hill Oct 28, 2009 0 Comment(s)
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For the running gear behind the new ZL1 engine, first up is a reproduction Muncie four-speed by Auto Gear Equipment, with a Zoom twin-disc clutch setup in a Keisler 621 reproduction bellhousing. Yes, the originals had monster single discs that could handle big block power, but also work your left leg to death. So, this car has a much more leg friendly clutch to make driving more enjoyable.

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Out back is a Moser 12-bolt rear with 4.10 ears and a Posi unit. The Moser 12-bolt housing features welded axle tubes for more strength, 11-inch OE GM drum brakes made by Right Stuff, and heavy-duty Moser axles so the ZL1 can be unleashed onto the asphalt in full fury.

Suspension on the car is bone stock, with Classic Industries control arms up front with Eaton Detroit Springs and A/C Delco shocks, and stock GM disc brakes. In the rear are stock Eaton Detroit leaf springs with A/C Delco shocks. At all four corners are Wheel Vintiques reproduction 14-inch steel wheels with Coker reproduction Firestone Wide Oval tires.

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Driving the ZL1 Continuation is, well, awesome. I got the chance for an extended test drive, and the Camaro did not disappoint. It honestly felt like a new car, and in new I mean a modern car. There were no funny squeaks, rattles, shakes, or other oddities you'd expect from an old car. Going over bumps and ruts in the road, the car steered straight and didn't beat my spinal column out of my back, though the bias plies do like to wander.

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The ride was comfortable and wasn't too hard or soft. With power steering, the '69 took corners easily and was maneuverable in traffic, tight streets, and parking lots. The tight gate on the Hurst shifter took a little getting used to, but was otherwise smooth and trouble free. And the car is a real head turner. Anywhere we went, almost everyone stopped to look and watch the car go by. Other drivers gave thumbs up signals and waved enthusiastically as the Camaro rumbled down the streets of Tampa

Pacing the ZL1 was another F-body built by CARS. Using a new body but restomod parts was John Rosatti's LeMans Blue '69 Camaro convertible. This car was an absolute animal. Power comes from a GM Performance 572/720 HP crate big-block. Just so you have an idea of the power this car puts out, in the GMPP catalog it's listed in bold letters "engine not intended for street use." This is due to the engine's requirement of high-octane race gas (12:1 compression ratio) and lack of vacuum. An auxiliary vacuum pump had to be installed to power the brakes and other necessities.

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Billet Specialties True Track front drive system keeps all the accessories such as alternator, A/C compressor, water pump, and power steering working properly with the 572. One last neat feature is the custom cowl induction hood that feeds the Rat air. A stock cowl induction hood was modified with the air filter being installed into the induction cowl

Turning a Tremec TKO 600 with Zoom 11-inch clutch, this car is like an old F-104 Starfighter, essentially a big engine with a man belted to it. Hit the throttle wide open and your head is slammed back almost through the front seat headrest. Putting all that power to the pavement is a Moser 12-bolt with 3.73 gears, Posi-traction, and Moser axles.

Supporting the ragtop up front is a full complement of suspension parts from Detroit Speed & Engineering. Upper and lower control arms connected to 2-inch drop spindles, and Koni coilover adjustable shocks. Out back are more DSE goodies, with a DSE Quadralink conversion kit installed to keep the Moser 12-bolt straight and on the ground, with Koni coilovers for an assist, and DSE subframe connectors to keep the chassis from doing a pretzel imitation.

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Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation hardware is installed at all four corners to help get the Camaro stopped. Wheels are American Racing Torq Thrusts wrapped in BFGoodrich G-Force T/A rubber. At the strip, this was all good for a tire-roasting 12.01 at 120.16, even in 94 degree heat.

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