Real Deal COPO: 1969 Camaro L72

Josh MortensenBy Josh Mortensen

This find isn’t a barn find or even an unrestored survivor, but it’s such an incredible find that I just can’t resist! In the late ’60s, GM set limits on the size of engine that could be optioned in any of their smaller body cars. There was a way around this though and several dealers used it to option Camaros with 427 V8s from the factory. These cars are called COPO (Central Office Production Order) Camaros and are extremely desirable. This example was fully restored to award winning standards. It has been verified as a real COPO car by Jerry MacNeish and comes with documentation proving its heritage and detailing the restoration. If you want the finest COPO Camaro out there, you can find this one here on eBay in Boise, Idaho with a BIN of $149,995.

The L72 isn’t just a big block, it’s a high performance 427 that was rated at 425 horsepower. With it’s solid lifters, 11 to 1 compression ratio, revise heads and reinforced internals allowed this big block to actually produce 450 horsepower. All that power was routed to the street via a 4-speed Muncie gearbox with a Hurst shifter and a heavy duty 12 bolt rear end. If you were looking for a factory built drag racer, this was the car to order!

To keep things as light as possible, interior features were limited to bucket seats and just what was necessary to drive the car. These were no frills racers that could really get up and go. As you can see, this car’s interior is in perfect condition. With a $150k price, there shouldn’t be any cheap reproduction parts here.

What an incredible machine, I just wish I could afford to own it! I get the desirability of owning one of the few real COPO Camaros built, but for this kind of money you could build an entire fleet of 427 equipped Camaros. This is a collectors piece that will end up in a climate controlled garage and will never see any use on the road, heck it’s only seen 26 miles since being restored. With this much performance, I would want to drive a machine like this! It will be interesting to see what happens with this incredible Camaro.

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  1. flmikey

    With the limited number of COPO’s, would this not be a bargain price?

    • geomechs

      Hi flmikey. I tend to agree with you on the price. I saw one of these sold at BJ’s five years ago and it brough half a mil. Mind you it was (allegedly) original with very few miles on it. And it being BJ’s, the world capitol of Buyer’s Remorse, it was sure to inflate the price….

      • JohnD

        There are more of these out there than ever before. And I don’t mean fakes or clones, although there are those (!) . . . I think nobody knew how many were done – although some people claimed to – and the numbers keep on climbing . . .

    • Gearheaddropping

      I agree. I am not a Camaro expert so I can’t verify the car. However, if it is a real COPO, this seems like a pretty good price based on what I’ve seen cross auction lines over the past few years.

    • Bill M

      For that price it could have nicer looking carpet and a better looking dash pad nice car,drove one in the seventies. That car would destroy rear tires in second gear and halfway through 3rd yeehaw bring back the good old days.

  2. Andre

    What a color! Gorgeous.

    Curious (admittedly knowing very little about 1st gens) – what with the red wire along the firewall? That doesn’t look OE (?)

    • flmikey

      …saw that too…and the green wires on the horns…looked on ebay at a few other high end Camaro’s…it is correct…

    • JamestownMike

      What color is that? I LOVE that color!

      • Tom Magda

        Lemans Blue

    • R.P.

      Dude good eye, I didn’t notice that red wire, I have a factory built 1969 SS 427 385 hp Impala, 4sp car, I’m 3rd owner since 1975 , no red wires on my car, it has a white resister wire on firewall.

    • Joe

      Pretty sure the red wire is for the heater motor.

  3. motoring mo

    Great lead.
    Going today to check it out.
    Wish me luck!

  4. Rock On

    Sounds like ZL1 money to me.

    • Robbin

      Not even close! I have an acquaintance who a few years ago paid $1,300,000 for an original low serial number car of the 69 ZL1’s built in 1969. Worth more today…

  5. JamestownMike

    Probably worth the money………but I don’t have that kind of money and probably never will (to spend on A CAR)! With my budget, I’d rather have this SS396? coupe and make it my own!……..listed on Hemmings for $21,500 obo.

  6. PaulG

    This is what lottery winning dreams are made of. Would be a great car to wring out once in a while. Garage queen NOT!

  7. leiniedude

    Whats going on with the dashpad? Something looks goofy there to me.

  8. Gene Parmesan

    Definitely seems like there’s a dash cap in place. And that collection in the background is wild. Probably the first time a ’73-’74 Nova has been sandwiched between a Lotus and a Ferrari.

    • Lounge

      I would guess that’s a COPO Nova as well. Or a very well done SS396.

  9. Steve Anthony

    I love cars like this and would absolutely give my left arm for a COPO Camaro. But the thought of it just sitting in a climate-controlled garage collecting dust in between dustings just makes me sick. A car like that should be driven and enjoyed and who cares how many more miles someone is putting on it, this car was meant to be driven not meant to be stared at. So even at $150k, like a Ferrari or a Lamborghini of this price range, this car should be enjoyed and taken to the track and on the highway to have some fun with, not just sitting in a showroom

    • Rocco Member

      Jay Leno drives his collection.

  10. navadisha

    seems odd that there’s no mention of the selling dealer either. There were only a handful.
    And yes, COPOs go for sick money. Usually $250k and up in this shape……

    • Graywolf

      I believe the red wire goes to high blower relay with an off white in-line fuse.

  11. craZee

    Needs a houndstooth interior!

  12. Mike

    I’d rather have a brand new Hellcat for that kind of money.

    • 1st Gear

      You miss the point

  13. Bill

    Someone’s going to get a helluva bargain!

  14. JBones

    Cleanest “barnfind” ever.

    • Rocco Member

      Did you read the first sentence in the story?

  15. redwagon

    “It will be interesting to see what happens with this incredible Camaro.”

    Collect dust.
    Idle 1x per month.
    Connected to trickle charger.
    Forward 20 feet.
    Backwards 20 feet.

    • Craig

      ….. change rusted brake drums bi-annually.

  16. flmikey

    If Jay Leno or Tim Allen get this one, it will be driven for sure!

  17. Derek

    If I could afford that, I’d be looking for a Type 35 Bugatti to race instead.

  18. Dave Deline

    Real nice camaro
    Of course can’t afford it.but I do remember green wires at horns on my 4 69’s I did own.

  19. Troy S.

    I like the baldwin-motion 427 camaros the best, but any camaro or chevelle with the high winding 427 is one sweet ride, one of the best in its day. The rarest of the 427 cars would be the nova, but those were dealer built, not copo’s.

  20. Lance Newberry

    What would make it a real deal is the RS package for me. Without it, does nothing for me.

  21. leiniedude

    Auction has ended. Current bid:US $92,100.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 6 bids ]


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