Playing the system has its benefits, and this can be seen in this week’s Car of the Week: the Yenko Camaro.
GM’s Central Office Production Order (COPO) has one purpose, just one purpose. To give dealerships the chance to order cars for fleet buyers with custom options. This, however, is what happens when you decide you can do some more interesting things with it.
Don Yenko opened a Chevrolet dealership and high-performance shop in the late ’50s. It was in this dealership in which he made high performance versions of the Nova, Chevy II and amongst others, our topic for today: the Camaro.
For the first two years Yenko ordered Camaros and when they arrived at the dealership they swapped in the 7.0L engine normally fitted to Corvettes of the time. In 1969, he decided to take advantage of COPO and ordered 100 Camaros with the Corvette engine in, disc brakes and an appearance package.
All of this was made without the executives at GM noticing. Eventually, of course, they did find out, and sadly, they imposed tighter restrictions.
COPO is still alive, but is now merely a shadow of itself, dealerships are now very restricted at the things they can order and how many can be ordered. From what we can gather, they’re now limited to options fleets will want, such as a police package or painting the vehicles in Taxi Yellow. At least we can be thankful that back in its glory days, it produced things such as the Yenko Camaro, our Car of the Week.
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