When Michael Riley from Liberty, Texas found an ad for a Daytona yellow 1969 Berger Camaro little did he know that it would lead to a owning a “one-of-a-kind” pair of highly collectible Berger Camaros.
Michael and his father, Michael, Sr, went to Lowell, Michigan where the 1969 Berger Camaro had lived most of its life. Lowell is outside of Grand Rapids. The 1969 Double COPO Camaro 427 bought new from the local Chevy dealer had not strayed far from home. Having many years of experience building street rods, the Rileys set about restoring the old race car. What was nice about this restoration is that, although it was raced most of its life, the Berger Camaro had never been cut up. And since most of its use was at the track, it didn’t have the rust problems most cars that are street driven have from the Midwest. They say the car still had the original 427 engine, 4-speed transmission and BE coded 4.10 rear end that it came with from the factory.
They restored it in 2000. The ad says it has the COPO 9561 L-72 427/425 hp engine, M-21 Muncie 4-speed, 850 Holley carburetor and ZL2 Cold Air Induction. It also came with the COPO 9737 Yenko Sports Car Conversion package, making it a “double COPO.” They say it is highly documented and that they originally restored it to factory spec in 2000. Then in 2013 they retrofitted it to 1970s style drag race trim.
Yenko Chevrolet, Fred Gibb Chevrolet, Nickey Chevrolet, Baldwin Chevrolet and Dana Chevrolet are in an elite group of dealerships that catered to the “super car” buyer back in the day. Equally a part of that group was Berger Chevrolet in Grand Rapids, Michigan. All of these storied Chevrolet dealerships had one thing in common. They were all known for offering ’69 COPO 427 Camaros tweaked for the race track. And those Camaros are avidly sought after by collectors today. But one difference between Berger Chevrolet and all the others is that Berger Chevrolet is still doing business today on Southeast 28th Street in Grand Rapids. It has been family owned for 73 years.
Here are some of the items available with the COPO 9561 package which could be ordered through Chevrolet’s Central Office Purchase Order system:
• 427 CI Engine
• Munice M-21
• 4spd Hurst Shifter
• BE Coded 4.11 Rear Differential
• 850CFM Holley Carb
• ZL2 Cold Air Induction
• HD Springs
• “Gooseneck” Radiator
Here are the items available through the COPO 9737 package:
• Yenko Sports Car Conversion Package
• 15×7 YH Coded Rally Wheels
• Goodyear E70-15 Wide Tread Tires
• HD 13/16 Front Sway Bar
• Power Brakes
• 140mph Speedometer w/ Center Fuel Gauge
They tell us that this was one of 40 COPO Camaros ordered by Berger Chevrolet, Grand Rapids, MI. All correct date coded parts for either factory or racing trim. According to their internet page this car is all numbers matching and has been verified and documented with extensive owner history.
No comments yet.