This 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1 is one of 69 Camaros fitted with the aluminum 430-horsepower 427ci V8. The engine was built for racing, but only through Chevrolet’s Central Office Production Order (COPO), a channel within Chevrolet normally used for fleet orders. Originally the brainchild of Dick Harrell and Fred Gibb, the ZL-1 was produced during a time where General Motors limited the engine size for most vehicles to 400ci.
The COPO system allowed Chevrolet to subtly bypass the edict so the company could be competitive against Chrysler and Ford’s (though recall as well that GM had a no-racing policy). Initially, fifty orders were placed through IL-based Fred Gibb Chevrolet using the COPO loophole. The ZL-1 should not be confused with the other COPO 427ci available for the Camaro and Chevelle, which was the 425-horse L72 engine available for other models since 1966.