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I've just been reading the July 2005 Motor Trend about the new SS cars and in one of the side bars they make passing mention the best non central office production order (COPO) Chevelle SS.

What exactly is a COPO and what kind of things could you get? Does it still exist? Not sure why this piqued my interest quite so much but it did ;) Sounds like there could be an interesting history lesson out there somewhere..
 

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Well, I'm sure many GM heads here could explain it better than I can, but if you had connections with the Central Office, you could order a monster of a car, custom built. Thus the COPO Chevelles and Camaros are very valuable, IF you have the right documentation.
 

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My understanding was the COPO was basically GM's fleet order channel. If a dealer wanted 100 full sized Chevys with non-stock options to meet the demands of a fleet buyer, they could request them through COPO. If GM could accomodate the order (they could actually build the car as requested) they would do so.

Some smart muscle car dealers (Yenko, among others) realized they could order up performance combinations through COPO; if memory servers, Yenko was swapping 427s into Chevelles and found it could actually order Chevelles with the 427 already installed through COPO.

Thus some very hot GM cars were produced in very small number via COPO. Camaros and Novas could be had with a 427 in place of the 396/375; Chevelle's were produced with the 427 when the 396 was the top dog (pre-1970). If I'm not mistaken, most COPO orders needed to be for a bunch of cars to make it worthwhile, so dealers like Yenko would order what they wanted in batches, then add additional performance parts at the dealer level. With the big engine and performance parts, these cars were very, very fast. Plus, they are the rarest of the rare in GM's musclecar stable, with pristine examples trading for six figures today.
 

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Tone said:
My understanding was the COPO was basically GM's fleet order channel. If a dealer wanted 100 full sized Chevys with non-stock options to meet the demands of a fleet buyer, they could request them through COPO. If GM could accomodate the order (they could actually build the car as requested) they would do so.

Some smart muscle car dealers (Yenko, among others) realized they could order up performance combinations through COPO; if memory servers, Yenko was swapping 427s into Chevelles and found it could actually order Chevelles with the 427 already installed through COPO.

Thus some very hot GM cars were produced in very small number via COPO. Camaros and Novas could be had with a 427 in place of the 396/375; Chevelle's were produced with the 427 when the 396 was the top dog (pre-1970). If I'm not mistaken, most COPO orders needed to be for a bunch of cars to make it worthwhile, so dealers like Yenko would order what they wanted in batches, then add additional performance parts at the dealer level. With the big engine and performance parts, these cars were very, very fast. Plus, they are the rarest of the rare in GM's musclecar stable, with pristine examples trading for six figures today.
yep, it was basically GMs way to get around the performance limits.
 

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While doing some research I stumbled upon some COPO and RPO numbers that didn't match. Evidently, in 1970, there were a few Novas with LS-6 454s and M22 4-speeds. So stupid it's cool.
 

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69nova said:
Does COPO still exist? I e-mailed GM one year ago but never received a reply.
In a way, it is still a fleet department that can handle special equipment orders. But not 427 V8's anymore, more like special paint colours, Blk bumbers and such.

It is quite hard to fool them anymore though, in special paint, it requires 5 or more simular units. As dealer we have tried to do special paint colour promos and have been denied with 25-50 orders and have been denied.
 

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Central Office Production Orders were NOT for hi performance ars, even back in 1969 when the big 427 Camaro COPO cars were built. And there never were any COPO Chevelles.
A COPO order was designed to sell fleet vehicles such as taxi cabs and police cars to a customer or dealer at their specs, which might include the police performance option, or taxi option, but could also include special paint colors like taxi yellow.
The COPO Camaros were built and shipped under the COPO order because mid-management didn't tell GM brass about the order from Yenko Chevrolet of 100 aluminum engine 427 Camaros. They knew upper brass would not condone such a special hi performance run, and under the COPO package they didn't need to be told.
The original order of 100 cars was stiopped at 69 cars when GM brass found out about the deal and put a halt to it. The 454 equipped Chevelle factory muscle cars were not COPO cars, but a run that GM brass actually approved and ran under the hi performance option standard run.
Hope this helps.
 

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In a way, it is still a fleet department that can handle special equipment orders. But not 427 V8's anymore, more like special paint colours, Blk bumbers and such.

It is quite hard to fool them anymore though, in special paint, it requires 5 or more simular units. As dealer we have tried to do special paint colour promos and have been denied with 25-50 orders and have been denied.
I was going to mention the paint option. I read an article about a rare car that was the only one painted a certain color. I think it was a Chevy with a Pontiac-only color or maybe it was vice versa.

It would be awesome to be able to just order up LS7 or LS9 Camaros today.
 

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COPO cars were never just a single car ordered. Even in the 60's they were round numbers of cars like 100, 200, etc.
There were special order painted cars back then, and yes there were cars with the oder "omit paint" on the paperwork, which meant it didn't get standard factory colors, but a special order paint color of one of GM's other colors.
And on the COPO theme, there were also COPO Nova II also!
 

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COPO cars were never just a single car ordered. Even in the 60's they were round numbers of cars like 100, 200, etc.
There were special order painted cars back then, and yes there were cars with the oder "omit paint" on the paperwork, which meant it didn't get standard factory colors, but a special order paint color of one of GM's other colors.
And on the COPO theme, there were also COPO Nova II also!
I think you meant Chevy II. The article I read, I think it was in Super Chevy, claimed that the car was for a friend of a big wig at GM and was a "1 of 1" car.
 

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someone revived a like 5 year old thread

I'd be sweet to be able to order stuff exactly to your liking. We'd have LS9 Silverados, XWD Malibus, LS4 Equinox's...
 

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I think you meant Chevy II. The article I read, I think it was in Super Chevy, claimed that the car was for a friend of a big wig at GM and was a "1 of 1" car.
Yes, it was in Super Chevy, but it would n't be a COPO if there was only 1 of 1. If you read on the article states it was one of 50 COPO Novas built.
 

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someone revived a like 5 year old thread

I'd be sweet to be able to order stuff exactly to your liking. We'd have LS9 Silverados, XWD Malibus, LS4 Equinox's...
What the factory wouldn't make back then, the dealers made without factory approval, and warrantied them without the factory knowledge!
My 1971 Camaro is a case in point. The original owner bought it as a SS 396, and the dealer pulled the engine when it arrived and put in the L88 crate 427 engine. They actually allowed him trade in on the 396 engine, and charged him around $850 difference for the 427 installed.
I've got the original receipts and paperwork in the safe deposit box, so I'm going from memory on exact price of the swap.
There were a number of dealers in the US that did such swaps besides Dic* Harrell, Baldwin, and Yenko.
 
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