If you're as excited as we are by the 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1, it might be wise to understand the historical significance of those three letters at the end of Chevy's retrofied muscle car. Way back in 1969 – a year some consider to be the apogee of Camaro history – the automaker built just 69 ZL1s, each powered by an aluminum-block 427-cubic-inch V8 that was otherwise unavailable in the Camaro and built specifically for drag racing.

The '69 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is highly coveted by collectors, and a perfectly stunning example was auction at the 2012 Barrett-Jackson event in Scottsdale. Though this particular ZL1 saw plenty of use on the drag strip, it's been completely restored to like-new condition. We just drove the new 2012 ZL1 (full report coming soon), so we were keenly interested in seeing this one cross the auction block. The final bid came in at $410,000, putting the actual sale at $451,000.

Check out our high-res image gallery of live photos above, and be sure to click past the break, where you can watch a video of it being auctioned and read more about the 1969 Camaro ZL1 after the break.


Summary: Outstanding total restoration of one of the rare factory ZL1 '69 Camaros. Very well documented including owner history from new and a very positive Cuneen Report. Recent service and detail to be as new and surely one of the best in existence.

Details: An outstanding example of one of the original COPO ZL1 aluminum block 427 Camaros, this particular car is #9 of the total production run of 69 cars produced. This car is very well documented from its original delivery to Fred Gibb Chevrolet of LaHarpe, Illinois, the dealer that spearheaded the original concept of an all-aluminum motor ZL1 Camaro.Included with this car is an amazing collection of historical documentation including the Dealers Shippers copy of the original window sticker, the customer copy of the original bill of sale, a copy of the Chevrolet MSO and much more. Having been through a very expensive, cost-no-object restoration, this particular ZL1 Camaro is "one of the finest in existence", exactly as it states in the accompanying Cuneen report by Ed Cuneen of COPO Connection. Only the highest quality components were used in this restoration with a strong emphasis on New Old Stock pieces instead of more readily available reproduction items. A GM factory assembled body shell was used to correct the extensive body modifications performed during this cars long term drag race history. Look beyond the show-quality paint, beautifully-fitted body and flawless-trim to see one of the most top notch Camaro restorations in the world. The workmanship employed to complete this car is the best you will find and the direction to recapture assembly line correct details is evident throughout the entire car, in particular with engine compartment and chassis assemblies. The Cuneen Report that is included with this car features extensive photography and a certification of numbered and coded components. While this car has been driven only a few miles since completion, it has been mechanically sorted and performs flawlessly with no issues needing attention. Offered here today by collector George Lyons of Erie, Pennsylvania, this 1969 ZL1 Camaro is stunning, highly documented, correctly restored example from this historic run of just 69 cars.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Gorgeous. Cortez silver with no stripes, or RS package, just his I like them. The buyer needs a silver new ZL1 to go along with it.
        Jim R
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        All the ZL1 COPO Camaros were like that. Big motor, 4-speed transmission and bargain basement looks. Plain paint, plain interiors, color-matched steelies and dog dishes.
      stclair5211
      • 2 Years Ago
      It''s cute how autoblog thinks anyone cares about these auctions. I'm a diehard car enthusiast and I don't care. Fills up the site I guess.
        Elmo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @stclair5211
        Funny, below you are bunches of comments that don't even relate to them not caring about these auctions. Please don't speak for everyone, douche. I'm surprised AB hasn't banned you yet.
      LUSTSTANG S-197
      • 2 Years Ago
      When I see cars like this, and what some of them are going for, I wish I was of driving age in the early 1980s when they were just "old cars", and nothing much more. Now, they are becoming like exotics, and therefore, more and more difficult for us "common folks" to get their hands on. Now with that out of the way, I cannot see how something like this is worth nearly half a million dollars, regardless of how sought after it is by collectors. Where do they find this many people willing to be ripped off like this, on national television much less?
        Danaon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @LUSTSTANG S-197
        Collector cars are worth what collectors will pay for them. Given that there were only 69 (IIRC) ZL1s made, half a million sounds like a good deal.
        darkness
        • 2 Years Ago
        @LUSTSTANG S-197
        I agree the 1% is gobbling this up.
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 2 Years Ago
        @LUSTSTANG S-197
        I am not denying that a 69' ZL1 is worth a lot, just not half a million, unless it's on Barrett Jackson. I also should have clarified the fact that I was speaking in general. The cars on there tend to command a lot more money than they would in the real world. I would rather find a nice 69' SS, or Z-28 $15,000-$20,000 price range. Sorry, spending a half million on some car just so you can park it in your garage just seems retarded to me. It may be a nice investment, but that to me, such classics are far more than just that.
      Brent Schmidt
      • 2 Years Ago
      If it's a 69, why doesn't it have the black indention pieces? That's what ultimately let you know it was a 69, compared to the 68 (and then the un Godly 70 Camaro showed up.... ugh).
        vwatson524
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brent Schmidt
        These cars were built with a minimum production run of 50 cars to be a legal stock eliminator car in NHRA competition-by offering both manual and automatic transmissions they could run in both classes, A/S and A/SA. radio delete and no optional trim pieces were common as they were repainted to race team colors and livery for sponsorship-
        Jim R
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brent Schmidt
        The clearest way to ID a '69 are those creases trailing off the top of the front and rear fenders.
      tex
      • 2 Years Ago
      The first thing to come off these cars back in the day were the rear rims and tires.
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