2013 Chevrolet Camaro COPO - $129,900
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Featuring the best factory knowledge teamed with proven aftermarket hardware, the COPO program delivers ready-to-race Camaros without the hassle of doing it yourself.

9-second. Factory-built. Racecar. COPO.

Did you ever think that in this day and age General Motors would not only sponsor drag racing, but actually build a car that is competitive right off the trailer? That was the crazy idea behind this 2013 COPO Camaro, which was clearly built to answer the challenge thrown down by the Mustang Cobra Jet. Borrowing on the legendary COPO acronym from the ‘60s, which describes factory-built 427 Camaros that were built on the sly by guys who knew how to game the ordering system, today’s COPO is right out in the open and built for combat. Featuring the best factory knowledge teamed with proven aftermarket hardware, the COPO program delivers ready-to-race Camaros without the hassle of doing it yourself. Only 69 are built each year (the same as 1969) and between collectors and racers, they are all spoken for long in advance. If you want to go fast right out of the box or are a collector with a vacancy in his Camaro collection, this is the car to own.

Modern COPOs are not street legal, do not have odometers or titles, and their VINs are little more than ceremonial, strongly suggesting that GM does NOT want you taking them on the street. This is a race car, no two ways about it, and it is built to run with the nastiest hardware on the planet. This particular 2013 COPO is number 53 out of 69 built that year, powered by an LS7-based 427 cubic inch V8 and equipped with race-ready parts that will put you on the track immediately. It has just delivery miles (there is no odometer, so there’s really no way to know) and has never been driven in anger down the track…or anywhere else for that matter. It is as-new in every sense of the word.

Personally, I prefer the styling of this 2013 model to the latest Camaros, which look a little too squashed and squinty to my eye. The Silver Ice Metallic paint is one of four colors available on the COPO and looks appropriately sinister on the Camaro’s distinctive sheetmetal. There is no mistaking this for anything else, although the race-grade hardware lends it an entirely new and purposeful look. GM starts with a body-in-white, meaning just a bare shell, and diverts the COPOs to a special assembly line where they are hand-built to standards that far exceed production line stuff. They skip the sound-deadener, the extra wiring for all the accessories, and add a full roll cage that’s NHRA legal—all things that are problematic to achieve if you’re doing it yourself. Paint and bodywork are production-grade, so it looks like a finished car, and with the towering cowl-induction hood and fat slicks out back, its intentions are clear. COPO stickers on the hood advertise the 427 living inside, but that’s the only ornamentation on the car—even most of the badges are shaved in the interest of saving weight. You’ll note details like the base-model headlights instead of the usual HIDs, decorative but non-functional fog lights, and a kill switch built into the rear bumper. The rear valence has outlets for exhaust pipes, but since there are none, they remain vacant. This is a race car and they don’t want any case of mistaken identity here. That’s just too cool.

You can see the Camaro DNA inside, but it’s more race car than street car today. Clamber over the full 6-point cage and settle into one of the deeply bolstered racing bucket seats and you’ll find it’s surprisingly comfortable—far more so than the usual race cars with metal bucket seats. Some of the surroundings are familiar: the steering wheel is standard Camaro, as are the gauges (although you’ll note there is no odometer). Others are pure race-grade, including the big Auto Meter monster tach with shift light and the row of auxiliary gauges taking up residence where the Camaro’s A/C vents used to life. Heck, there’s not even an ignition key, just a set of switches in the radio’s slot that manage the electric fuel pump, ignition system, cooling fan, and electric water pump. There’s also a big Hurst Quarter Stick shifter right on the transmission tunnel, complete with line lock release. Familiar, but decidedly hardcore. Obviously there’s no back seat, but it is neatly finished and details like a full headliner, door panels, and carpets at least lend the illusion of it being civilized. It is not, don’t worry. You also get power windows and mirrors, one because there’s no Camaro available that uses manual crank windows so they weren’t going to design a set just for 69 cars, and two, because power mirrors are extremely useful at the track. It’s all good. Pull the hidden trunk release in the original fuel filler door and you’ll find a 10-gallon fuel cell dropped into the spare tire well, a heavy-duty battery, and aircraft-grade plumbing. There’s also a handy voltage gauge to help you keep an eye on the battery between runs and a custom sticker that authenticates this as a genuine Chevy-built COPO.

OK, on to the hardware, which is really what the COPO is all about. The flyweight body shell would be nothing without some thunder to fling it down the track, and the COPO delivers with 427 cubic inches in the form of a LSX block similar to that used in the Corvette Z06, complete with 6-bolt mains. To set it up for the rigors of drag racing, it’s been topped by a Holley Pro-Jection EFI system on an intake that simulates a vintage tunnel ram. The GM ignition system is plenty robust, so the coil packs are OEM. Inside, there are 13:1 compression slugs, a Callies 4340 billet “Dragonslayer” crank, Callies forged steel rods, and a set of Mahle forged aluminum pistons—you are NOT going to break this one. A very stout hydraulic roller cam manages the valvetrain, which is, of course, high-grade and ready for action, including roller rockers, titanium valves, and “beehive” valve springs. Aluminum LS7 heads have been CNC ported to maximize flow from the massive intake and there’s a 7-quart fabricated aluminum oil pan to keep it all lubricated properly. Feeding the beast is a competition-grade fuel system with an Aeromotive “Eliminator” fuel pump, custom pressure regulator, and high-flow injectors. The cooling system consists of a massive radiator, a Meziere billet electric water pump, and an equally giant electric fan so it’s cool in the staging lanes. Stainless American Racing headers with 2-inch primaries handle the exhaust—that’s right, there’s no exhaust system, just open headers. This thing sounds SPECTACULAR.

The rest of the driveline is also built for the rigors of going fast, starting with a familiar GM PowerGlide 2-speed automatic that’s been prepped and built just for the COPO by ATI Performance Products. There’s a deeper pan, a custom torque converter, and a manual valve body so you do need to pay attention when you’re running the COPO. A custom 4-inch aluminum driveshaft spins a Strange Engineering Ford 9-inch (yep, a Ford rear in a Chevy racer) that has been heavily reinforced and filled with 4.29 gears on a spool. The front suspension is a featherweight setup with custom control arms and a manual steering rack, plus a set of featherweight Wilwood disc brakes. In back, there’s the usual 4-link setup with a Panhard rod and a set of adjustable coil-over shocks. There are paint daubs on every fastener so you know the guy putting it together hit his torque reading and you can see at a glance if anything needs to be serviced. There’s another set of disc brakes out back and it sits on expensive Bogart aluminum wheels, measuring 15x3.5 up front and 15x10 in back. Tires are from Hoosier and are sized to fit: 4.5x28x15 front and 9x30x15 rear.

Documentation is extensive, of course. We have every piece of paper that came with this car, including all the manuals for the various components, the fuel injection programming system CD, the build manifest, NHRA certification paperwork, fabrication check sheets, and more. And as I said, there is no title, this is a bill of sale-only car that can’t be used on the street and GM doesn’t want to risk someone going out and doing something foolish. You’ve been warned!

If you don’t think the COPO is flat-out amazing, maybe you’re not a car guy. The fact that General Motors is building a turn-key race car that is competitive right out of the trailer is absolutely astonishing. It uses the best of the best components and is built in limited quantities to ensure both competitive racing and exclusivity. Like I said, either you’re ready to hit the track or you’ve got a COPO-shaped hole in your collection—either way, this car is ready. Call today!

Vehicle: 2013 Chevrolet Camaro COPO
Price: $129,900
Stock Number: 115032
Mileage: N/A
VIN: 2013COPO-053
Engine: 427 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 2-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 4.29
Wheelbase: 112 inches
Wheels: Front: 15x3.5, Rear: 15x10 Bogart Racing
Tires: Front: 4.5x28x15, Rear: 9x30x15 Hoosier
Exterior Color: Silver Ice Metallic
Interior Color: Black
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