Join Date: Feb 2007
GMPP Catalog Features 2011 COPO-esque Camaros
"These great Camaros exemplify the spirit of dealer-built supercars that grew out of the muscle car era," Dr. Jamie Meyer, product integration manager for GM Performance Parts, said in a prepared statement. "They are the COPO Camaros of the 21st century."
Two examples managed to make their way onto the cover of this year's GM Performance Parts catalog. Unlike COPO cars of days old, neither was actually fitted with go-fast goodies within the factory, but each was given plenty of attention in order to create what each dealer views as the ultimate Camaro.
Take the Camaro HTR-SS454, for instance. Built by New York's DeNooyer Chevrolet and Redline Motorsports, the car is stripped of the stock 6.2-liter V-8 and replaced with GM's LSX454 V-8 crate engine. With a few modifications -- including swapping carburetors for port fuel injection, and installing LS7 cylinder heads -- the engine is capable of throwing down 620 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. It's mated with an upgraded six-speed manual transmission with a custom flywheel and a Corvette ZR1 clutch, along with a larger rear axle and stiffer rear suspension bushings. Too much power for your tastes? DeNooyer also offers the HTR-600, a 600-horsepower beast powered by the Corvette Z06's 7.0-liter LS7 V-8.
Those seeing true Corvette influence, however, may appreciate the other Camaro featured on the cover. The Storm, crafted by NeSmith Chevrolet in Georgia, scraps the stock 6.2-liter V-8 and replaces it with the supercharged 6.2-liter LS9 V-8 used in the exotic Corvette ZR1. NeSmith chose the engine as it's small-block roots helped facilitate installation -- in fact, most custom fabrication is relgated to addressing the dry-sump oiling system and the arrangement of the accessory drive.
In Storm tune, the LS9 is capable of cranking out nearly 700 horsepower, 62 ponies more than in stock ZR1 form. To handle this power, NeSmith also beefs up the axles and transmission, and installed larger six-piston Baer brake calipers in front and back.
We like the idea of dealers crafting their own high-performance Camaro variants, but if none manages to catch your fancy, don't fear: we wouldn't be surprised if other dealers follow in their footsteps, but owners can always build their own dream machine by cracking open the Performance Parts catalog.
General Motors' COPO system -- a backdoor means for building some wicked performance machines in the 1960s -- may be no more, but that isn't stopping today's Chevrolet dealers from building bespoke performance Camaros of their own.
OFFICIAL GM PRESS RELEASE:
GRAND BLANC, Mich. – Dealership-created performance packages were an important part of Chevrolet’s muscle car heritage. Names like Yenko, Nickey, Berger and others helped drive high-performance options, while enhancing the mystique of one-off collectables decades later. In fact, it was creative ordering on the part of dealers that created the legendary COPO Camaros of the late 1960s – cars available from those enterprising dealers, but not offered in any official catalog or order guide.
More than 40 years later, a couple of dealers – DeNooyer Chevrolet in New York and Georgia’s NeSmith Chevrolet – have rekindled the concept of using Chevrolet’s own parts to create specialty Camaros that simply aren’t offered in regular production. DeNooyer used GM Performance Parts’ (GMPP) LSX454 crate engine (part number 19244611) to build a modern 454 engine for the Camaro SS, while NeSmith transplanted the supercharged LS9 engine from the Corvette ZR1 into their Camaro.
“These great Camaros exemplify the spirit of dealer-built super cars that grew out of the muscle car era,” says Dr. Jamie Meyer, product integration manager for GM Performance Parts. “They are the COPO Camaros of the 21st century.”
Both cars are featured on the cover the 2011 GM Performance Parts catalog.
The DeNooyer 454 Camaro, dubbed the HTR-SS454 (named for partner Redline Motorsports' owner Howard Tanner), takes the GMPP LSX454 crate engine and adds a port fuel injection system to its LS7-style LSX six-bolt cylinder heads. The engine has an all-forged rotating assembly and an 11.0:1 compression ratio. A front end accessory drive system was added, too, along with a custom flywheel and ZR1 clutch matched to the six-speed manual transmission.
With the custom engine installed and properly tuned, chassis-dyno testing of the Camaro delivered a strong 520 horsepower and 530 lb.-ft. of torque at the rear wheels – or right about the 620-hp/590-lb.-ft. estimates from GMPP for the basic crate engine. The car’s driveline was beefed up to handle the 200-horsepower increase over stock, too, with stronger axles and stiffer bushings throughout.
Much like what was done with the legendary Baldwin-Motion cars, of the Sixties, DeNooyer joined forces with an expert performance shop, Redline Motorsports, to help engineer and build the HTR-SS454. Redline a leader in LS-based high-performance engines and vehicles and it also collaborates with DeNooyer Chevrolet on the HTR-600 Camaro, which uses the 505-hp LS7 engine from the Corvette Z06 – also available as a crate engine from GMPP (part number 19211710). More information is available from Dan Carlton, general manager of the DeNooyer Performance Division: 518-526-0412 or email@example.com
While the DeNooyer 454-powered Camaro evokes memories of yesteryear, NeSmith’s LS9-powered “Storm” Camaro is pure modern performance, with the world-beating power of the Corvette ZR1 under the hood. It was created within the dealership’s in-house customization facility, NeSmith Customs, with assistance from nearby Jen Jac’s Restorations. NeSmith also happens to be the largest GMPP dealer in the country.
The LS9 is offered as a crate engine from GM Performance Parts (part number 19201990) and, because of its similar LS-family architecture to the Camaro’s original LS3 engine, easily slipped into the engine compartment – although some fabrication was necessary to accommodate the unique placement of some accessories, as well as the LS9’s dry sump-style oiling system. But when the installation was completed, the engine looked factory-installed. And with a few minor upgrades, the engine is producing about 700 horsepower.
Like the DeNooyer HTR-SS454, the NeSmith Storm Camaro matches its greater performance capability with complementing drivetrain parts, including stronger axles and a Baer brake system featuring six-piston calipers, front and rear.
NeSmith is offering the LS9-powered Storm Camaro as a special model through its dealership. More information is available from Steve Gordon: firstname.lastname@example.org or 912-739-5305.
"Let the rest of the world dream of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and dinky little British two-seaters. In this country speed doesn't look like that." Got SS?