And that was a big deal because Chevrolet wasn't allowed to install engines larger than 400 cubic inches (6.6 liters) due to a GM corporate ban. So it's not surprising that when the 427-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) L72 became available through COPO 9561, performance-oriented dealerships rushed to order them.
It was Yenko that actually started this whole COPO 427 thing by ordering 201 cars. As word got out that Chevy was offering the L72, other dealerships joined in on the fun. In all, it seems that Chevrolet delivered about 1,000 Camaros with the 427 big-block V8.
That's a lot compared to the ZL1, but there's a catch. Since these cars were ordered through different dealerships, they came with all sorts of different upgrades in smaller batches. And some of them are actually harder to find than a drag-ready COPO ZL1. The race-spec Camaro you're about to see below is one of them.
Ordered via Berger Chevrolet, this light blue Camaro is a double COPO because it was equipped with both the 9561 and 9737 options. While the former stands for the L72 V8 engine I told you about earlier, COPO 9737 added the Sports Car Conversion Package.
The bundle included a beefier suspension, improved handling, and a 140-mph (225-kph) speedometer. And yes, it turned the Camaro into a track-ready car and the story goes that this COPO was put to good use in competition since day one. But not as a road racer. Its odometer, which showed only 241 miles (388 km) when this footage was shot, suggests that this Camaro was driven only a quarter-mile at a time.
And despite spending most of its early life as a drag racer, it's still in fantastic shape more than 50 years since it left the assembly line. But of course, this has to do with the fact that it was kept in a heated garage. There's not a lot of info as to how many years it spent in storage, but it seems it was last raced (and modified) sometime in the 1990s.
And don't let the fact that it doesn't have an engine under the hood fool you. The numbers-matching L72 V8 still exists and it was put back into the car since the video was filmed. Not only that, but the mill was rebuilt and the COPO was fitted with period-correct wheels.
On top of that, the current owner took it to Berger Chevrolet, the dealer that sold it back in 1969, where he met up with the guy who bought it new some 53 years ago. Oh, and did I mention that this COPO still sports its original paint? Fantastic, right?
While regular COPOs aren't as expensive and sought-after as the ZL1, this is most likely an exception from that rule. Simply because it's unique. Sure, we'll never know how much it's worth unless it hits the auction block, but until that happens, you might as well enjoy it in the video below.