It’s difficult to hide excitement over the first-generation Chevrolet Camaros from 1967-1969. After all, it’s arguably the most sought after and beloved Camaros of all time. Make it a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, the last year of that generation and enthusiasts are met with a rush of emotion unmet by any other make or model in GM’s arsenal of muscle cars. Mention, “Central Office Production Order,” COPO or ZL1 name in a crowd of hungry GM aficionados and you could be mobbed for information leading to it.
Quite frankly, these aren’t terms you just throw around at will. That said, perhaps the most collectible of all Camaros is the 1969 Chevrolet ZL1 Camaro. #23 (Lot S135.1) of 69 will be crossing the Mecum Auction block in Chicago, Illinois during the weekend of October 10-12, 2013. Let’s be honest here, folks. This Camaro is a wicked breed of which only 69 units were only produced in total for 1969 with the coveted all-aluminum 427. It is by far the ultimate example of what General Motors was producing during that era.
Carrying the COPO ZL1 name is serious business. So serious in fact the last 1969 Camaro ZL1 that crossed the Mecum block, #62 – a one of one red on red model – a handsome $530,000 was paid. While the Can Am spec 427ci big-block was never meant for street-duty, Fred Gibb Chevrolet had other plans. Gibb’s plan involved stuffing a milder version on the engine including a single 4-barrel carburetor with the RPO designation ZL1. While these particular all-aluminum 427ci big-blocks swung a forged steel crank and rods, it weighed in at roughly the same as a traditional, iron 350ci small-block. What’s more, the 427ci delivered 430 horsepower on paper. However, claims of that number are actually in the 500+ horsepower range.
1969 Chevrolet Camaro Specs
#23 of 69 ZL1 Camaros produced
Documented with the Protect-O-Plate and shipper
Notarized affidavit from original owner attesting to the first 30 years of ownership
Scored 995 of 1000 at the Classic Chevrolet Club meet
Restored by Barry Burstein to original factory specifications
All-aluminum 427/430 HP ZL1 engine
M21 close ratio 4-speed manual with Hurst shifter
Power front disc brakes
Dusk Blue with Black bucket seat interior
Color keyed wheels with dog dish hubcaps
Goodyear Polyglas tires
Certified by the COPO connection
Though restored by Barry Burstein of St. Louis, Missouri, the noted COPO authority was able to restore #23 back to original specifications and has even been certified by the COPO Connection. Better than when it left the factory, this ZL1 even retains the painted steel wheels, dog dish caps and Goodyear Wide Tread F70-14 Polyglas tires.
This largely original, well documented 9560AA 1969 Camaro ZL1 in Dusk Blue outfitted with the M21 4-speed, Hurst shifter and power front disc brakes is being offered at the Mecum Auction. Additionally, this GM exotic comes complete with the shipping report from Fred Gibb Chevrolet, Protect-O-Plate and a notarized affidavit from the original owner, which attests to the first 30 years of ownership history and mileage.
Judging from the last ZL1 we witnessed cross the block, we feel confident that #23 could possibly break one half of a million dollars. We’ll make sure we follow up on this Camaro post-auction with all of the sale details. What’s your guess on what this Camaro could fetch?