American ClassicsChevrolet

1967-1969 Yenko and COPO Camaro’s

Yenko and COPO Camaro’s are the most collectible Camaro’s. 1967 and 1968 are Yenko Camaro’s while 1969 became the offical COPO Camaro.

In 1967 Don Yenko of Yenko Chevrolet, in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania saw the demand for a Camaro with a 427 engine. General Motors had stipulated that the Camaro should not leave the factory with an engine larger than 400 cubic inches. A larger engine would potentially outshine the Corvette.

Don Yenko took 54 Camaro’s and installed ZL-1 427, creating the first Yenko Camaro. There are 12 that are known to still exist, and they are rarest and most valuable.

Yenko was unable to keep up with the demand in 1967, and so in 1968, GM agreed to the factory install of the 427 in the Camaro. In total 68 Camaro’s with a factory installed 427 engine to Yenko. This became the 1968 Yenko Camaro.

1969 Camaro COPO

With 1967 and 1968 being a success for both Don Yenko and GM, for the 1969 model year, GM offered the special Central Office Production Order “COPO” order form. This was the loop hole order form that allowed dealers to order Camaro’s with a 427 engine.

Order number 9561 was simply the factory 427 engine. Order number 9737 was the sports car conversion kit that offered Rally Wheels, a 140 mph speedometer, and a front stabilizer bar. These were the two most popular COPO order numbers. However, there was a third. Order number 9560 called for an all aluminum 427 engine that was designed to be raced. Only 69 were ordered.

COPO number 9561 – 427 Engine (1015 produced)

COPO number 9560 – All Aluminum 427 Engine (only 69 produced)

COPO number 9737 – Sports car conversion kit

Today, Camaro’s that included both COPO are called Double Copo Camaro’s.

It is believed approximately 200 COPO Camaro’s were built in 1969 for Don Yenko, while a total of 1015 orders were placed for COPO Order number 9561. Dealers all around the country had the ability to place the COPO order, although Yenko models are still more desirable for the performance packages they offered.

Which is more collectible, a Yenko or a COPO

Since there were fewer Yenko Camaro’s, they are the more collectible of the two. However, both Yenko and COPO Camaro’s command high prices among collectors. Many collectors prefer the 1967 and 1968 front face over 1969, although there are some that prefer 1969.

1967 Front End – Image Source Hagerty
1967 Rear – Image Source: Hagerty

Personally, I like the 1967 and 1968 Yenko’s, I don’t the 1969 COPO, and that’s for purely stylistic reasons.

1968 Front End – Image Source: Hemmings
1968 Rear End – Image Source Hemmings

I like the front end of the 1967 and 1968 with the inboard driver lights, and I strong dislike the rear taillights of the 1969. Perhaps it brings back memories from childhood, but Chevrolet has never been GM’s high end brand. Aside from the Corvette, Chevrolet’s just don’t feel like they’re made of the best quality both on interior or exterior.

1969 Front End – Image Source: Mecum
1969 Rear End – Image Source: Mecum

Yenko and COPO Camaro’s at Auction

Image Source: Mecum
Image Source: Hemmings
Image Source: Barrett Jackson
Image Source: Barrett Jackson

Yenko and COPO Camero’s for sale

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