This 1969 Berger COPO Camaro might at first sight seem tame looking with its simple plain wrapper trim and non-descript look. Who would have known in ’69 that there was a 427/425 hp factory power plant under the hood and heavy duty suspension to handle the monster power. In a Pony car that weighed only 3,642 pounds, that much power would make it the ultimate factory built sleeper. In fact, you couldn’t buy it off a dealer’s showroom floor. You would have to order it through a special Chevrolet “hot rod” shop like the one at Berger Chevrolet in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
As the story goes, the special order series COPO process was used by very knowledgeable racing enthusiasts to purchase the special COPO 9561 package including the L72 427/425 hp factory motor in a Camaro body. COPO is an acronym used at GM which stands for Central Office Processing Order. GM had a corporate policy that limited F body and X body cars to 400 ci engines. Knowledgeable dealers used the COPO process to get around this policy and install the best GM high performance engines into their favorite platforms. Berger Chevrolet in Grand Rapids, Michigan was one of the most notable high-performance dealers in country. If you knew the COPO numbers you could order a nearly race-ready 427 Camaro right from the factory.
This particular 1969 Berger COPO Camaro was one of the few sold new at the famous Berger Chevrolet in September 1969. Today it is being offered for sale through Legendary Motorcar Company. (Follow this link to see more photos and contact information.) They tell us when you open the hood you will find the numbers matching L72 427/425hp COPO engine. Factory ordered in the eye catching Rallye Green paint with white interior and white sport striping, they say it is still backed by its numbers matching M-21 4-speed transmission.
Remaining fairly ordinary looking with factory Rally wheels, cowl induction hood and a rear spoiler, you have the typical appearance of a COPO. Other options include Sport Striping, power disc brakes, AM radio, chin spoiler, and Style Trim Group. Amazingly the car remained in the possession of its original owner for 40 years to the day of his original purchase.
Legendary Motorcar Company tells us the car is in show quality with beautiful polished paint, new interior and a detailed undercarriage. It is fully documented with Protect-O-Plate, Owner’s Manual, Shipper Report and original finance paperwork.
Pete Estes, Chevrolet’s vice president, understood the need for fast cars to feed the hungry unrest of man. The reason it was neccessary to use the COPO ordering process is that General Motors had a corporate policy against installing engines over 400 ci in anything but full-size cars and Corvettes. Chevrolet Product Promotions manager Vince Piggins found a way to circumvent the engine ban for certain buyers by using the Central Office Processing Order, or COPO, program. Normally reserved for fleet builds, Piggins was able to use COPO 9561 to get Camaros built on the assembly line powered by the L72 427/425 hp special high-performance big block.
The racing community benefited from their association with Chevrolet. Racers such as Don Yenko, Dick Harrell, Smokey Yunick, Roger Penske, Jim Hall and Fred Gibb all knew the Chevrolet ordering system. In this unsuspecting 1969 Central Office Processing Order Camaro you’ll find an original period correct L72 427 Turbo Jet 425hp V8. Indeed, you can put the Muncie 4-speed in any gear and punch it threw all 4 gears via a 12-bolt GM rear end.
Norwood body numbers will usually (but not always) follow a sequence pattern with 427 Camaros produced at the Norwood plant. Exact COPO production numbers are not known but it’s believed that approx. 1000 were produced.
The 1969 COPO Camaro came with heavy duty front disc brakes, power brakes, full seat belts, heavy duty sway bars, spoiler, and more.
This one is the perfect car for a collector looking for a beautiful example of an original documented COPO Camaro muscle car.
(This article was written by Cars-On-Line.com with information provided by Legendary Motorcar Company. Be sure to look for more 1969 COPO Camaros for sale in the Camaro Section on the Cars-On-Line.com website.)
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