This is a one-off Camaro that you might regret not bidding on when it goes up for auction in January 2020

Another year, another Chevrolet COPO Camaro. That’s what we can expect at the 2019 SEMA Auto Show when the Bowtie unleashes its latest drag racing masterpiece. A total of 70 units of the 2020 Chevrolet COPO Camaro will be made, but only 69 will be unleashed to the masses. The other one — this one — is headed to the auction block, and if looks could fetch a million dollars, the one-off COPO Camaro John Force Edition will be drenched in a downpour of benjamins once it hits the auction block at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction in January 2020. But before it takes the stage, the one-off Chevrolet COPO Camaro John Force Edition will be in attendance at the 2019 SEMA Auto Show. It’s probably the closest we’ll ever get to seeing it up close and personal before some deep-pocketed fellow brings it home with him next year.

2020 Chevy COPO Camaro John Force Edition

2020 Chevrolet COPO Camaro John Force Edition
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This particular model is called the 2020 Chevrolet COPO Camaro John Force Edition. It’s named after 16-time NHRA drag racing champion John Force.

The man is only considered as one of the best drag racers in the history of the sport. No big deal. Needless to say, if you’re going to create a one-off COPO Camaro that pays tribute to the drag racing G.O.A.T., you’re going to want to make it as special and as unique as possible, befitting its one-off status.

This is what you get with the 2020 Chevrolet COPO Camaro John Force Edition. It’s dressed in a black and silver paint scheme with enough colorful accents to truly make it stand out in a sea of 69 COPO Camaros. The one-off COPO Camaro, for example, comes with a ridiculous hood that features what is arguably one of the biggest bulges you’ll ever see from a hood with an air scoop on it. The massive bump in the middle of the hood is also adorned with the American flag just in case anybody confuses this one-off beast as something that isn’t made in America. The other important exterior detail is the red script depicting John Force’s signature. It’s literally splashed all over the muscle car. It’s on the hood, the rear quarter panel, and even in the interior, but we’ll get to that later. Over at the back is a parachute, which is all the indication that you need to understand that this particular COPO Camaro, despite its one-off status, is still a drag racer at heart.

2020 Chevrolet COPO Camaro John Force Edition
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As an added treat, Chevrolet is actually offering the same two-tone black-and-silver finish on all 69 “production” COPO Camaros, minus, of course, the John Force script. That’s reserved for the one-off model, as it should be.

Inside, you’ll find that all the creature comforts that you normally see in a traditional Camaro are gone. We only get two photos of the one-off COPO Camaro’s interior and one of them is a close-up of the sports racing seats that you’ll get with the car. It doesn’t reveal much except a stitched inscription of John Force’s autograph and the harness seat belts that come standard on all drag racing machines.

2020 Chevrolet COPO Camaro John Force Edition
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The other image of the interior shows a completely different dashboard from what we’re used to.

Gone is the digital display and in its place is a series of toggles, switches, and buttons that are all specific to drag racing.

There are still A/C vents in place, but the gear shift lever is new and specific to the sport, too. You would think that it’s a clean-looking dashboard that emphasizes minimalism, but it’s really designed in a no-frills manner that most drag racers should be. It’s all about performance, after all. All the comforts have no place in a drag racer.

The good news is that the same red John Force script is also found in the dashboard of the one-off COPO Camaro. At the very least, that emphasizes the COPO Camaro John Force Edition’s super exclusive status.

2020 Chevrolet COPO Camaro John Force Edition
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The 2020 Chevrolet COPO Camaro John Force Edition is powered by a 5.7-liter LSX-based V-8 engine that comes with a 2.65-liter Magnusson supercharger.

The setup produces an NHRA-certified 580 horsepower, while the redline sits at 8,000 rpm. In other words, the one-off COPO Camaro John Force Edition is no joke. For reference, the "standard" 2019 COPO Camaro delivers the same 580 horsepower from the supercharged 350ci V-8 or 470 horsepower when equipped with the naturally aspirated 427 ci V-8. In other words, there are no performance upgrades or improvements in horsepower over the standard COPO Camaro.

Throw in the track-ready Racer’s package and the super exclusive drag racer benefits from a carbon fiber air inlet, dual batteries, a weight box, a quick-change coupling for the supercharger, and the aforementioned parachute located in the rear section of the muscle car.

Chevrolet didn’t mention the specifics of the 2020 COPO Camaro’s transmission, but if the new model retains the same equipment as its predecessor, we can at least expect an ATI TH400 three-speed automatic with a ratchet shifter. The turbo-hydramatic 400 is arguably one of the most famous transmissions that you’ll see in a drag racer. Its reputation for its insanely fast shifts and all-around durability is legendary.

2020 Chevrolet COPO Camaro John Force Edition
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Does this mean that the 2020 COPO Camaro John Force Edition is going to destroy the field in a drag race? It’s too early to say at this point, but you can expect this dragster to hit a quarter-mile in the mid-eights at a speed in excess of 160 mph. Either way, you don’t want to be lining up against the 2020 COPO Camaro, let alone the one-off John Force Edition.

So, how much does the 2020 COPO Camaro John Force Edition cost? That’s going to depend on the amount you’re willing to spend on this bad boy.

As I mentioned, it’s headed to the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona in January 2020.

The actual price will depend on how high the bids will go, but past versions have sold at varying prices over the years, including a few years ago when a 2014 COPO Camaro sold for $700,000. Given its one-off status, the 2020 COPO Camaro John Force Edition should fetch somewhere close to that amount, maybe even a little higher. Perhaps it could even sell for eight figures?

2020 Chevrolet COPO Camaro John Force Edition
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Don’t sleep on that actually happening. This is, after all, a one-off model. More importantly, all the proceeds from this specific auction will go directly to the DonorsChoose.org, an organization that helps to fund schools in need. You have no idea how people can justify big splurges by raising the charity card.

Chevy COPO Camaro Historyl

2019 Chevrolet COPO Camaro
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For those who aren’t familiar with the history of the Chevrolet COPO Camaros, that history dates back to the late 1960s era when some of the most desirable and sought-after muscle cars first came into existence.

The COPO Camaro program, in particular, came to life in 1969 after an Illinois-based Chevrolet dealer named Fred Gibb pushed Chevrolet to make the Camaro more competitive in Stock Eliminator drag races.
2012 Chevrolet COPO Camaro High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Chevrolet eventually gave Gibb the green light to spec some production Camaros with an all-aluminum ZL1-branded 426 cubic inch V-8 racing engine. The lower weight — it weighed 100 pounds less than the Camaro’s standard iron-block 396 engine — and the increased output provided by the V-8 racing engine gave birth to what has since become known as the COPO Camaro.

Gibb built a total of 69 units of the first-generation Camaro, and that has been the production number that Chevrolet has stuck with since reintroducing the COPO Camaro program back in 2012.

Now in the eighth year of its rebirth, the COPO Camaro remains a favorite in the world of drag racing. A total of 552 units have been built, each specced to compete in some of the toughest drag racing competitions in the world. This year’s batch of COPO Camaros will be no different, but we’re not here to talk about them. We’re here to talk about the outlier of the group, the one-off creation that will head to Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction in January 2020.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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