By Huw Evans
In Camaro folklore, the acronym COPO (Central Office Production Order) has special meaning. Back in 1968-9, it represented the chance for a savvy group of GM employees to side step the rules and place larger engines than intended in the Camaro via an ordering practice originally designed for fleet vehicles. The resulting COPO 427s were among the most revered of all muscle cars, able to 12-seconds in the quartermile virtually out of the box. Today, vintage COPOs trade hands for big money but recognizing the legendary status of these four-letters, GM released a new generation COPO for 2012.
However, unlike the originals, these new cars start off as bodies in white and are intended purely for racing. Three different engines are available, a 427 cubic-inch (7.0-liter) LS7 small block, or a pair of 327 cubic inch (5.3-liter) supercharged small blocks, each are teamed with a Powerglide two-speed automatic spec’d for drag racing. Buyers of the new COPO have the option of assembling their engines on the line at GM’s Performance Build Center and although each engine serial number is matched to the car, the new COPOs do not come with VINs, meaning they are not street legal.
Nevertheless, despite this and the $89,000 price tag, they are living up to the legacy of the COPO name. A sinister black example was recently spotted at Empire Dragway in Leicester, NY, where it ran an honest 8.88 ET in the quartermile. That’s well under national records for the NHRA’s Stock and Super Stock Eliminator categories in which these cars are designed to compete. But don’t take our word for it, click on the link below to see for yourself.