This 1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro Is a Fully Loaded and Rare Muscle Beauty

In most places on this Earth, it doesn’t happen all that often for car dealerships to be involved or have a say in car production. Yet in America, the land of opportunities, some of them not only did that, but managed to birth machines so incredible they’ll be remembered probably forever by true fans.
1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro 16 photos
Photo: Barrett-Jackson
1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro
On its aisle of the automotive industry, American carmaker Chevrolet had its share of run-ins with imaginative dealers who saw much more potential in the cars the bowtie was making than it did. And one of the most important dealers to contribute to Chevy’s success was called Yenko.

That would be Don Yenko and his Chevy outlet, a man who, like others of his time, perceived the carmaker's rule not to equip the muscle Camaro with engines larger than 400ci as a mistake. As a result, Yenko and others started looking for and did manage to find some loopholes in GM’s own rules.

Larger engines were of course needed at the time, as rivals Ford and Plymouth offered such options and, more importantly, people bought them. Coincidently, Chevy did have a 427ci engine in production back then, deployed in the Corvette, and Yenko found it’s a perfect fit for the Camaro as well.

So he started swapping out Camaro engines and replacing them with Corvette ones. It was a rather lucrative business, and in the first two years, 1967 and 1968, Yenko rolled out 54 and 64 units, respectively, of his modified muscle machines. These cars became known as Yenko Camaros, and are among the most sought-after vehicles of our time.

1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro
Photo: Barrett-Jackson
In 1969 though the man realized he could have Chevy itself do all the heavy-lifting and swapping, through the Chevrolet Central Office Production Order (COPO), and that’s exactly what he did. Cars made with Chevy’s involvement are known as the Yenko COPO Camaros.

As you’re reading this, an entirely Yenko-made Camaro is getting ready to head under the hammer during an auction in Glendale, Arizona. The version we’re here to look at now, a Yenko COPO Camaro, will sell next month in Palm Beach, and it does so loaded to the teeth will all the muscle goodies of its time.

A 1969 model year by trade, the Camaro is powered by the above-mentioned 427ci engine, which in this configuration develops 425 horsepower. The unit is tied to a Muncie M-21 4-speed transmission, and here comes cool fact number 1 about this car.

You see, the engine is date-correct, and so is the transmission. This configuration though was a rare one - 201 Yenko COPO Camaros were made in 1969, and of them just 28 had the said tranny on.

The car has two special COPO packages on. The first is package 9561, which means it’s loaded with things like heavy-duty springs, rings, pinion, and axle shafts. Package 9737 on the other hand adds a front stabilizer bar, YH Rally wheels, Goodyear tires, and a 140 mph (225 kph) speedometer.

1969 Chevrolet Yenko COPO Camaro
Photo: Barrett-Jackson
The exterior of the car is painted in something called Fathom Green, and this is cool fact number 2: of the 201 Yenko COPO Camaros made in 1969, just 34 were dressed like this. And it beautifully pairs that hue with white stripes running on the hood and on its sides, but also a black vinyl roof pulled over the seats.

The exterior of the Camaro is not your average one, as it has been enhanced with the deployment of front and rear spoilers, an option for the breed decades ago, and a special order ZL2 ducted hood.

The interior is a suitable black, and opposes the front seats to a dashboard holding Stewart Warner gauges for oil, temperature, and amp, but also a tachometer installed next to the steering column. An optional AM radio is also to be found inside.

The car is selling at the hands of auction house Barrett-Jackson. It doesn’t go as is, but complete with a spare set of wheels of Atlas make and wrapped in Goodyear Polyglas tires.

The documentation the car comes with is quite extensive, and includes a “copy of the COPO connection vehicle verification paperwork.” Then come the shipping data report revealing the original and selling dealer information (Yenko Chevrolet in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania), but also copies of all titles of registered owners and MCACN Concours Gold Certification.

The one thing the Camaro lacks is a selling price. Like all other cars going under the hammer in Palm Beach, this one too is going with no reserve. What that means is it will go to the highest bidder, no matter the sum offered, but also that getting an estimate for it is next to impossible.

To give you an idea of how much it could fetch, consider a similar example in Daytona Yellow sold for almost $370,000 a little more than a year ago.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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