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Genuine COPO: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro

Most enthusiasts agree that a few letters or numbers can make the difference between a great classic and one that lifts greatness to a higher plane. Such is the case with this 1969 Chevrolet Camaro. Following a recent restoration, it presents superbly, but this car’s crowning glory hides below the surface. It is a genuine COPO Camaro that retains its numbers-matching drivetrain. These are rare beasts providing astounding performance. This beauty needs a new home, with the seller listing it here on eBay in Villa Park, Illinois. Bidding sits at $85,600, and few readers will be surprised to learn that figure is below the reserve.

The 1969 model year marked the end of the line for the First Generation Camaro after only three years in the market. Its replacement would enjoy a longer life, soldiering on into the 1980s. This car has a known history, with the original owner ordering it from Scuncio Chevrolet in Greenville, Rhode Island. They elected to cloak its exterior in Fathom Green, adding optional spoilers to provide a sense of purpose. The seller indicates the car recently underwent restoration, and the eye for detail is admirable. It is easy to get carried away when performing a refresh in a bid for perfection, but most readers will agree that these vehicles were seldom perfect when they rolled off the line. Paint typically had a nice shine but rarely a mirror gloss. That is the case here, as the builder attempted to recreate a factory-fresh appearance rather than a show-stopper. The overall impression is positive, with the car presenting like a time capsule. The panels are straight, and the underside shots confirm this classic is rust-free. The chrome and glass are spotless, and the Camaro rolls on Rally wheels. One fascinating decision the original owner made was ordering the car with the RPO Code V75 Liquid Tire Chain. This setup placed canisters of pressurized liquid polymer above each rear tire, with a driver-operated switch within easy reach. The polymer coated the tires, supposedly increasing grip on ice and snow. The jury has always been out on its effectiveness, but the system is extraordinarily rare. Only 188 Camaro buyers splashed the $23.25 required, and the seller confirms this is the only COPO with the system. The last piece of the exterior puzzle is the Cowl Induction hood, suggesting there is more to this Camaro than meets the eye.

COPO. Four simple letters. They mean little to the uninitiated but lift this Camaro well beyond the ordinary. General Motors stuck to its guns during the 1960s, forbidding any marque under its control from fitting engines larger than 400 cubic inches into mid-sized models or pony cars. Several dealers, notably Don Yenko, circumvented this policy by providing buyers with a dealer-installed option for these powerplants. Chevrolet realized it was losing control of the situation, allowing dealers to order cars via its Central Office Production Orders (COPO) system. Two COPO numbers were assigned to Camaros, and this car was ordered as a COPO 9561 vehicle. That filled the engine bay with the legendary L72 version of the company’s 427ci V8. The big-block produces an “official” 425hp and 460 ft/lbs of torque, which feeds to Planet Earth via a four-speed M21 manual transmission and a Posi rear end. That last item represents the only deviation from the Camaro’s numbers-matching status. It rolled off the line with 4.10 gears, which have been replaced with a 3.90 set. Otherwise, everything is original and has been refreshed or rebuilt during the restoration. This includes the big-block, which features forged pistons and is balanced. This car would have romped through the ¼-mile in 13.9 seconds off the showroom floor, and there is no reason why it couldn’t achieve the same figure today. The car is in excellent mechanical health and is a turnkey proposition.

The Camaro’s interior is as spotless as the rest of the vehicle, with the slightly stretched driver’s seatcover confirming the car isn’t a trailer queen. The first owner focused firmly on performance, with the AM radio and Rosewood wheel the only creature comforts. Everything is purposeful, from the Hurst shifter to the factory Sun Super Tach. There is no visible wear, the plastic is excellent, and the dash and pad are free from damage.

This 1969 Camaro has attracted sixteen bids, but the action still sees it below the reserve. That begs the question of how high it will need to go before a new home is guaranteed. Recent sales results confirm it will need to climb well into six-figure territory before that happens. Can it get there? Only time will tell. Watching the auction could be fascinating, even if this car is beyond your means. I suspect the action could become frantic as the end draws near.

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Yblocker

    I still have a Sun Super Tach I bought back in the day. Ok, Chevy guys, the floor is yours lol

    Like 11
    • Avatar photo Rw

      I have a can of liquid tire chain,in my collection of good junk.

      Like 15
      • Avatar photo Jim

        I have a can of compression somewhere in the garage.

        Like 1
  2. Avatar photo djhuff

    As Adam said, $85K is not close, but the auction has three days to go. I had a friend from NE Ohio who used to run into a serious collector at the car shows in that area regularly. I should have got there to meet the guy, but life and work got in the way.

    The “friend of a friend” went after a COPO 9560 ZL-1 aluminum block car around 20+ years ago. His wife went to the bank to get a check to pay for it. Because of the amount of the check, the bank assumed that she was buying a house. The answer was “No, Mark’s buying another car.”

    Like 33
    • Avatar photo Jeffro

      I need a wife like that

      Like 21
      • Avatar photo Marshall

        Then you would have had a big payment to go along with her. Hard to tell what she looked like. Lol

        Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Steve R

    I’ve read in a couple of back issues of magazine such as C.A.R.S. or Super Stock that the liquid tire chain was often ordered by street racers who would fill it with traction compound.

    This is a nice car. I’m not sure if I’d be comfortable with an aftermarket tach but no oil pressure gauge. Matching sets of vintage aftermarket gauges aren’t hard to find. I’m not sure why more people don’t install them.

    Steve R

    Like 17
  4. Avatar photo Jeremy Gagnon

    My dream car since I was a teenager.Im 50

    Like 10
    • Avatar photo Jamie Robinson

      I’m 49 years old in the same boat as you

      Like 1
  5. Avatar photo Norm1564

    I’m a Chevy / Chevelle guy but Love love 1 s t gen Camaro’s; the Coolest; best looking Camaro’s built by Chevy & the most sought after cars by style & performance & the note worthy hideaways !!(RS pkg)! Yes the cars we re not perfect w body shine or gloss ?; but w the body lines & style you could overlook or not mind how much or little it shined in the light ?! And w that legendary 427 engine who minded anything else lol & like the Chevelles how fast you could go down the straight line @ drags !

    Like 13
    • Avatar photo Chris Eudy

      Bought a 69 with Dad brand new in Huntington Beach California I was 7 yrs old. Drove the piss out of it in highschool and first job. Love that car.

      Like 0
  6. Avatar photo Dan

    Bidding is at $86600. Again, a car this special needs to be listed on Hemmings, not eBay. Not perfect, but that’s an excuse to enjoy this beast on weekends and at C & C. Just don’t leave this in some parking lot.

    Like 6
  7. Avatar photo Melton Mooney

    If I were to stumble onto a dirt cheap 427, I’d pull the #s matching 350 out of my 69 SS and put the big block in. There’s just something special about a 427.

    Like 8
    • Avatar photo Bub

      And if I met a modern-day Marilyn Monroe I would keep her away from show business.

      Like 5
      • Avatar photo Jeffro

        And Presidents

        Like 3
    • Avatar photo charlie

      68 427 Hi Perf 321 4 bolt main block with forged innards, 65 Hi Perf 208 heads, edelbrock C427 intake, Holley 950 3 BBL carb, Mallory dual point distributor, factory Camaro frame mounts, Camaro good quality headers, custom built 4 row Camaro radiator and a Hydro Bob of Chicago built Turbo 400, reverse throw bracket trans. built in 76, driven briefly due to NO LICENSE after street racing.. Last run in ’81. Been hibernating in my garage for over 44 years. Factory ZL-1 cam 9181 included. Not dirt cheap but reasonable….

      Like 1
  8. Avatar photo J Gibson

    Are you kidding me? What’s with the 50 cent K-mart battery cable end on the negative post on a well documented, rare, potential $100,000 Camaro?

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Steve R

      If you are referring to the green knob on the positive battery terminal that’s sold by Moroso, it acts as a battery disconnect to keep a battery from draining or an anti theft device. You either loosen or remove it then tighten it by hand when you want to start or drive the car. It’s not pretty, but it’s quicker and easier than wiring in a battery shut off or carrying a wrench around to unhook the battery cable. It makes sense on a car that isn’t driven a lot or will be left in a parking lot of a hotel overnight.

      Steve R

      Like 19
      • Avatar photo Mark

        Correct

        Like 3
    • Avatar photo Mike

      I agree, the battery cable is incorrect. It should be a compression attache, not with and nut as it appears to be.

      Like 0
    • Avatar photo Yblocker

      Cause it’s a K-mart C-maro. Lol

      Like 0
  9. Avatar photo J Gibson

    No, I’m not referring to the green knob. I’m referring to the other terminal.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Jake

      Looks period correct to me.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo gbvette62

        The clamp on the cable may be “period correct”, but it’s not concourse correct. The original cables in 69 were a spring clamp type that were swedged onto the cable and were a press fit on the post. There were no bolts on a 69 cable.

        While the replacement battery clamp does seem out of place on a fairly correct car, what looks like a replacement master cylinder bothers me a lot more on a six figure car. The hood blanket looks like it might be original, and if it is then I can forgive it’s condition.

        There’s a lower front shock bolt that’s missing in one of the under car shots, which when added to the battery clamp, and the replacement master cylinder, leads me to wonder what other issues this car could be hiding? It’s a nice example of a COPO, but an in person inspection would be advisable.

        Like 3
  10. Avatar photo steve

    I agree with Dan, this is not a car you list on ebay. And for such a restoration, the hood insulation mat looks pretty ratty. I would want to check this car out very carefully, in person.

    Like 1
  11. Avatar photo Jake

    The Holy Grail of the Camaro world.

    Like 3
  12. Avatar photo Drift Dad

    $105K and reserve still not met with 2 days to go…

    Like 0
  13. Avatar photo bill

    Back in 73/74′ while working as a pump jockey one of the regulars gave me a thrill ride in his COPO. Back then they were not quite as special. Lived closed to Berger and years before I can still remember the radio adds that the 427 Camaros were on the lot.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Chris Eudy

      Berger was a basketball coach too. I worked at a shop on 28th St. He stopped by and wanted to buy my car!

      Like 0

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