Jay Leno returns to hosting duties in his garage after spending a day with Jerry Seinfeld, welcoming fellow comedian Tim Allen and his homebrew 1968 Camaro 427 COPO to his garage. Allen says he got hooked on a green 1968 Camaro he used to see as a kid racing on Woodward in Michigan, but when it came time for his own he went beyond that original hero car.
This isn't the first COPO Camaro that Chevrolet has auctioned off at Barrett-Jackson. In fact, just last year, the one and only COPO Camaro Convertible was sold right here in Scottsdale for an even $400,000, all of it going to charity.
Chevrolet is following up the 2012 COPO Camaro with another limited run of the drag-strip-ready production car for 2013. Ditching the superchargers, the 2013 COPO Camaro can only be equipped with one of three naturally aspirated V8 engines, and other new features include the option of a manual transmission, new front springs, some minor styling changes and a lower starting price of $86,000. All cars are designed to abide by the rules of the NHRA's Stock Eliminator or Super Stock classifications,
Back at the 2012 SEMA event in Las Vegas, Chevrolet unveiled the car you see above, a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro COPO Convertible. Actually, that's not quite accurate – this car is THE 2012 Chevrolet Camaro COPO Convertible. As in, the only one ever sold. There was one more produced, but it's not leaving the GM Heritage Center any time soon. This one was just sold at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale for $400,000 exactly.
If this YouTube video is to be believed, then Chevrolet definitely did not forget to put the FAST in the COPO Camaro. Car number three and its 327-cubic-inch engine topped with the 4.0-liter blower ran what looks like an 8.88-second quarter-mile at the strip, out of the box.
If ever a car made us think of mullets, Cragars, racing suits and Natty Light, this is it. And we don't mean that in a bad way. The COPO Camaro concept that Chevrolet showed off at SEMA last year is officially becoming a production reality for everyone; however, only 69 people will be able to own it. In celebration of the 69 COPO Camaro ZL1s built in 1969, Chevrolet is building just that many of its modern drag-strip-only racer.
It seems you can't offer a pony car these days without also making available a full race-spec drag racing version. Ford was first with its Cobrajet, then came Dodge with the Mopar Challenger Drag Pak, and soon we'll have an offering from Chevy.
What's a COPO, you ask? Back in the heyday of American muscle cars, COPO was an acronym for Central Office Production Order, which was, for all intents and purposes, a way for Chevrolet and its enterprising dealer network to sneak high-performance option packages and oversize engines past the bigwigs at General Motors and into the waiting hands of automotive enthusiasts.