1969 Camaro ZL1 Tribute – Sold

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Classic Car Fusion is extremely excited to offer this 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1 replica.  This car is a tribute to the original 1969 ZL1 #9 with the correct Winters Foundry ZL-1 427, fully restored and in absolutely perfect condition.

This "tribute car" started with a rust free Georgia car built at the Norwood plant as an 8 cyl. Sport Coupe and originally coded as an x44 car just as were used for all original COPO builds including the 69 ZL-1s

The car went under a total ground up rotisserie restoration and is finished in a stunning coat of correct Cortez Silver (paint code 69).  The car has the original quarter panels, doors, trunk panels and floor.  A NOS GM ZL-2 ducted and operational hood was added for originality and to fit the massive 427.  All the glass is date coded new while the interior was restored in black using mostly GM parts.

The crown jewel is the engine, where the block is a correct L88 ZL-1 427 aluminum block made from the original ZL-1 mold (casting number 3946053), with period correct Winters open chambered aluminum heads (casting number 3946074) and period correct Winters intake (#198). In 1997 GM used the original ZL-1 block mold (but used today’s technologies and aluminum) to reproduce only 200 of these new blocks. The ZL-1 block in this car is extremely rare and is one of the 200 “updated” blocks poured from the (original) ZL-1 mold found in 1997 in storage at the Winters Foundry.

Equipped with a new GM forged cross-drilled crank, new forged GM dimple connecting rods, 10:1 TRW forged pistons and roller rockers, this engine is much more reliable than the barely street legal original ZL-1 motors.  The tach drive distributor is the correct item, the pulleys are of the deep grooved type and the carburetor is a Holley double pumper.  The correct exhaust manifolds are also installed mated to a 2.5" Flowmaster exhaust system. With such a rare block, the engine was professionally built and balanced while the transmission which is a fully rebuilt 4 speed M-21 unit has a new GM clutch and flywheel.  The rear end is also a completely rebuilt 12 bolt, BL coded, item with 4:10 gears and a new Eaton posi traction diff.  Every suspension part in the front and the rear has been replaced by brand new, correct items, including the entire brake system.  Everything on this Camaro has been rebuilt, redone or replaced.  With only 495 miles since being finished, this car drives absolutely flawlessly.

For a little history on the rarity and value of this care we have to step back to 1969.  In 1969, if a buyer wanted the “ultimate” Chevrolet Camaro, they could contact GM’s “Central Office Production Order” department, known as “COPO”.  A GM corporate edict forbade Chevrolet from installing engines larger than 400 cu in (6.6 l). Requests from dealers (notably Don Yenko) who were dealer-installing 427 cu in (7.0 l) engines in the Camaro caused Chevrolet to use an ordering process usually used on fleet and special orders (taxis, trucks, etc.) to offer 427 engines in the Camaro. Two Central Office Production Orders (COPO), numbers 9560 and 9561, were offered in the 1969 model year.

The COPO 9560 used an all-aluminum 427 cu in (7.0 L) big-block called the ZL-1 and was designed specifically for drag racing. The package was conceived by drag racer Dick Harrell, and ordered through Fred Gibb Chevrolet in La Harpe, IL, with the intention of entering NHRA Super Stock drag racing. Just 69 ZL-1 Camaros were produced, the engine alone cost over US$4,000 — nearly twice that of a base coupe with a V8. Though rated at 430 hp (321 kW) gross, the ZL-1 made 376 SAE Net HP in its "as installed" state. With exhaust changes and some tuning, the horsepower jumped to over 500.

The ZL1 engines were hand assembled in a process that took 16 hours each, in a room that Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov described as "surgically clean". All ZL1 engines were manufactured at the Tonawanda Assembly Plant before being installed in Corvettes, Camaros, or sold over the counter to racers.

Now let’s fast-forward almost 30 years…

In 1997 the Winters Foundry (that produced the 69 original ZL-1 aluminum blocks in 1969) decided to do some spring cleaning and get rid of some old block molds that had been unused for so many years.  One of the chief Chevrolet engineers that worked on the 1969 ZL-1 project got word of this and he then convinced Chevy to make these ZL-1 427 blocks again in "Limited Quantities."

Before they poured the new blocks the same engineer used his knowledge (and now almost 30 years of historical race info) of the blocks and decided to "update" the New ZL-1 blocks to make them stronger, more efficient and run cooler than the original 1969 blocks.

This beautiful car has one of those 200 extremely rare updated aluminum blocks, making it extremely collectible in its own right, especially considering it is a direct replica down to the last option of car #9 of the original 69 1969 ZL1s.  And while the original #9 Cortez Silver ZL1 Camaro sold at Barrett-Jackson on January 21, 2012 for $451,000 you can have this immaculate replica with the same legendary aluminum 427engine for less than a quarter of that price.