Super Stock NHRA racing is likely one of the most badass motorsports on the planet, or at least it was back in the 1960s. It was once about as close to stock vehicles as you could possibly get, yet they still screamed down the track.
One of the dominant and most memorable cars of the 1960s was Dave Stickler’s Camaro Z/28 dubbed “Old Reliable.” After it claimed the Stock Car World Championship in the 1968 season, “Old Reliable” was retired and sold.
In 1993, a buyer used VIN data saved by the Sticklers to track down this beast, after it had been repainted and raced in various events across the nation. Few actually knew what the Camaro once was, but this buyer knew what it was and wanted it, badly. According to some sources, when this buyer went to buy “Old Reliable,” it was actually scheduled to be chopped up for scrap metal.
One question that comes to mind is how good of condition can a car that was about to be scraped be in? From what we can see, this thing is in excellent shape and is certainly set to pick up a premium price, now that it has been listed for sale on Ebay by RK Motors Charlotte.
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The 2012 Chevrolet COPO Camaro is no longer a concept. Chevrolet has announced that they will be building 69 COPO Camaros this year; the exact number of “ZL-1” COPO Camaros made in 1969. COPO, or Central Office Production Order, was Chevy’s high performance special-order system used in the 1960s by dealers to build high performance models. The new COPO Camaro will be a not-street-legal drag car with the sole purpose of competing in NHRA’s Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes. This will put the new COPO Camaro in direct competition with the Ford Mustang Cobra Jet and the Dodge Challenger Drag Pak; this should be interesting.
For too long, Chevy has sat on the sidelines watching as Dodge and Ford, especially Ford, dominated in Stock Eliminator and Super Stock. The Cobra Jet and the Drag Pak have been proven winners in these NHRA classes for years. Bowtie fans have long wondered if Chevy would ever have an answer to the bad-ass factory-built race cars of its Detroit neighbors. That answer is finally coming. The Cobra Jet and the Drag Pak are no pushovers, though, so the new COPO Camaro will definitely have its work cut out.
The COPO Camaro’s biggest threat, the Ford Mustang Cobra Jet started at $91,900 in 2012 and boasts a supercharged 5.4L V8 under the hood, while the $39,999 2010 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak sports a 6.1L Hemi. For 2011, though, the Mopar Challenger Drag Pak upgraded drastically to a naturally aspirated 512ci V10 and upped the pricetag to $85,512. The 2012 COPO Camaro, starting at $89,000, has three engine options to choose from: a naturally aspirated 427ci V8, a 327ci V8 with a 2.9L supercharger, and a 327ci V8 with a 4.0L supercharger. All of the Big Three’s race cars are stripped-out versions of their former selves and are built to run in the NHRA. They are all sold race-ready and come complete with everything from roll cages to fuel cells in the trunk.
The 2012 COPO Camaro should be delivered to anxious customers sometime in the Summer of 2012, and, by the middle of the NHRA racing season, 69 lucky people should be taking on the Cobra Jet and the Drag Pak head to head. The new COPO Camaro will be the quickest Camaro Chevy has ever produced. This race car will re-ignite the legendary racing rivalry between Chevy, Ford, and Dodge that gearheads have followed for decades. Drivers, start your engines!
Hit the jump for a full list of COPO Camaro features.