Central Office Production Order (COPO) Chevrolets have been the legendary subject of discussion, car magazine articles and even a little mythology from time to time. Regarding Chevrolet’s 1969 Camaro COPO, history was pretty well documented. Franklin’s subject of this limited edition is the COPO order 9561. Their accompanying materials state that there were around 1000 units sold. They are spot on. Chevrolet historians actually account for 1015 order 9561’s. There was a rarer version, the order 9560, an all aluminum ZL-1 accounting for a scarce 69 such sold cars. These are considered, today, to be the most valuable Camaros to exist. But, yo, don’t get it twisted; the 9561 is still plenty special. Most were delivered to Yenko Chevrolet in Pennsylvania. But this one represents a little more bling and is not adorned with the common Yenko graphics and stylized branding. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?
In Garnet Red, a deep, almost maroon shade, FM opted to give the already rare car a color to enhance its bad dog attitude. The clean white twin-center stripes are gorgeous and flanked by thin pinstripes. The white vinyl roof simulation is spectacular – this, coming from a guy who mostly hates vinyl roofing on coupes. Here though, it works to add the right sparkle to the dark crimson body. And off-shoot of FM’s popular Camaro tooling, you have a lot to like in this one as well. The interior is resplendent in black; lots of detail on dash, gauges, console and seating areas. The trunk is sparsely appointed, just like the real COPO. The emblems and insignias are metal foiled and look awesome. Period mags, used on these COPO and Yenko cars really make a visual statement and the FM model is no exception. The killer engine is the center of attention and well worth the under-hood look. The simulated cowl induction features a realistic hood and the engine exhibits all the right wiring and instructional labeling seen on the 1:1. The suspension is functional and the wheels rotate the driveshaft with each revolution. Wipers are delicately fashioned and the overall look of the model has good proportion. The ride height is somewhat tall but in real life the cars, when new, were sort of up on their tippy toes, not squat like the renditions of today.
In an edition of 5000 these models are not as scarce as the genuine articles but they are a much better bargain, especially if you do not want to re-mortgage the house to buy one. The issue price is $120.