Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Saint Charles, Illinois
2010 Fred Gibb ZL1 Limited Edition
Fred Gibb Chevrolet
Fred Gibb was a Chevrolet dealer in LaHarpe, Illinois. This quaint Midwestern town currently has a population of approximately 1,300. In the Super Car/racing circles he is best remembered as the father of the 1969 ZL-1 Camaro. The ZL1 is also known as COPO 9560.
Fred Gibb Chevrolet started racing a 1967 Chevrolet Z28 Camaro called "Little Hoss". Numerous drag race wins, helped Gibb establish a reputation as a major Hi- Performance dealership.
By the next racing season, Fred Gibb was performing engine swaps/conversions right at the dealership. That same year, Fred Gibb Chevrolet special ordered and sold 50 COPO Nova's with 396/375 engines and
experimental Turbo-hydramatic transmissions. These were also known as COPO 9738. Some of these special Novas were also converted into 427ci Super Cars!
It was ultimately the 1969 Camaro ZL-1 which ensured Fred Gibb's lasting mark on muscle car history.
His close friendship with Vince Piggins of Chevrolet, provided Fred Gibb the necessary avenue to have his concept of the ultimate Camaro race car come to fruition. This project included Chevrolets ultimate Big Block, of the day, an all aluminum 427ci engine. This engine was dubbed code ZL-1.
Chevrolet liked the idea, but wouldn't grant approval unless they were guaranteed to sell at least 50 cars. Fred Gibb assured GM that he could sell the 50 cars himself, at a projected price of $4,900 Thus, the Gibb concept was hurried into production.
The first two Dusk Blue ZL-1 Camaros (COPO 9560) were delivered to Gibb December 31, 1968. They were exactly as specified. 48 more ZL1s were delivered in March of 1969. However, there was a major problem. The sticker price was not $4,900, but rather a startling $7,269, nearly doubling the price of a cast-iron 427ci Camaro (COPO 9561).
The high cost was due to a new GM policy, which stated that instead of the auto manufacturer absorbing most of research and development cost associated with specialty vehicles, it was to be passed on to the cost of the vehicle. This drove up the cost of the COPO 9560 option from an estimated $400 to $4,000.
Fred knew that it was very unlikely that he could sell all 50 Camaros at that price, so he successfully convinced Chevrolet to take 37 of the cars back, re-invoice them, and re-distribute them to other high performance Chevrolet dealers. This was the first time the factory had ever allowed a dealer to return cars.
Fred Gibb was able to sell 13 of the ZL-1 Camaros. Eventually an additional 19 ZL-1's were built and sold by other dealers, resulting in a total production run of 69 ZL-1 Camaros, with the possibility of two engineering prototypes.
Fast forward 40 years and the Fred Gibb Chevy II Novas, race cars, conversion cars, as well as any of the original ZL-1 Camaros are some of the most significant and sought after collectable Chevrolets of all times. The best ZL1s still command more than $1,000,000 in the market place, that is if you can ever get an owner to part with one.
The introduction of the new 5th generation Camaro has once again provided the opportunity to build a 2010 Fred Gibb Edition ZL1 with an all Aluminum 427ci engine.
This will be a limited edition of 50 numbered and serialized Camaros along with two proto-types.
Stay Tuned for more details or call Dennis Barker the Director of Hi-Performance sales at; 616-204-6066.
Last edited by Nickey Chicago; 08-05-2009 at 04:55 PM.