In the latest round of Detroit's ongoing, escalating power wars, Chevrolet has turned back the clock to offer a brand-new 2019 COPO Camaro with special-edition details highlighting the historic 50th anniversary of the original COPO drag-strip special. Unveiled yesterday at SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show in Las Vegas, Nevada, the 2019 COPO Camaro brings another round of track-specific additions to the growing legend of today's renewed muscle car mania.
In homage to the original 1969 COPO Camaro, the new car is offered in Anniversary Blue Metallic paint, complete with graphics that draw out the changes it receives when compared to other production Camaro models. Under the revised hood lurks a 50th Anniversary Engine Appearance Package which mirrors classic Chevy engines by way of an orange engine block, chrome valve covers, and a black, high-rise intake manifold.
Available engine options include a normally-aspirated 427ci V8, a 350ci V8 with a 2.65-liter Magnuson supercharger bolted on, as well as a 302ci V8 engine which is most closely related to the engine found in the road-going Camaro SS. Every engine has been designed to meet requirements necessary for qualification in the NHRA's Stock and Super Stock classes.
All the changes hearken back to the original COPO Camaro, which began in 1969 after Illinois-based dealer Fred Gibb built his own Camaros with the goal of competing successfully in Stock Eliminator drag racing. Gibb employed Chevy's Central Office Production Order system, which had been previously used for fleet vehicle services, and transformed the Camaro into what would become a historically-significant dragster.
Gibb's modifications included an all-aluminum ZL1 427 V8 racing engine, which still managed to weigh around 100 pounds less than the smaller 396 Big Block, while creating more power. In order to be eligible for NHRA competition at the time, Gibb had to offer at least 50 examples for public consumption, and eventually 69 COPO Camaros left the factory with the lightweight ZL1 engine.
The 2019 COPO Camaro will likewise be limited to 69 examples and Chevy also took the opportunity to unveil an eCOPO concept at SEMA—the electrified Camaro was completed with help from Hancock and Lane Racing, and can run a quarter mile in the nine-second range.