Although we expected most of the drag-prepped 2012 Chevrolet COPO Camaros to be more or less identical, Chevrolet threw a bow tie-shaped wrench into that assumption this morning at the 2012 SEMA Show: the last two 2012 COPO Camaros will be convertibles, and one will be auctioned off for charity.
According to Chevrolet, those two cars cap off the 69-car production run of the race-prepped COPO Camaro, although only one – car number 69 – will actually be offered up for sale. Jim Campbell, GM’s vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports, says the drop-top COPOs are the best way to “close out the 2012 [COPO program] with the final – and most unique – car of the production run.”
Unique it certainly is. Not only is it the only COPO Camaro convertible available (car #68 will be retained by GM and won’t be sold to the public), but it’s also the only one to be painted in Inferno Orange Metallic. It’s also one of eight 2012 COPO Camaros to be built with the so-called “Collector’s Package,” which forced the three included engines to be number-matched to the car’s production number.
Speaking of engines, the COPO Camaro Convertible is one of 20 2012 COPO cars built with a supercharged 327 cubic-inch V-8. The forced-induction is provided courtesy of a four-liter Whipple supercharger, and helps boost output to a whopping 550 hp. Other COPO engines included a 327 with a smaller 2.9-liter supercharger (6 cars built), and a naturally aspirated 427 cubic-inch V-8 (43 cars built). The COPO convertible is the only example to be equipped with a Turbo 400 three-speed automatic transmission.
If these sorts of numbers scream “Barrett-Jackson Special,” you’re quite prescient. GM plans on auctioning this car off at Barrett-Jackson’s 2013 Scottsdale auction this January, with all proceeds going to the American Heart Association.
Although this drag-friendly drop-top is the last 2012 COPO Camaros, it isn’t the last COPO Camaro. GM announced it will build another 69 cars for the 2013 model year. In case that extra volume isn’t enough to appease demand, GM’s also making each and every component – including the engines and the modified body-in-white – available a la carte, allowing racers to essentially build a DIY-COPO.
“Not everyone could purchase a COPO Camaro production model in 2012,” notes Campbell, “but we are making it easier to build one from the ground up. From the body in white to the COPO crate engines, we offer the parts and a build book to replicate these quick race cars in your garage.”