Chevrolet is using the 2012 SEMA Show in Las Vegas to pull the wraps off its very last 2012 COPO Camaro. Car number 69 of 69 is a convertible, and just the second topless COPO created. Thing is, the first COPO convertible is sitting pretty in a General Motors museum and it ain't for sale.
One of 20 built with a 327-cubic-inch V8 plus 4.0-liter supercharger, this Inferno Orange Metallic (the only 2012 COPO in this hue) machine sends an NHRA-certified output of 550 horsepower to the rear wheels (connected by a solid rear axle for drag racing use) through a beefy three-speed Turbo 400 automatic transmission. Needless to say, it'll be very fast in a straight line.
Want this one-of-one Camaro for your own garage? Get your bidding number ready – this car will be auctioned off at the 2013 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction in January, with benefits going to the American Heart Association.
Alternatively, you could wait until 2013, as Chevy has announced plans for another run of 69 COPO Camaro models in 2013. Or, you could grab hold of Chevrolet's so-called 2013 Build Book and order all the parts to put one together yourself.
Check out all the details in the press release below, but not before perusing our live photo gallery from the SEMA show floor.
Final 2012 production model to be auctioned for the American Heart Association and previews 2013 COPO Camaro program
LAS VEGAS – The last 2012 COPO Camaro debuted today at the SEMA Show, in Las Vegas, and it's headed to the auction block. Chevrolet will sell the Inferno Orange Metallic convertible race car at the 2013 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction, in January, to benefit the American Heart Association.
A few factors should make this supercharged drop-top more enticing to bidders:
It's one of 69 COPO Camaro race cars built by Chevrolet for 2012 – and it's car number 69 of the sequenced production matched to its engine
It's one of only two convertibles built – the other being car number 68 (which has been set aside by Chevrolet and isn't planned for public sale)
It's one of 20 cars built with the 327 engine and 4.0L supercharger
It's the only '12 COPO Camaro painted Inferno Orange Metallic – and features additional custom graphics and special interior trim
It's the only example built with a Turbo 400 three-speed automatic transmission.
The top is fully operational, although it must be up when racing, per NHRA rules.
"The COPO Camaro program has been a special program and there's not a better way to close out the 2012 racing season than with the final – and most unique – one of the production run," said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "Chevrolet is proud to once again partner with the American Heart Association at Barrett-Jackson for the sale of this COPO Camaro convertible. It will make a great race car or collector vehicle for a lucky bidder, who will be buying a piece of history.
"I am also happy to announce that due to strong customer demand we will produce another run of 69 COPO Camaros for 2013. More than 3,000 hand-raisers expressed interest in buying a COPO after we introduced the car at SEMA last year. We are excited to support these grassroots motorsports enthusiasts in their Stock Eliminator and Super Stock drag racing efforts," said Campbell.
The last 2012 COPO Camaro is powered by the COPO 327 engine that features a 4.0L Whipple supercharger, for an NHRA-certified output of 550 horsepower. The 2012 COPO Camaros were also available with a supercharged 327 engine featuring a smaller, 2.9-liter supercharger and a naturally aspirated 427 engine. All of the engines were assembled at GM's unique Performance Build Center, in Wixom, Mich., where the LS7 and LS9 production engines for the Corvette Z06 and Corvette ZR1, respectively, are built, along with select Chevrolet Performance crate engines.
All COPO Camaro were built by hand starting with hardware from the Oshawa assembly plant that manufactures regular-production Camaros, including the same "body in white" body shells racers can purchase from Chevrolet Performance to build their own dedicated race car. Each was fitted with an NHRA-approved roll cage and other safety equipment, along with racing chassis and suspension components – including a unique solid rear axle system in place of a regular-production Camaro's independent rear axle. The cars rolled off the line wearing lightweight Bogart racing wheels and Hoosier racing tires.
Although only 69 production models were built for 2012, many of the fundamental components used to create the cars – including all of the hand-assembled racing engines – are available from Chevrolet Performance and the licensed aftermarket manufacturers who supplied them. They are listed in a special COPO section of the new 2013 Chevrolet Performance catalog, which debuted at the SEMA Show and is now available from Chevrolet dealers or by ordering online at chevroletperformance.com.
Also available from Chevrolet Performance is a "build book," which provides an overview of the cars' assembly process.
"Not everyone could purchase a COPO Camaro production model in 2012, but we are making it easier to build one from the ground up," said Campbell. "From the body in white to the COPO crate engines, we offer the parts and a build book to replicate these quick race cars in your garage."
Racing enthusiasts who are interested in more information on the COPO program – including registering their interest in one of the 2013 COPO Camaros –can go to www.chevroletperformance.com to sign up for COPO Camaro updates through the Fuel online newsletter. They can also follow the latest COPO information at theblock.com – the online automotive community powered by Chevrolet Performance.
COPO Camaros by the numbers
With the final 2012 COPO Camaro produced, Chevrolet has tallied the production numbers for the special run. Of the 69 vehicles produced:
67 were coupes and two were convertibles
43 cars were equipped with the 427 naturally aspirated engine – including the original proof of concept show car that debuted at the 2011 SEMA Show
20 cars were equipped with the 327 / 4.0L-supercharged engine
6 cars were equipped with the 327 / 2.9L-supercharged engine
8 customers ordered the collector's package, which included all three engines number-matched to their car
32 cars were painted Summit White – including the original show car
20 cars were painted Black
12 cars were painted Victory Red
2 cars were painted Ashen Grey Metallic
2 cars were painted Silver Ice Metallic
1 car was painted Inferno Orange Metallic
12 cars were ordered without COPO graphics.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.