The first owner of this Norwood, Ohio built Camaro was Mr. Willard Clements in Toronto, Ontario. GM of the US did not keep records of the COPO (Central Office Production Order) cars so finding and proving a Camaro to be an original is very difficult, and near impossible. GM of Canada, however, kept very good records and documentation. Meaning, this car is known to be a Chevy built COPO 9561 Camaro with the 427 cubic-inch, 425 horsepower big-block V8 engine.
The COPO program was intended for fleet orders, such as for police cars, low-powered strippers for meter readers, and fleets of taxi-cabs. They were non-standard cars with Regular Production Order parts. A few dealers used the COPO order system rather differently than for mere fleet cars - they saw an opportunity to offer high-performance machines to their customers.
The most common was the COPO 9561 which had the 427 cubic-inch, Mark IV, big-block, V8 engine. The biggest RPO engine was the L89 396/375 HP aluminum head big block. It is estimated that only 822 examples were built with 40speeds plus another 193 with automatics.
The COPO 9561 also included the ZL2 cowl induction hood, L78 cowl induction air cleaner, heavy duty springs, 12-bolt Positraction rear axle with 4.1:1 gears, heavy duty radiator, and no external markings.
This car has the M21 close ratio four-speed gearbox, power disc brakes, radio, heater, and plain steel wheels with dog dish hubcaps. It is painted in Olympic Gold with Dark Green vinyl interior.
Clements, the original owner of this car, immediately bored out the engine by .030 to maximize the displacement. He used it as a drag racer and ran in the high 11s at Indianapolis. When he sold it in 1978, the car had traveled a mere 16,000 miles. The second owner was Barry Allen who removed the original engine and replaced it with a 427 crate motor. In 1982 he restored it and later sold it, with the crate engine installed and the original engine still boxed, to the third owner, Tony Begley of Northern Illinois Classic Auto Brokers in 1999. They quickly resold it to Steve Stange.
The current owner purchased the car in July of 2000 and performed mild restoration, detailing, and mechanical work.
In 2007 this Two-door hardtop was brought to Bonhams auction where it sold for $175,000 plus premium and taxes. There was another 427 Camaro of the same year, but it was not confirmed to be an original and it sold for around half the price of this car. Both were in great condition, the only differences being this one could be verified as an original COPO.
In 2010, this car was offered for sale at Gooding & Company's Scottsdale Auction in Arizona. It was estimated to sell for $125,000 - $200,000. The lot was sold for the sum of $159,500, inclusive of buyer's premium.Also photographed at :