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Has anyone ever heard of a 1969 Chevy Camaro ZL-1? I'd like to collect some information on it. Specifically, what power options does it have, being a 1969 vehicle?

Also, any general information on it(performance, cosmetic, or otherwise) is widely appreciated.
 

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Never heard of teh ZL1?

ZL1 was a super rare option. In 1967, when the Camaro came out, a lot of dealers were taking out the 396 big blocks and putting in 427 big blocks in them. Dealers like Nickey Chevrolet in Chicago, Yenko Chevy in PA, Baldwin Motion in Long Island, and Berger Chevy in I belive somewhere in Mich, all were doing these mods. They were show room drag racers, but since they were not from the factory, they could not race in certain showroom stock racing series. So GM went around the back door way of creating them, and you orderd through Central Office Production Order, (COPO) same way you would order a police car. Well, in 1969, the ZL1 code got you an all aluminum 427 solid lifter big block chevy that was advertised to make around 450hp, but it was more like 550hp or more. It also got you heavy duty cooling, suspension, but you got it in a stripped down, regular sport coupe package with base model wheels. The racing rules said that at least 49 units had to be built, so **** Harrell orderd 50 ZL1 models.
Problem is...the ZL1 package was a $4000 option to a $3100 dollar car!!! That was a few thousand dollars over a well optioned Corvette, so outside of 4-5 ZL1's, the rest just sat there on his lot and he ended up giving them away years after for cheap due to the fact that the gas prices and insurance rates started to climb in the early 70's. Most of them turned into mega drag racers with the 427's ripped out for larger 454's andbigger V8's.
Very few exist now a days, a real ZL1 could fetch in auction in the 250-500 thousand dollar range. I want to say that a ZL1 went for a million a year or so ago.
 

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The 1969 ZL-1 Camaro was also homologated by Chevrolet to be legal for FIA roadracing with the all aluminum 427 engine. Don Yenko and Bob Grossmann drove one at the 24 HRS. of Daytona in 1970. The car was in the IMSA GT-O class same as the 427 Vettes. They were very competive in IMSA and FIA road racing throughout the 70's. Scoring overall wins and often beating the Corvettes, Cobras, Porsches, Monzas etc. A big block Camaro was much easier to prepare and much safer than the equivalent Corvette. Interestingly, Chevrolet only homologated the 1969 body style with the FIA and never the GEN 2 Camaro. It's hard to describe what a beast these cars were on the track. A race prepared ZL-1 was about 800 HP... more than today's LMP-1 cars. In those days there were no restrictors of any kind on these cars. 200 MPH plus at Daytona on the long road course banking. Every Camaro guy knows about the Drag car ZL-1's... not too many remember how competitive they were in SCCA and IMSA. So I had to give this shout out.
 

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That was a few thousand dollars over a well optioned Corvette, so outside of 4-5 ZL1's, the rest just sat there on his lot and he ended up giving them away years after for cheap due to the fact that the gas prices and insurance rates started to climb in the early 70's. Most of them turned into mega drag racers with the 427's ripped out for larger 454's andbigger V8's.
There's no way that a dealer would let 40+ $7,000 vehicles sit on his lot for years. Here's what I dug up at Popular Hot Rodding.

"Instead of absorbing the costs for the research and engineering that went into a COPO order, Chevrolet was now passing those costs on to the dealer. That meant instead of the $400 option cost for the ZL1 that Gibb had been expecting, he was hit with a whopping $4,160 addition to the Camaro's base price, resulting in a sticker of over $7,200. Few dealers could finance that kind of floor plan or sell 50 Camaros that cost more than a $4,700 Corvette (two ZL1-equipped Corvettes were built, with a sticker price of more than $9,400).


Gibb felt Chevrolet had ambushed him on the price of the ZL1, and he was able to negotiate a deal to send 37 of the COPO 9560 Camaros back to Chevrolet in late May 1969. It was the first time Chevrolet had even allowed a volume dealer return, however they had no choice since there was no way Gibb could afford to finance the cars or sell them at that extreme price. Chevrolet was able to reinvoice and redistribute the 37 cars into the dealer network, and other dealers ordered 19 additional COPO 9560 Camaros. In total, 69 ZL1 Camaros were built in 1969."

http://www.popularhotrodding.com/tech/0801phr_zl1_aluminum_big_block/index1.html
 

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The 1969 ZL-1 Camaro was also homologated by Chevrolet to be legal for FIA roadracing with the all aluminum 427 engine. Don Yenko and Bob Grossmann drove one at the 24 HRS. of Daytona in 1970. The car was in the IMSA GT-O class same as the 427 Vettes. They were very competive in IMSA and FIA road racing throughout the 70's. Scoring overall wins and often beating the Corvettes, Cobras, Porsches, Monzas etc. A big block Camaro was much easier to prepare and much safer than the equivalent Corvette. Interestingly, Chevrolet only homologated the 1969 body style with the FIA and never the GEN 2 Camaro. It's hard to describe what a beast these cars were on the track. A race prepared ZL-1 was about 800 HP... more than today's LMP-1 cars. In those days there were no restrictors of any kind on these cars. 200 MPH plus at Daytona on the long road course banking. Every Camaro guy knows about the Drag car ZL-1's... not too many remember how competitive they were in SCCA and IMSA. So I had to give this shout out.

Very interesting..i didnt know that ZL1's made into any form of track racing.

There's no way that a dealer would let 40+ $7,000 vehicles sit on his lot for years. Here's what I dug up at Popular Hot Rodding.

"Instead of absorbing the costs for the research and engineering that went into a COPO order, Chevrolet was now passing those costs on to the dealer. That meant instead of the $400 option cost for the ZL1 that Gibb had been expecting, he was hit with a whopping $4,160 addition to the Camaro's base price, resulting in a sticker of over $7,200. Few dealers could finance that kind of floor plan or sell 50 Camaros that cost more than a $4,700 Corvette (two ZL1-equipped Corvettes were built, with a sticker price of more than $9,400).


Gibb felt Chevrolet had ambushed him on the price of the ZL1, and he was able to negotiate a deal to send 37 of the COPO 9560 Camaros back to Chevrolet in late May 1969. It was the first time Chevrolet had even allowed a volume dealer return, however they had no choice since there was no way Gibb could afford to finance the cars or sell them at that extreme price. Chevrolet was able to reinvoice and redistribute the 37 cars into the dealer network, and other dealers ordered 19 additional COPO 9560 Camaros. In total, 69 ZL1 Camaros were built in 1969."

http://www.popularhotrodding.com/tech/0801phr_zl1_aluminum_big_block/index1.html

Ah yes, it was Gibb, not Harrell, and I thought he ended up either pushing them out the door at a loss to the dealer to get rid of them.
 
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