Last 2012 COPO Camaro seen at SEMA Show, to be auctioned in January

Article by Anita Panait, on October 31, 2012

The last 2012 COPO Camaro by Chevrolet has made its debut at the ongoing SEMA Show in Las Vegas. It is powered by the COPO 327 engine fitted with a 4.0L Whipple supercharger that allows the unit to return an NHRA-certified output of 550 hp. The 2012 COPO Camaros were also available with a supercharged 327 engine that featured a smaller 2.9-liter supercharger and a naturally aspirated 427 engine.

All engines were produced at GM’s Performance Build Center, in Wixom, Mich., where the LS7 and LS9 production engines for the Corvette Z06 and Corvette ZR1, respectively, are assembled, along with some Chevrolet Performance crate engines. All COPO Camaro were produced by hand, starting with hardware from the Oshawa assembly plant that builds regular-production Camaros, as well as the same “body in white” body shells that racers could purchase from Chevrolet Performance to assemble their own dedicated race car.

Each COPO Camaro was fitted with an NHRA-approved roll cage and other safety equipment as well as racing chassis and suspension components, including a distinct solid rear axle system. The cars rolled off the production line donning lightweight Bogart racing wheels and Hoosier racing tires.

Chevrolet only built 69 production models for 2012, but several basic components used to build the cars – including hand-assembled racing engines – could be availed from Chevrolet Performance and the licensed aftermarket manufacturers who supplied them. The last 2012 COPO Camaro, an Inferno Orange Metallic convertible race car, will be sold at the 2013 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction, in January 2013, to benefit the American Heart Association.

The 69-car production for the 2012 COPO Camaro rivals the number of "ZL-1" COPO Camaros made in 1969. Central Office Production Order (COPO) was the special-order system dealers used to create efficient models in the 1960s.

Latest COPO Camaros will be developed through factory “body-in-white” body constructions manufactured at the plant in Oshawa, Ontario. The said plant produces regular-production Camaros. These products are similar body-in-white body frames accessible to all racers under Chevrolet Performance part number 19243374.

At their desired Chevrolet seller, buyers will complete the deal for their COPO Camaro with distribution at the General Motors Performance Build Center in Wixom, Mich. Distribution commences in early summer 2012.

Selection process

The model’s concept was launched at the 2011 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas. In this event, about 2000 racers and enthusiasts initiated the resolution to limit production of COPO.

To guarantee unbiased access to the limited edition, a self-regulating third party was assigned to determine the persons who can avail of the latest model. The individuals selected will receive a verification letter containing guidelines on completing the contract of sale, selecting the engine for the race class they want, and taking delivery.

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