2013 Chevrolet COPO Camaro.
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Chevrolet has announced that customers for the limited run of 2013 COPO Camaro factory drag-racing cars will be identified starting Monday, March 11. Only 69 of the cars will be constructed this year.
Racers must make their purchase intentions known by signing up on the COPO Camaro Mailing List by Thursday, March 7.
The starting price for the COPO Camaro is $86,000.
“The COPO Camaro program is growing into its second year to support our customers, who have continually expressed their interest for these specialized race cars,” said Jim Campbell, General Motors U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “The 2013 production run builds on the success of our inaugural year with new powertrain choices and enhancements that will make the cars even more competitive.”
More than 3,000 hand raisers indicated a purchase interest in the 2012 COPO Camaros, when only 69 were built.
COPO stands for Central Office Production Order and was originally used by dealers in the 1960s to generate special orders, mostly for fleet vehicles. Some racing-minded dealers used the system to create higher-performance models that weren’t otherwise available, including the legendary 1969 Camaro ZL1, which featured an all-aluminum 427-cubic-inch engine developed for racing. Sixty-nine ZL1s were built and they’ve since become valuable collector cars.
The 2013 production run will be offered with two all-new engines, as well as a new manual transmission, to make the COPO Camaro eligible for a broader range of NHRA Stock Eliminator classes. The engine range includes three naturally aspirated choices:
• 350-cubic-inch engine rated at 325 horsepower
• 396-cubic-inch engine rated at 375 horsepower
• 427-cubic-inch engine rated at 425 horsepower.
A high-feature fuel-injection system is standard on all COPO Camaros, with engine management directed by an all-new Holley HP EFI electronic control unit that features self-tuning fuel table strategies and data logging. The injection system is used in conjunction with a Holley Hi-Ram intake manifold.
Driven by customer demand, the new manual transmission joins the Powerglide automatic for the COPO Camaro’s transmission choices. Rear axle gearing is optimized for each vehicle, depending on the engine and transmission.
All of the LS-family engines are built at Chevrolet’s Performance Build Center, in Wixom, Mich., and the buyer can opt to participate in the engine assembly, similar to Chevrolet’s Corvette Engine Build Experience and the Chevrolet Performance Build Your Own Crate Engine programs. Customers can also select the Engine Collector’s Package, which includes all three COPO racing engines serial-number-matched to the car, with one installed at the time of delivery. Serialized engines can also be ordered separately, (i.e. only one additional engine), but will be still number-matched to the car.
Additional new and revised production features for 2013 include:
• A “heritage” grille and standard-production (non-HID) headlamps
• New exterior graphics choices with engine-size call-outs
• Revised interior package with custom carpet and new switch panel
• Dedicated racing wiring harness
• Revised front springs that enhance performance
• Transmission cooler integrated with radiator.
• Five exterior colors are offered for 2013: Black, Summit White, Victory Red, Silver Ice Metallic and Ashen Gray Metallic.
All COPO Camaros are assembled by hand starting with hardware from the Oshawa assembly plant that manufactures regular-production Camaros. Each is fitted with an NHRA-approved roll cage and other safety equipment, along with racing chassis and suspension components – including a unique solid rear axle system in place of a regular-production Camaro’s independent rear axle. Production equipment also includes lightweight Bogart racing wheels and Hoosier racing tires.
The purchase process.
The pool of potential customers identified via the COPO Camaro Mailing List is randomized by a third-party organization and a Chevrolet representative will contact them from the Central Office, starting March 11.
The Central Office representative confirms the purchase intent and works with the customer to specify the powertrain, exterior color and graphics and other options. The customer will also indicate a preferred Chevrolet dealership to complete the sale. After that, a COPO purchase certificate is sent to the customer, who will take it to his or her preferred dealer to officially place the order for the car.
Production is scheduled to begin in April, with deliveries starting in early summer. Customers must take delivery of the car in the Detroit area, where the COPO Camaros are built.
Each COPO Camaro features a sequenced build serial number matched to the engine, but is sold without a Vehicle Identification Number and cannot be registered for highway use.
Parts and assembly guide
Many of the fundamental components used to assemble the COPO Camaros – including all of the hand-assembled racing engines – are available from Chevrolet Performance. They are outlined in a special COPO section of the 2013 Chevrolet Performance catalog, which is available from Chevrolet dealers or by ordering online at chevroletperformance.com.
The COPO parts must be ordered and delivered through Chevrolet detailers and other authorized retailers. Additionally, customers can participate in Chevrolet Performance’s Build Your Own COPO Engine program when purchasing one of the COPO racing engines (at an extra cost), allowing them to visit Chevy’s Performance Build Center to help assemble the engine they purchased.
Also available from Chevrolet Performance is the “COPO Build Book,” part number 88958767, which provides an overview of the cars’ assembly process for those that want to build their own Chevrolet Stock Eliminator or Super Stock race car.
Honoring the COPO Legacy.
A 69-car production was selected to commemorate the original number of ZL-1 COPO Camaros made in 1969. COPO - which stands for Central Office Production Order - was Chevrolet's special-order system, notoriously used by dealers in the 1960s to build high-performance models that couldn't be found anywhere else. The second-coming of the COPO name is an extension of the legacy started in 1969, when the first purpose-built Camaro drag-racing specialty car was designed to compete with the quickest in NHRA's Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes. National records for quarter-mile times in these contests are in the 9-second range.
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