Documented Numbers Matching Camaro COPO 427 4 Speed
After a year of showcasing some very good tribute cars, RK Motors Charlotte is proud to present what might be the Holy Grail of muscle cars: a real, matching-numbers, fully-documented 1969 COPO Camaro. It packs its original L72 427 engine, original code BE rear end, its original sheet metal, and shows just 30,317 original miles. It has been recently restored by RK Motors and authenticated by Camaro expert Jerry MacNeish. If you've been tempted in the past but never quite pulled the trigger, you're going to be blown away by this Fathom Green COPO.
The history on this car is fascinating, and I'd like to start there. It first surfaced in a 1982 issue of "Hot Rod" magazine as a small classified ad in the back. The seller claimed it was a Berger Special, not really knowing that Berger was a big COPO dealer. The fellow who bought the car (for $7500!) was wise enough to pull the original L72 and set it aside when he decided to go drag racing. For several years, a replacement 454 lived under the hood, while a set of small 8-inch slicks were used out back, and the car was simply a fun toy at the local strip. It was never tubbed, cut, or modified, and all the special COPO components remained with the car. Eventually, it ended up in Georgia at a restoration shop that reinstalled the original 427 and put the car back into stock condition. RK Motors acquired the car from them, corrected the remaining details and gave the car a world-class paint job to complement its world-class status as an investment piece. Today it presents as one of the best-driving, lowest-mileage, original COPOs on the planet and drives like a new car.
I suppose I've made it abundantly clear with the past four COPO Camaro tributes we've had in our showroom that I LOVE these cars. What could be cooler than a bunch of dealers finding a way to work the system to force GM to build the fastest, nastiest, most outrageous muscle cars of all time? I can imagine that first order coming through the COPO system and landing on a power-train engineer's desk. He picks it up, a sly smile plays across his face, and he calls out to his compatriots in the engineering department, "OK, boys, lets rock! " A few weeks later, COPO 9561 was ready, featuring a stripped-down Camaro body packing a thundering 427 cubic inch V8, a 4-speed manual, a specially-prepped 12-bolt rear, and precious little else.
It was a weapon, pure and simple; -there's just no other way to describe such a car.
On a car like this, it only makes sense to run down the numbers with all the clones and fakes out there, seeing a real COPO is a rare treat. To ensure that this is an investment-grade automobile, we have photographs of all the relevant numbers and castings, some of which are not visible after the car has been reassembled.
VIN: 124379N6891711 = Chevrolet Division24 = Camaro, 8 cylinder37 = 2-door sport coupe9 = 1969 model yearN = Norwood assembly plant689171 = Sequence number
Cowl Tag:ST 69 = 1969 model year12437 = V8 coupeNOR 351468 = Norwood assembly plant, body sequence number (no correlation to VIN)TR 723 = Interior trim code, dark green57 PNT = Exterior paint code, Fathom Green09D = Build date (fourth week of September, 1969)X44 = Accessory options code, base car
Engine block:Casting number = 3963512 (427 cubic inch COPO 4-bolt mains)Engine code (front pad) = T0906MNT = Tonawanda assembly plant09 = Assembly month (September)06 = Assembly day (September 6)MN = Code for 1969 COPO 9561 with 4-speed transmission
Heads:Casting number = 3964291 (1969 Camaro 427/425)Casting date = F-11-9 (June 11, 1969)
Carburetor:Holley 3959164, 4346 GE (1969 427/425 GE for COPO)
Alternator:Part number 1100837 37A, 9D3 (427/425 alternator, manufactured August 6, 1969(
Transmission:Main case casting number 3925660 (Muncie 4-speed manual)Date code: P9P11B (September 11, 1969)21 (big block)
Rear End:12-bolt Camaro axle, BE (COPO heavy-duty)
With all the original parts still present and accounted for, restoration merely involved rebuilding and reinstalling the original engine, then returning each of the individual components to as-new condition. Every finish was exactly duplicated, from the bare castings on the alternator case to the Chevy Orange on the engine block, the engine bay looks at least as good as it did the day it rolled out of the Norwood assembly plant (and probably better). Every detail is correct, from the shift markings on the firewall, to the stampings on the various parts, to the belts, hoses, and clamps. The block has not been decked, so the original stampings are still clearly visible. The massive Holley under the cowl-induction air cleaner has been fully restored with the correct plating on the body. You'll also note the oversized alternator pulley, massive COPO-specific radiator, and beautifully finished valve covers with correct decals. The only detail that isn't exact is that with a September build date, this car should really have a side-terminal battery instead of a top-post unit (easily rectified with 2 battery cables and a new battery, which RK Motors Charlotte can do for you). The engine runs ferociously, springing to life with a snarl from the correct (non-chambered) dual exhaust system. For a big block, this one sure likes to rev, and you'll want to wind it out through all four gears any time you get the chance, just to hear the song it sings.
This code 57 Fathom Green coupe is about as sinister as they come. As a high-dollar investment-grade car, no expense was spared on the body and paintwork, which is why RK Motors disassembled a recently restored car and did it again. Extra care was used to retain the original panels and then straighten them to as-new condition even the hood is believed to be the original piece, as original Fathom Green paint can be seen in the deepest corners of the scoop. The only patches the first restoration shop had installed were a pair of 2x10-inch repairs to the original rear wheel arches, because they had been hammered to clear the slicks used in the cars previous life. With just over 30,000 original miles, it's obvious that this car was never used as a daily driver, and the condition of every component is further proof that aside from pounding down the track, this car lived an easy life. Two-stage urethane was used to finish the car, and it looks spectacular in the sunlight. There's enough metallic to make it glitter, but the green is so rich that the term "fathom" (a nautical term for measuring depth equal to about 6 feet) is not incorrect in describing how deep it looks.
The COPOs were not known for ornamentation, and wore no outward signs that there was a fire-breathing 427 under the hood. Simple Camaro badges are on the fenders, nose, and deck lid, but otherwise, the car has no badging. This one carries an optional rear spoiler, but I'm fairly certain most COPOs had it since I've never seen one without it. The chrome, what little there is, is excellent, and the stainless on the window surrounds is new. The grille (a perfect piece installed by RK Motors), chin spoiler, and tail panel are all in excellent condition, and the date code correct glass is virtually unmarked.
Underneath, you'll find a highly detailed chassis. The original transmission, expertly rebuilt and restored by Midwest Muncies is in place. We have a detailed 3-page receipt on the build of this transmission. Out back, there's a correct BE-coded 12-bolt with 4.10 gears and Positraction inside. The original floors have been properly finished not over-restored and not hidden under a thick layer of undercoating and are the perfect backdrop for the detailed driveshaft, lines, and hoses. The only non-original parts on the chassis are the rear leaf springs, which are accurate replacement pieces that are indistinguishable from original. This car also sports a standard exhaust system instead of the chambered system that you find on a lot of COPO tributes personally; I like the sound of the standard exhaust better than the chambered system, which tends to get a little raspy at high RPM. The wheels are correct XT-coded steel wheels with NOS Chevy dog dish hubcaps and reproduction Goodyear Polyglas tires.
Inside, you'll find the most spectacular original early Camaro interior you've ever seen. Yes, I said its original, not restored and not a kit. Look at the detailing on the seat pleats, and you'll know these aren't reproduction seat covers. The dark green almost looks black in some light, but it's so much rarer that you'll appreciate it even more. Look a little closer, and you'll see that this car sports a console unusual for COPOs, but correct for this car and confirmed by examining the mounting holes drilled in the transmission tunnel. There are also auxiliary gauges that came as part of the console, and again, correct for this particular car. The rosewood steering wheel is an original piece, restored to new condition and not a reproduction, although we cannot confirm that it this car was originally ordered with a rosewood wheel. However, given that it has a console, it doesn't seem all that improbable that the same owner would have wanted the upgraded wheel. Does it hurt the value of the car? Not a bit. The only piece in the interior that might not be original is the headliner, which is perhaps too taut and fresh to be original. The trunk is completely restored with spatter finish paint, a correct mat, and full-sized spare.
Documentation, as you might imagine, is extensive. We have all the photos from the restoration, which also show the vital casting numbers and stampings that you can't see any more now that the car is assembled. We also have that original Hot Rod magazine in which this car was discovered in 1982, which is a nice bit of history. We have a pile of receipts for all the restoration work, including the three-page receipt from Midwest Muncies for the transmission rebuild mentioned earlier. Then there's the certificate from Jerry MacNeish himself, which authenticates this COPO as the real deal and Jerry himself said of this car that it was one of the cleanest, most authentic and original COPOs he's ever seen, and one of only a handful that still carries its original engine block. To top that off, we have had Jerry MacNeish re-inspect the car on March 14, 2011 and an updated, post-restoration authentication report will be available shortly.
We had a gentleman in the showroom the day of the Milt Robeson auction in Georgia looking at this car. He had spent the last week flying around the country driving COPO Camaros, and was going to the auction with the intent of buying the all-aluminum ZL-1 COPO that was offered. But after driving all the available COPOs, he said this green one was the tightest, best-driving, most well-restored one he had ever seen, and head be back to buy it if he couldn't buy the ZL-1 for under a half-million dollars. Well, you can check the auction sites and see what he paid for the aluminum COPO, which is why this one is still available. But I wager it won't be here long, given that this is a true investment-grade car with a remarkable history and all the documentation required to ensure lasting and future value. If you've been shopping for a COPO, you've found the best. Call now!