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2013 Chevy COPO Camaros go on sale Monday, March 11th to a lucky few

The 69 Chevy COPO Camaros that will be factory built will be available to buyers as of Monday. If you didn't get your ballot in by today's deadline, there is one other option.

The 2013 COPO Camaro is a promotional vehicle for aftermarket parts sales. Don’t take that comment the wrong way, this is a very good thing for Camaro fans. COPO stands for Central Office Production Order. In order to make popular the many performance components that Chevy offers, the company is building 69 special COPO Camaros optimized for NHRA drag racing. There are literally thousands of customers willing to buy these limited edition cars and on Monday, March 11th Chevy will reveal their names. Today was the deadline to apply for ownership. The cars have a base price of just $86,000, but it is unlikely any will be base, and most will have it all.

COPO Camaros are race cars that will compete is a variety of NHRA Stock Eliminator drag racing categories. Originally revealed as a prototype in 2011, the car entered production in 2012 and is now in its second year of production. Jim Campbell, General Motors U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports explained, saying “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. 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.”

The powertrain choices are three. All are normally aspirated (no superchargers or turbochargers) and include the following:
• 350-cubic-inch engine rated at 325 horsepower
• 396-cubic-inch engine rated at 375 horsepower
• 427-cubic-inch engine rated at 425 horsepower

There is actually one more choice, and it is very likely that many, most, or possibly all of the 69 cars built will come this way. The “all-in” option is to have all three engines come with your Camaro. Chevy will install one at delivery, but the buyer will also get the other two in crates. The extra two engines have matching serial numbers to the car. For collectors, this will surely be the highest rate of return over the years and decades to come. Each engine comes with a Holey fuel and air induction system that includes a data logging package.

The sixty-nine lucky collector/racers will have a direct link to the Chevrolet Central Office via a third party company that manages the COPO lottery. Once they are selected, they will work with a COPO representative to select the features of their car. Chevrolet has released this list of new for 2013 options for the COPO Camaros:
• 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

There are five colors for choose from in the COPO line-up including black, red, white, gray, and silver. Once the car is configured by the customer with help from the Central Office, the customer specifies which local dealer they wish to officially order delivery from. Remember, car companies in the US cannot legally sell directly to customers (Except Tesla). The customers are given a certificate of purchase they then take to the dealer to arrange their delivery at a Detroit area dealer. One really fantastic option is for the buyer to help build the engine of the car. All COPO Camaros are assembled in Canada and imported to the US, like all Camaros are, but the engines are hand-built in the US. Buyers of the COPO Camaro can opt to visit the Performance Build Center (for an added fee of course) and take part in the building of their race engine. The Oshawa, Ontario Canada build plant installs the NHRA roll cage, special rear axle, and other race-ready parts that come with the COPO Camaro.

COPO is really a parts marketing program and it is possible for a customer to build their own COPO style car from components on sale from Chevrolet. In fact, Chevy even offers an instruction manual called “the COPO Build Book.” The lottery this year will likely bring a lot of race drivers to the COPO buyer list. Our own Editor, Patrick Rall, noted when he met some of the lucky owners from last year that they were mostly racers, some who even raced for the Chevrolet team. Hopefully, there will be a sprinkle of collectors and amateur racers on the list as well, though since they are not built for street use, most buyers will surely have some connection to organized race programs.

COPO Camaros are the real deal. The benchmark for any production car in the quarter mile is 12 seconds. That is the time most near-super cars can run. For a video of a COPO Camaro running a high 8 second quarter mile please click here.