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1st & 2nd Generation Camaros 1967-1969 Camaros / 1970-1981 Camaro

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Old 01-18-2013, 12:55 AM   #1
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Difference between Yenko and Copo?

I know some of the older members (and knowledgeable younger ones) will probably think I'm we todd did for asking this question, but what is the difference between Yenko and COPO in terms of the first gen camaros? When I googled "COPO camaro" one of the first hits was yenko and vice versa. From what little I know, COPO's are still made and therefore a part of Chevy.... ? Was Yenko just aftermarket?
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:15 AM   #2
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In a nutshell, (and anyone can correct me if I'm wrong) COPO stands for Corporate Office Production Order which was a special order car from the factory. It was then sent to Yenko Chevrolet which was the dealer that added all the special race goodies and added their custom touch. There were other dealers that did this, Yenko was just one of the most widely recognized.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:37 AM   #3
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Well one difference is also that the emblems do actually say Yenko on a Yenko-sold COPO Camaro.

That's why they're usually/sometimes called Yenkos and not Camaros.

I know, I know, ricer movie, but still - look at the second Fast and the Furious movie. That beautiful Yenko there actually says Yenko and not Camaro.

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Old 01-18-2013, 05:59 AM   #4
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Central Office Production Order . . .


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Old 01-18-2013, 06:11 AM   #5
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In 1967, Don Yenko ordered Camaros straight from Chevy and equipped them with the monster 427 (423 hp) among other goodies and sold them (I believe 54 in all were made). The only problem was that these cars were not allowed to race for Chevy at the strip because they were NOT produced directly by Chevy. To answer this problem, Chevy made the COPO (Central Office Production Order) with the 427 and then these were allowed to compete at the strip.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmatth1162 View Post
I know some of the older members (and knowledgeable younger ones) will probably think I'm we todd did for asking this question, but what is the difference between Yenko and COPO in terms of the first gen camaros? When I googled "COPO camaro" one of the first hits was yenko and vice versa. From what little I know, COPO's are still made and therefore a part of Chevy.... ? Was Yenko just aftermarket?
They are entirely different and shouldn't be compared at all.

COPO has nothing in common with Yenko.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:19 AM   #7
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The first time that 427's were ever installed in Camaros at the factory for public sales was the 9561 (iron block) and 9560 COPO (aluminum ZL-1) cars in 1969. In '67 and '68 Yenko would order a RPO big block SS as well as 427 crate motor and do the swap at their shop. This was a bit labor intensive and then they had the 396's they'd taken out of the cars they had to do something with. With his connections within Chevrolet they were able to exploit the COPO process, which normally built special color fleet cars for taxi companys and low-production special trucks for utility companies and the like. Saved them a lot of time and effort and they didn't have an extra engine to get rid of. Plus these cars were warrantied by the factory so the dealership didn't have to deal with eating any covered repairs.
So the cars built in '67 and '68 were not COPOs, and the once they got the process going in '69 with the factory, those Yenkos built with the COPO process were Yenko COPOs.

http://www.holisticpage.com/camaro/camaros/copo.htm
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:39 AM   #8
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many different types of cars are copo's they depend on the dealers ability to order a car that is specifically manufactured in a way that the dealer chose. Back in the day some came with out engines, etc, radio delete, no ac......
Yenko is like other larger dealerships that alter peformance on a car and appearance and even add special badging say like nickey or others. Then there are places that are not dealerships like aftermarket installers and manufacturers and speed shops like lingerfelterup or livernoise. I wish chevy had allowed special copo camaros to be oredered, i would have done some nice things to my camaro within what i could have got for performance from them and not worried about the warranty, say to have a 427 with 411 gears, suspension parts from the zl1 and a purple metallic paint job and a 4 liter blower with a three yada yada yada, chevy is too repressive now, and the old days will never come to fruition again it is like big brother. SO instead people like me have to order a car one way then rip out the old stuff and replace it at great cost ...... Because I like wider wheels but not summer only good years, i like nice suspension parts but not a ugly wrapped hood, there is no going around the back of the general to make a better car they are too repressive, and would rather not make the money from the aftermarket parts being made by them, they just make their limited performance offerings to supplement and thats that.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:31 AM   #9
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The Copo's were cars built by GM and bought from GM.
The Yenko's were cars built by GM, bought from GM, then modified by Yenko the dealer.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:46 AM   #10
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Yes but in '69 the with a COPO ordered car "modifications" amounted to almost exclusively cosmetic things, stripes, sYc logo on headrest etc. and of course doing a Yenko tune on the engine with some stickers. In '67 and '68 it involved changing out the engine as well.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:51 AM   #11
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Yenko was the dealer, like Harrell, Baldwin Motion, etc.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swacer View Post
They are entirely different and shouldn't be compared at all.

COPO has nothing in common with Yenko.
^^^This....COPO was a way to get options, special builds, etc., that weren't available as assembly line options for the general public...

Yenko was an independent Chevy dealer who tuned and modified muscle cars for general sale...He didn't sell COPO cars...those were built by folks with connections at the Chevy offices...

The two were similar, buy Yenko did his own mods and engine swaps on his own....
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:39 AM   #13
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When the COPO 9561 program came on line Yenko no longer did the engine swaps themselves! Why would they? And many of the ZL-1 COPOs were sold to "customers" i.e. drag racers or anyone with connections to that dealer who could afford one.

One small clarification Pro Stock, it was Baldwin Chevrolet. There was a performance shop down the street called Motion performance. They teamed up so a Baldwin-Motion car was ordered from Baldwin Chevrolet and then sent down the street to be modified at Motion Performance before the new owner took delivery.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by HDRDTD View Post
The Copo's were cars built by GM and bought from GM.
The Yenko's were cars built by GM, bought from GM, then modified by Yenko the dealer.


1969-only, virtually all L72 Yenko Camaros started as COPO 9561s (NO Yenko ZL1s were built). When other dealers learned of the COPO 9561 program (and the subsequent "double-COPO 9737 Sports Car Conversion" initiated by Yenko), MANY other dealers ordered them as well.

I think it's a fair assumption that Yenko's intent of ordering a total of about 200 427 Camaros was the spearhead for the entire COPO 9561 program, when you consider Gibb/Harrell commited to only 50 ZL1s to launch the COPO 9560 program.

No doubt a few dealer-converted 427 Camaros were built in '69 but, with GM's COPO program including the 5/50 warranty, many of those dealer conversions were after-the-fact for 396 owners who then wanted "more". I had a friend who bought an SS 396 Malibu who quickly decided he wanted a 427 in it, and spent a LOT of extra dough to make that happen...

Total 1969 COPO 9561 build (L72-engined), by GM, approached 1,000 units, vs. the 69-total for COPO 9560s (ZL1-engined).

http://www.camaros.org/copo.shtml

1967 and 1968 Model Year Camaros with 427s were dealer-converted, by Yenko, Baldwin-Motion, Nickey, Dana etc. Bill Thomas, Yenko, and Rosen did much of that "initial engineering" which, starting from a 396-equipped chassis, didn't really involve much (in those days) for an already-Big Block-equipped car.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:41 PM   #15
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So what did Yenko do with those extra engines?
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:44 PM   #16
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:17 PM   #17
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So what did Yenko do with those extra engines?
The "inexpensive" way to convert a pre-COPO to 427 cubes was to order the Base car as an L78 396-375 hp SS, then use an L72-427 shortblock... Heads/intake/carb/flywheel-flexplate/starter/rad etc. were the same for both engines. Being a Big Block meant suspension/driveline etc. was already "optimized". L72 shortblocks were less than $300 at the time.

If you started with a 325 or 350 hp 396, then a "crate" engine was a better way to go.

If you started with a 327 or 350 Small Block, a lot more parts were required to do it "properly"...and, frankly, was NOT a smart way to go.

Here's an anomoly: An SS 396-375 hp '69 Camaro, equipped with the mandatory features that the COPOs required/included (4-speed or Turbo 400/Posi, 4.10s, ZL2 Cowl Induction Hood etc.) was MORE $$$ than a Base COPO 9561...strange-but-true!
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:23 PM   #18
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There were a few 68 COPO 427's put in by Chevrolet as a test for 69. Kevin Suydam has one in his collection.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:09 PM   #19
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No ECU back then
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:10 PM   #20
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And the EPA and CARB has to get there fingers in things
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:12 PM   #21
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Yenko used two copo # which are famous to gear heads like myself.......9561 which is the solid lifter L-72 big block making 425hp. 201 were produced. The more famous one 9560 which was used by Gibb chevy dealer for drag racing conceived by race legend Dick Harell for super stock NHRA. The engine was an all aluminum 427 called the ZL-1 which cost an extra $4,00 dollars and was rated at a modest 430hp but really made almost 500 hp. Only 69 were ever produced. That's what I recall. COPO was a fleet use ordering procedure for taxi's rental fleets and cop cars. These two popular dealers (Yenko and Gibbs) new people on the inside to add these twoo COPO #'s to the ordering form to get what they wanted. This trend started in '69. Yenko was putting big blocks in the camaro before '69 as dealer installed options. I praise these two noble gear heads as genuises for their devotion to tire shredding camaros.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:22 PM   #22
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JFTR there were 9561 iron block COPOs sold directly to "customers" without further modifications from the dealer that ordered them, just like the ZL-1s. Drag racers had no interest in stripes, stickers, logos and the like.

There are a few of them listed/pictured in link below:

http://www.supercars.net/cars/2198.html

But to answer the OP's question, in '69 virtually every Yenko Camaro was a tarted up (striped and stickered) 9561 COPO Camaro.

Last edited by MLL67RSSS; 01-18-2013 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:29 PM   #23
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They are entirely different and shouldn't be compared at all.

COPO has nothing in common with Yenko.
The COPO was created for fleet vehicles but Yenko and Gibbs used them for their own gains so they should be compared due to the fact that they used them to get the engines they wanted in the cars they loved to race.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:53 PM   #24
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http://www.holisticpage.com/camaro/camaros/copo.htm
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:28 PM   #25
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When I bought my 2012 I did research so I could compare it to when they came out. From my research you could not order a 427 from the factory in at least '67 and '68, but you could order a Camaro and have it as a dealer installed option. I know I am probably wrong or am wrong period which means some of the Camaro sites for the Gen 1 are wrong also. Someone will set me straight.

Dean.
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