Real or Clone? 1969 COPO Camaro ZL1 427!

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

The eBay title for this 1969 Camaro is slightly misleading. It reads “1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Aluminum 427! COPO SPECS!” The “SPECS” part is the most important word. This car is indeed a 1969 Camaro with an aluminum 427 installed, however, it is only built to COPO/ZL1 specifications…It’s a clone. It is being sold by Mershon’s World of Cars in Springfield, Ohio, and can be found here on eBay with an asking price of $119,900. Let’s take a closer look at this beautiful car.

By now most of you are probably familiar with the Chevrolet COPO program. For those that aren’t, here is a brief rundown. Chevrolet had a program for taxi and fleet dealers called the Central Office Production Order (COPO). Dealers could order vehicles with specific options in order to meet the demands of their clients. Well, at some point savvy dealers figured out that they could order “normal” cars like Camaros, Chevelles, and Novas with big V8s utilizing the COPO system.

One of the dealers utilizing the COPO program was Fred Gibb who owned a dealership in La Harpe, Illinois. Mr. Gibb not only ordered cars with high-performance engines, he actually convinced General Motors to build a very special Camaro in 1969. GM had developed an all-aluminum 427 cubic inch V8 for use in Can-Am racing, code-named the “ZL1.” Gibb asked GM to put that same engine in a group of Camaros. They agreed but on the condition that Gibb ordered 50 at the same time! Gibb agreed but unfortunately when the cars were delivered, the ZL1 option nearly tripled the cost of the base Camaro and the cars didn’t sell. Well, thirteen sold. All-in, Chevrolet built approximately 69 ZL1s in 1969 with only a handful making them into private hands. The real ZL1s that remain today are some of the most sought-after muscle cars in the market. Even the clones like this one seem extra special. If you’d like to read more details about the COPO program and the specific dealers that used it, check out the article here on

This particular car looks like a really nice car. There are detailed photos of the undercarriage, which are just as nice as the top side. I’m guessing it was a frame-off restoration, but the ad doesn’t say it was.

Overall, this is a very unassuming car. With no rear spoiler, poverty hubcaps, poly glass tires, and plain brown paint, this car isn’t going to get a ton of attention just by looking at it. However, once you look under the hood or hear the 12:1 compression through the dual exhaust, it will get plenty of looks. What do you think of this one? How about clones in general?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. "Edsel" Al leonardMember

    Unless the build sheet….or the sales order sheet says so, it’s NOT real….

    Like 13
  2. CadmanlsMember

    Nothing wrong building a tribute, clone, or whatever they decide to call them in the future. Just be honest and don’t represent the car for anything more than it is. This Camaro, very nice build and putting together that drivetrain was no small feat.

    Like 26
    • Kevin Kendall

      It may be a clone but it’s a well done clone,as far as real ZL1s,probably very few were burnished brown

      Like 2
  3. Stan

    Im a Ford fan, but could find a spot for this plain wrapper rocket Chevrolet 😎

    Like 14
  4. Steveo

    Seems like a lot of money for a tribute car.

    Like 6
  5. sakingsbury20

    I think clones are great, nothing wrong with imitating almost unobtainable cars at all, as long as, as stated above, someone is honest of its history. I can remember when I was in HS, must of been summer of 1971 or ’72. I live in a very small town in Maine, and at that time we lived on a lake about 2 miles long on the edge of town. On the other end of the lake there was a boys camp that had changed all the bunkhouses into housekeeping cottages to rent out to tourists ( we had a different name for um, but whatever ) The owners were from Massachusetts and my mother would clean the cottages after they were rented out. The owners, who were extremely nice to my mother, and our family in general had a son in his early 20s. He had a ’69 Camero that looked identical to the one featured here except it was harvest gold. In the early morning stillness, I could hear that car come to life and the rumble it made that came roiling across the lake would make me jump out of bed and run outside to stand on the lawn to watch him drive by to go into town. The spitting, crackling, almost violence that came out of that exhaust as he drove by would send chills up my spine. What a thrill that was to a 15 or 16 yr old. whenever I see a ’69 camero today, in a ” plain brown wrapper ” sorta speak, I think of that car. Was it a ZL1, I doubt it, maybe a L72 copo, coulda been a Baldwin motion car, I dont know for sure, but for a teenage boy that was into cars up to his ears, I wanted it !…..I have occasionally looked for the Son on social media over the years to ask him what it was, but haven’t been able to find him, if He’s still here on earth. Them years, Mid ’60s to early 70s was were my love of muscle cars was formed….there will never be another span of yrs for cars like it IMO……

    Like 2
    • sakingsbury20

      CAMARO……I guess I’m too old to get used to punching one key and your smartphone or whatever device finishing whatever it feels like…anyone else have that problem or just me….might have to hire an editor…..btw, Camero is a technology company

      Like 1
  6. Joe

    So here we have yet another inflated, overpriced, car….in a very plain, undesirable color yet….we all agree it’s a clone, recreation, whatever you wish to call it….yes, the engine parts/assembly was most likely expensive…..the resto started with a plain-Jane 69’ Camaro body, nothing special ……how in the world can anyone justify paying $120,000 for this car???…..they say there’s a. sucker born everyday……

    Like 4
    • Miata Yada Yada

      To be fair, the quote is “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

      One a day wouldn’t be nearly enough for all the crap out there.

      Like 3
  7. T. MannMember

    Auction listing
    · Aug 7, 2020 · 21,000 miles · Naples, FL, USA

    Now insert an Ohio used car dealer, and = $119,900

    Like 9
    • Joe

      Agreed, T. Mann, ALL of these used car dealers, and Auctions, are taking advantage of a totally inflated America…..they’re gouging car enthusiasts for all they’re worth…..don’t buy from them America!

      Like 2
  8. T. MannMember

    Vehicle History
    A timeline of events that we’ve detected for this vehicle.
    1969 Chevrolet Camaro COPO Tribute

    Auction listing
    · Aug 7, 2020 · 21,000 miles · Naples, FL, USA · Bring a Trailer Auctions

    Like 1
  9. Bud Lee

    Real or not, this car is what dreams are made of.

    Like 6
  10. Chuck A Grover

    I am not a Fan of Clones at all especially for the Asking Price for some of those Cars….. C. Grover

    Like 2
  11. Ron

    All it takes is one person with the want and the cash. Don’t understand why there’s so much hate for what the prices are, if the price is more than you think it’s worth, just move along, it wasn’t meant for you…

    Like 6
  12. cold340t

    Check out a real ZL1 427 run 9’s on bias ply tires on YouTube. Consistently. Incredible. Stock appearing drags.

    Like 2
  13. Chuchiie

    I looked at a clone about 4-5 years ago and the guy had found a pristine low mileage body to use. He had the correct Aluminum parts and it was nearly ready to run, needing only final assembly and paint. He even had the paint in the correct silver ready to go. It would have been fun, but I’m just not into recreations.

    Like 1
    • Frank

      A real Hugger Orange ZL1 sold for over $1,000,000.00, the cheapest I could find was $159,000.00, which must have been a stripped shell. I very much doubt this is a real one, but investigating it is in order before purchasing it. There is one iny area in a blow up bubble, dk green, absolutely gorgeous. It shares the garage with a Nickey Chevelle, several 69 Z28/RS Camaros and a few others.

      Like 0
  14. robjMember

    I think that considering the price tag of a “real” COPO is staggering to the point that they are out of reach for “normal” folks, this is the next best thing. And when you spend that amount of coin [for a real one] are you then afraid to actually drive it? And enjoy it?
    This is where clones come into play. Same car, just not the same price tag.
    Not saying this one isn’t priced a bit “aggressively”, but at the same time, restoration of anything to this level isn’t cheap.

    Like 2
    • wuzjeepnowsaab

      Agreed 100%. I see a lot of crotchety comments but the real deal cars are deep into 6 figures and like you say, this one is very well done

      Like 1
  15. Ken

    I have a 69 Camaro with a 427. It has the spoilers, rally rims no fancy trim package or stripes. I know it’s not original to the car but I like it. I don’t call it a COPO, copy or tribute. I just call it my car. Also, I love driving it and strangers always give me the thumbs up when I drive by.

    Bottom line . The price is high but dealers will squeeze you for every cent.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds