1970 Copo ???s [Archive] - Team Camaro Tech

: 1970 Copo ???s


zgoat
Oct 28th, 07, 12:48 PM
:beers:My freind has a 70 z28 RS with the 360 HP 350. He has the buildsheet and window sticker that came with the car. He was told the car might be a copo order Camaro. Can you tell by the doc. if it,s truly a copo car and how? And if it is whats the value vs a plain 1970 Z28.

Gary L
Oct 28th, 07, 01:55 PM
Can't help with the value, but COPO has to do with having the Firebird spoiler.
http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=97180&highlight=1970+copo.

rich pern
Oct 28th, 07, 05:28 PM
:beers:My freind has a 70 z28 RS with the 360 HP 350. He has the buildsheet and window sticker that came with the car. He was told the car might be a copo order Camaro. Can you tell by the doc. if it,s truly a copo car and how? And if it is whats the value vs a plain 1970 Z28.


I have a 70 COPO Z, and happen to have the original build sheet as well. And while far from an authority, I have seen at least two other build sheets. Mine has been certified by Jerry MacNeish as the real deal.

There is something unique on the buildhseets that I have seen that shows the COPO order.

First, start with what is the production date on the trim tag? The 9796 COPO was only available for a short time in 70. Secondly, if it was the original spoiler, there is something unique about them as well.

Search this site and nasty z28 and their is plenty to read on this!

Rich

bigblockpace
Oct 29th, 07, 06:12 AM
Phil from Ohio has one!

z10kl
Oct 29th, 07, 07:39 PM
A 69 COPO makes a base car a special high performance car.
A 70 COPO is a spoiler on a regular production option car.
Not exactly the same thing.

JOE58
Oct 30th, 07, 07:02 AM
In my opinion, a 69 427 COPO and a 70 COPO tall spoiler car are not the same as far as the level of performance upgrade but they are the same as far as the principle used.

They are both examples of the way Chevy used the COPO process to support racing in a secretive manner since they were not supposed to be involved with racing.

The COPO tall spoiler was needed to help the 70 Trans Am Camaro teams just as a minimum of 50 cars were required to make the 427 COPO Camaros (iron and alum) legal for the NHRA Super Stock class.

The 70 COPO tall spoiler cars are a part of the interesting history of the Chevy underground racing team.

rich pern
Oct 30th, 07, 08:08 AM
We've been over this many times. The 70 Z COPO is a "Performance" COPO in every definition of the word COPO and accepted as such. The main difference between the 9796 (70 Z COPO) and what most normally think of as a COPO is the reason for its inception. Both COPO's were created for a specific racing reason, it's just that the 9561 (69 COPO) was designed for the drag racing crowd, mostly driven (as in created) by third party dealers who were very focused on the 1/4 mile. The 9796 in contrast, was driven (as in created) by GM for the Trans Am racing circuit. It was specifically designed to salvage the racing reputation of the 1970 Z28! It was a proven performance enhancement, and made for a great success story. That "Spoiler" affected Camaro production for the next 11 years!

However, if you are only a die hard drag racing fan, then yes, it's just a piece of fiberglass. Who cares?

Think of it like this, what is the difference between a Yenko 9561 and a "standard" 9561? Some stickers. That's it. Now, let's talk value. Why is a "standard" 9561 COPO (1969 427 Camaro) worth approximately $100,000.00 less than a "Yenko" 9561 COPO Camaro? Do the stickers make it any faster? No. It's history, reputation and marketing. Some guys like the “Standard” COPO’s more than the Yenko’s, some (most) like the Yenkos and the stripes. Then there are the other dealers, Berger, etc. Money wise the one 70 Z COPO (un restored, driver but # match)) that went up for sale only generated offers of $45,000.00. As far as I know, no other real proven 70 Z COPO’s have been on the market, and only a handful are accepted as real at this point (Phil’s 70 Z COPO being one).

In the end, if you talk to a Berger owner, he will most likely love the Bergers, and have the reasons why, looks like a sleeper etc. Talk to a Yenko owner, and he will also likely have the reasons why Yenko’s are “better”. Talk to a 70 Z COPO owner, and of course, he will have all of the reasons why the 70 is better. It’s all a matter of perspective once certain criteria are met (my own opinion below, other may add or have input):

1. Was it a Central Office Production Order car? Yes, go on. No, Stop.
2. Was it Performance related? Yes, go on. No, Stop.
3. Were there more than X made (1,2,5 ?), but limited? Yes, go on. No, Stop.
4. Others?

Finally, as far as performance goes, (Here we go Marlin) the 70 Yenko Deuce was the exact same engine as the 70 Z COPO (and the 70 Z for that matter). What makes the 70 Deuce a “Supercar”? The COPO for the LT1, limited production, and some stickers.

Same reasons why the 70 Z is a “Performance” COPO, performance, limited production and Racing History……………….. It really is a great read, and if you have not looked up the story behind it, it really is a success story and a good research topic. Of course, that’s just my opinion, for what that’s worth as I own one…… :)

JOE58
Oct 30th, 07, 10:40 AM
I think you made a typo. The Yenko 427 Camaros were 9561 9737 and one
of the things that collectors like about them is that vin lists have been found.
Same as with the ZL1 Camaros, the vin list is a big help to document the cars.

rich pern
Oct 30th, 07, 01:03 PM
Ooops, typing too fast. Fixed now.
Thanks!

Unreal
Oct 30th, 07, 04:28 PM
I'm with Z10Kl on this one.
While certainly a COPO, the spoiler is not in the same league as the 9560 or 9561. I remember the Yenko Reunion where the COPO9796 was displayed with the "Big Boys" while an LS6 convertible, after some begging, was allowed inside the convention center, but was relegated to a far corner.

If a COPO produced phone truck included heavy duty brakes, it would certainly be a performance enhancement......but it would still be a phone truck, albeit a COPO phone truck. I mean no disrespect to the 70 Camaro with the COPO spoiler, or any owners of them. I just don't see them in the same light as a 9560 or 9561.

I find it interesting that a Yenko COPO is worth significantly more than a straight COPO (even a double COPO) But that difference existed long before the Yenko VINs were released. (BTW they were not suddenly "found") I think it has more to do with the Yenko mistique.

rich pern
Oct 30th, 07, 04:34 PM
Cmon, a phone truck? My opinion was based on performace + racing history.

By that reasoning, where do you place the 70 deuce vs the Nova L89 that was just found? The duece was a COPO and the L89 was "just" an RPO, yet the L89 had all the racing goodies and the Deuce had just the standard 350 LT1 (which rocks by the way) as the Z28 and the Vette.

greg2001ls6454
Oct 30th, 07, 09:55 PM
I really think you are splitting the proverbial hairs trying to justify that a '70 Z with the 3 piece spoiler is somehow more than just that...a '70 Z with the taller 3 piece spoiler...Sure the spoiler was added on the line by the COPO ordering process...but to call it a "COPO" simply based on the additon of 1 relatively minor, non driveline part..that is stretching...There are many examples of non driveline items being added or removed...Does the many non factory colored cars deserve to be called "COPO's?" The "Carolina Blue" Z coming to mind...is that now a "COPO" Z and should be marketed as such? Did the taller spoiler actually help the car win more races..

JOE58
Oct 31st, 07, 04:53 AM
Yes it is “splitting hairs” and yes COPO options were used to build special fleet orders for police, fire, military, work trucks, etc.

So far, there does not seem to be a lot of interest in the many COPO options used for fleet and special orders except for the cars with documented racing or hi po street options.

Even cars with hi po service parts such as a Z/28 with cross ram or 67-68 cowl induction seem to have high collector appeal and therefore added value.

This is true not only for COPO options but also for RPO options and service parts that were used to meet the racing rule books.

FIA, SCCA, NASCAR, NHRA, and AHRA all had different rules and Chevy had to do some strange things to make the cars and parts legal to race.

It’s all in the racing Homologation Papers. SCCA General Competition Rules required all Production Car Specifications to be submitted and approved before they were legal to race. The Jim Hall 70 Camaro Trans Am team wanted a taller rear spoiler but it had to be a factory option. The Chevy underground racing operation created the 3-piece tall spoiler (COPO 9796) option and worked with the Hall race team to submit the Homologation Paper work to get approval for 1970 SCCA competition. In 1971 the tall spoiler was a RPO option.

Some of the racing rules were met with RPO options such as the ZL1 Corvette, L88 Corvette, 1963 Z06, 36 gal fuel tanks, etc.

The 1963 RPO Z11 Implala 427 W engine light weight car is a great race car that was built to meet NHRA 50 car minimum rule and was done with RPO options.

Some race cars were built using COPO options.
The base 1966 Corvair used for the Yenko Stinger race car used COPO options.

The 1968 SS396 TH400 L78 Nova is drag car built with a COPO option. In 1969 the SS396 TH400 L78 Nova is a RPO

The 1969 427 425hp Camaro is a COPO option
while the 1969 427 425hp Impala is a RPO

Chevy did some strange things to get race cars and hi po cars out the door and if you have a documented example, it has added collector value determined by the market.

rich pern
Oct 31st, 07, 07:40 AM
I really think you are splitting the proverbial hairs trying to justify that a '70 Z with the 3 piece spoiler is somehow more than just that...a '70 Z with the taller 3 piece spoiler...Sure the spoiler was added on the line by the COPO ordering process...but to call it a "COPO" simply based on the additon of 1 relatively minor, non driveline part..that is stretching...There are many examples of non driveline items being added or removed...Does the many non factory colored cars deserve to be called "COPO's?" The "Carolina Blue" Z coming to mind...is that now a "COPO" Z and should be marketed as such? Did the taller spoiler actually help the car win more races..

Wow.
FWIW, the carolina blue Z was ordered via the non standard paint and has the -- on the trim tag denoting it as such, not the COPO process, so, no, it would not be a "COPO".

OK, so what about the point on the 70 Yenko Deuce, are you saying that the stickers, a non driveline part, made the any faster than the other cars with the LT1 standard that year?

Now, in my opinion the Yenko Deuce is a COPO, and yes, the Nova L78/L89 is not, even though the L78/L89 is a Big Block car and the Deuce is only a 350. My reasoning is that that the COPO was for performance, and via Yenko, had the racing history behind it.

Again, I am not saying that the 70 Z COPO was as "fast" as a 69 427 COPO, just that by all the definitions and logic it is as much a historical and performace COPO as a 69 427 COPO. It was just centered on Trans Am racing and not Drag Racing.

All of the 70 Z COPO's have the same distinguishing COPO designation on the build sheets, and all have the COPO 9796AA code circiled and hand written in pencil "COPO SPOILER" (I have seen three 70 Z COPO buildsheets), then initialed by the lineman.

http://www.69lm1.com\70copo\buildsh.JPG


I *think* this shows that the cars were pulled from the line for special treatment.

Finally, the reason that it is "just" a tall spoiler is that it was so successful that it was later included as standard equipment for the next 11 years! Without this process, the later camaros would have looked vastly different then they turned out.

Did the taller spoiler actually help the car win more races..

Glad you asked, YES! The tall spoiler did allow the 70 Z to win more races! In fact, it allowed the 70 Z to become a contender when in the initial trans am races prior to the COPO spoiler, the 70 Z performed poorly. During one of the races it is said that the camaro pit crew "borrowed" the center section from the pontiac guys and based on that performace, the plan came to being.

From what I have been told, some of the other teams (Ford?) decided that at the next race in Texas, they were going to complain and have the 70 Z disqualified because of the non standard equipment. Thus the 9796 COPO came into being. Chevy had these COPO cars placed at dealers in the area, and from what I have been told, even had some placed in the parking lot. When the complaint was filed, the chevy team said, sure, we made the required 500 cars (although I have heard that there were not 500 actually made) and the judges could see for themselves that they were in dealers and even in the parking lot!

Chevy was given the green light, and yes, won the race that day!

Unreal
Oct 31st, 07, 05:05 PM
Rich, my phone truck comment was meant to make the point that just because the COPO system was used to create the non-RPO vehicle did not necessarily put in the same league as the COPO9560/9561. I would not put the COPO phone truck with larger front brakes in the same league as the 70 Z with the COPO spoiler...although both were performance enhancements. Nor would I put the 70 Z in the same league as the 9560/9561.

As for the Deuce vs L89, I'm not sure I understand the question. One's a COPO, the other is an RPO. Nothing wrong with either one...both are pretty terrific cars. If you're asking which one I think would win in a 1320, my money would be on the RPO. I you are asking which I'd rather have, it'd be the RPO. If you are asking which is more valuable, the RPO would probably loose....but maybe not!

I remember a few years ago, the "Mayor of Fishkill" posted about a recently discovered COPO. He posted a pic of an old police car. I thought it was amusing, but he made a good point.

William made the point the other day that most COPOs were NOT Camaros and Chevelles and Novas; most were taxis and police cars and, yes, phone trucks. While true, the term is most often applied to the 69 iron block Camaro, Chevelle and Nova.

Was the ZL1 a COPO? Yes. Was the Deuce a COPO? Yes. Was the tall spoiler Z a COPO? Yes. Was the phone truck a COPO? Well.....technically, yes.

Jeff H
Oct 31st, 07, 08:38 PM
The COPO term has been blown out of proportion to try and increase the value on some specific cars. That being said, COPO cars are unique and interesting, but most of them are not performance optioned cars. But it's a personal preference of how you look at COPO cars. COPO 427 cars are a no brainer. COPO LT1 Novas are also obvious performance cars. The 68 COPO Camaro is interesting but really didn't offer a big performance boost over a stock L78 car. The 70 COPO spoiler Camaros are cool because of their specific purpose but in terms of performance it's a limited difference since most people aren't taking turns at 130 mph. But the 70 COPO spoiler Camaros seem to draw quite a bit of extra money if documented well so you can't argue with it either way. How about a 69 COPO ZL1 JL8 combination? That would be the most kick azz car! :thumbsup:

Unreal
Nov 1st, 07, 01:36 AM
Speaking of the 68 COPO9737 cars, they were a Yenko deal only, intended for cars to be converted. However, at year end, not all had been sold/converted. There's a case of a guy who bought an L78 from another Pgh. dealer (Kenny Ross, I think) and at some point pulled the motor for a race car or something, and sold the car. Fast forward to a few years ago, and he still had the motor. He somehow was able to find and repurchase the car, and remarried the engine and car.

greg2001ls6454
Nov 1st, 07, 08:57 AM
Speaking of the 68 COPO9737 cars, they were a Yenko deal only, intended for cars to be converted. However, at year end, not all had been sold/converted. There's a case of a guy who bought an L78 from another Pgh. dealer (Kenny Ross, I think) and at some point pulled the motor for a race car or something, and sold the car. Fast forward to a few years ago, and he still had the motor. He somehow was able to find and repurchase the car, and remarried the engine and car.


Tom Billigen ...now sadly deceased...1968 Corvette Bronze car..

JOE58
Nov 1st, 07, 08:58 AM
Tom B, who sadly passed away this past year, was a great guy and was the owner of the Corvette Bronze 1968 SS396 Camaro COPO 9737. Tom also had owned the green one that has recently been restored.
These are the only 2 1968 SS396 Camaro COPO 9737 cars that have been found that were not converted to Yenko 427 Camaros.

The high performance COPO options, such as the 9796 tall spoiler, were after all only options.
I guess the 427 COPO cars set the bar so high that people expect a lot more when they see the COPO acronym but some where just single parts needed to meet a racing rule book and provide a small racing advantage.

Chevy provided many great Performance options using RPOs such as ZL1 L88 Z/28 L78 L89 LS6 LT1 Z11 Z06 etc but sometimes needed to provide some using COPO options.

For reasons of product promotion or just simple racing bragging rights Chevy covertly provided some of these high performance COPO options to help win races.

It is both strange and interesting, that Chevy chose to allow small Chevrolet Dealerships like Yenko Chevrolet and Fred Gibb Chevrolet, to market many of these special order COPO option cars.

Gary L
Nov 1st, 07, 10:32 AM
.........Chevy provided many great Performance options using RPOs such as ZL1 ...........

ZL1 or ZL2? ZL1 was an RPO?:confused:


Who cares if some COPO's ( Hi-Po COPOs that is) were more potent or less potent than the others. The object was to have a better performing car than Ford or Chrysler. The spoiler falls into that category. I would asume it was quicker to add it by going COPO than a regular "run it through the top brass" approach.

JOE58
Nov 1st, 07, 11:15 AM
yes ZL1 was RP0 for 1969 Corvette

Camaro was COPO 9560

as I say Chevy did some strange things :)

Gary L
Nov 1st, 07, 11:56 AM
yes ZL1 was RP0 for 1969 Corvette

Camaro was COPO 9560

as I say Chevy did some strange things :)

Oh for the Corvette. Weren't there only 2 Vettes with the ZL1?

shaugs
Nov 1st, 07, 03:08 PM
Rich, my phone truck comment was meant to make the point that just because the COPO system was used to create the non-RPO vehicle did not necessarily put in the same league as the COPO9560/9561. I would not put the COPO phone truck with larger front brakes in the same league as the 70 Z with the COPO spoiler...although both were performance enhancements. Nor would I put the 70 Z in the same league as the 9560/9561.

As for the Deuce vs L89, I'm not sure I understand the question. One's a COPO, the other is an RPO. Nothing wrong with either one...both are pretty terrific cars. If you're asking which one I think would win in a 1320, my money would be on the RPO. I you are asking which I'd rather have, it'd be the RPO. If you are asking which is more valuable, the RPO would probably loose....but maybe not!

I remember a few years ago, the "Mayor of Fishkill" posted about a recently discovered COPO. He posted a pic of an old police car. I thought it was amusing, but he made a good point.

William made the point the other day that most COPOs were NOT Camaros and Chevelles and Novas; most were taxis and police cars and, yes, phone trucks. While true, the term is most often applied to the 69 iron block Camaro, Chevelle and Nova.

Was the ZL1 a COPO? Yes. Was the Deuce a COPO? Yes. Was the tall spoiler Z a COPO? Yes. Was the phone truck a COPO? Well.....technically, yes.

What is Ironic, is that the tall spoiler was developed by Chevrolet engineering, somehow nixed for production, and given to Pontiac or requested by, ( I know the corner pieces are slightly different) and used on every Tran Am as an RPO or part of a regular BOM. Later Chevy wanted to use them on a limited basis. Not sure why they did not make them an RPO, possibly cost savings.

I have heard from individuals that they really helped, but the 70 camaro was not very sucessful in the TA series compared to prior years. Yes the Penske Team had quite an influence on the first gens TA series success. I would venture to say more than the copo spoiler.

The value difference between two cars both being the same is negligible for me. Simply put I rather have a short spoiler due to it appearance and I have always equated short spoiler with high compression.

Make no mistake the 9796 is a copo, and is unique.

z10kl
Nov 1st, 07, 07:33 PM
If somehow back in the day instead of 427s being copos they changed the rules and it had been RPO Z99 and the same number of cars had been made they would still be worth the same thing today they are now. If the same was said about the 70 copo spoiler it would be kinda like a fold down seat in a 69. A rare option. I dont, mean to sound harsh Rich, you have a nice and special car. But like you said they used it for 11 years afterwards. Well they didn't put no 427s in no Berlinetas. No offence intended but it doesn't compare.

rich pern
Nov 2nd, 07, 07:12 AM
What is Ironic, is that the tall spoiler was developed by Chevrolet engineering, somehow nixed for production, and given to Pontiac or requested by, ( I know the corner pieces are slightly different) and used on every Tran Am as an RPO or part of a regular BOM. Later Chevy wanted to use them on a limited basis. Not sure why they did not make them an RPO, possibly cost savings.

More so than that is that the Pontiac 70 Trans Am was the only pontiac firebird production car to get the high spoiler, even the RAIII Formula 400's were all non spoiler cars!

Shaugs- I had heard that AO Smith, the outfit making the tall spoilers was only geared up for the TA spoilers, and had to quickly come up with the Z28 version, thus the poor enginnering and "fit". It is was originally designed and developed for the Z, why was the production poor? (unless they never got to the actual fit and finish phase before the idea was scrapped?)

rich pern
Nov 2nd, 07, 07:20 AM
If somehow back in the day instead of 427s being copos they changed the rules and it had been RPO Z99 and the same number of cars had been made they would still be worth the same thing today they are now. If the same was said about the 70 copo spoiler it would be kinda like a fold down seat in a 69. A rare option. I dont, mean to sound harsh Rich, you have a nice and special car. But like you said they used it for 11 years afterwards. Well they didn't put no 427s in no Berlinetas. No offence intended but it doesn't compare.


That's cool, we can agree to disagree! :)
That's what makes most people on this site cool.

Like I said in my first post, it really is a matter of first, where you have skin in the game, and secondly, what your passion is.

Drag racers who are only into high HP and 1/4 mile will probably see no value in a piece of fiberglass.

Guys into more general car history, what made it, and "1 of 1" sort of things, TA and SCCA, will see more value in the 70 Z COPO.

I agree that the 70 Z COPO is not in the league with the 427 Iron COPO, either speed wise (as it relates to 1/4 mile) or value wise.

My final point is that the 70 Z COPO is to the 69 427 Iron COPO, what the 69 Iron COPO is the the 69 427 ZL1 COPO. The above statement about performance versus price also holds true for the 427 COPO cars (and yes, I see your point about a motor vs spoiler, see #3 above :) ).

We are probably saying the same thing with some minor differences. :0

Friends,

Rich

z10kl
Nov 2nd, 07, 04:57 PM
Rich, you are a nice guy. I would like to meet you sometime. But on your last point about the 70 copo being to a L72 being like a L72 is to a ZL1. Don't you think there might be a taxi cab or a police car in there somewhere??
JUST KIDDING
Friends Keith

rich pern
Nov 3rd, 07, 07:39 AM
:)

shaugs
Nov 6th, 07, 05:35 AM
That's cool, we can agree to disagree! :)
That's what makes most people on this site cool.

Like I said in my first post, it really is a matter of first, where you have skin in the game, and secondly, what your passion is.

Drag racers who are only into high HP and 1/4 mile will probably see no value in a piece of fiberglass.

Guys into more general car history, what made it, and "1 of 1" sort of things, TA and SCCA, will see more value in the 70 Z COPO.

I agree that the 70 Z COPO is not in the league with the 427 Iron COPO, either speed wise (as it relates to 1/4 mile) or value wise.

My final point is that the 70 Z COPO is to the 69 427 Iron COPO, what the 69 Iron COPO is the the 69 427 ZL1 COPO. The above statement about performance versus price also holds true for the 427 COPO cars (and yes, I see your point about a motor vs spoiler, see #3 above :) ).

We are probably saying the same thing with some minor differences. :0

Friends,

Rich

The 70 camaro had a dismal showing in the TA series with only two notable finishes in the 70 TA series one first and a third. What is more significant that year is how Penske /Donohue team transformed the javelin into a competitive car is one season. In addition for 70 AMC actually built a car around the spoiler. Check out the link http://www.amx-perience.com/MarkDonohueJavelin.htm

frankk
Nov 6th, 07, 07:19 AM
What has to be remembered is that there were many different types of COPO created as has been mentioned. The Hi Performance COPO was obviously very desireable and sought after, but I think every COPO created would be equally unique.

JOE58
Nov 7th, 07, 05:18 AM
There must have been many strange COPO options over the years.

I saw a Chevelle build sheet with "COPO charging system" written on it that consisted of a COPO alternator and wire harness.

A “COPO car” is really just a car with a COPO option.
Some were high performance and some were not.

Here are some COPO options Yenko used to order the 1966 base Corvair for the Stinger project.
The 9981 is a cool one.

COPO 9513 3.89 positraction
COPO 9551 special performance engine
COPO 9981 wheel cover deletion