Rare Color Combo and LM1 V8: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro with All-Original Sheet Metal

The 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, introduced as a response to the Ford Mustang, remains an enduring symbol of American muscle cars. Though it may not have achieved the same level of popularity as its rival, the Camaro performed admirably, with impressive sales figures throughout its production. The final year of the first-generation Camaro saw some notable enhancements, including all-new sheet metal, a striking V-shaped front grille, and more muscular rear fenders. Additionally, 1969 offered a diverse lineup of Camaros, featuring various models like the RS, SS, Z28, and a couple of COPO muscle cars.

COPO: The Special Camaros

The COPO (Central Office Production Orders) Camaros were a special breed. The first one, known as COPO 9561, emerged when Yenko Chevrolet utilized the COPO system to request 201 cars equipped with the powerful 427-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) L72 engine. The reason for this special request was a GM corporate directive that prohibited engines larger than 400 cubic inches (6.6 liters) in midsize and smaller cars. Yenko and Chevrolet cleverly used the COPO system as a loophole, resulting in around 1,000 COPO Camaros ordered by various dealerships.

The second COPO, identified by number 9560, also featured a 427 V8. However, this engine, called the ZL-1, was distinct from the L72. It was an all-aluminum big-block designed specifically for drag racing, hand-built, and capable of producing over 500 horsepower with proper tuning. This rare package, conceptualized by drag racer Dick Harrell and ordered through Fred Gibb Chevrolet, was limited to only 69 cars.

The Desirable 1969 Camaro

The 1969 Camaro, in all its configurations, is highly coveted for two reasons: its visually striking appearance and the availability of high-performance engines. Owning a rare Camaro doesn’t necessarily mean acquiring a costly COPO version. Even seemingly ordinary examples can hide unique attributes that make them highly desirable.

Take, for instance, this particular Camaro, which, despite not being an SS model, is a rare gem. It possesses a hard-to-find engine under the hood and showcases a stunning two-tone color combination.

Uncovering the Engine

A cursory look at the front fenders reveals the presence of a 350-cubic-inch (5.7-liter) V8. However, determining the specific version is crucial, as Chevrolet offered multiple iterations of the 350 engine during the 1969 model year.

Arguably the most iconic is the L48, which was rated at 295 horsepower until late 1968 before being upgraded to 300 horses in early 1969. Another option was the L65, offering a power rating of 250 horses.

In the case of this Camaro, it boasts the LM1 engine, a four-barrel version of the 350 V8. Produced for only four months, from September to December 1968, the LM1 delivered 255 horsepower and 365 pound-feet (495 Nm) of torque. Although not as potent as the 396-cubic-inch (6.5-liter) big-block, the LM1 provided an affordable option for those seeking a fast Camaro without the costly Super Sport package.

The Rarity of the LM1

The LM1 engine is genuinely rare. Records indicate that only 4.2% of the Camaros sold during the 1969 model year were equipped with the four-barrel 350 V8, amounting to 10,406 examples. While not as exclusive as the COPO twins, it is far scarcer than the SS or the Z28 models. For comparison, the Z28 had a production volume of 20,302 units. Moreover, the two-tone paint option on this Camaro adds to its rarity, as it was not commonly chosen in 1969.

A Stunning Exterior

This Camaro left the factory in a beautiful Glacier Blue body with a Dover White metal roof, as opposed to a vinyl top. The exact number of cars finished in this particular color combination is unknown, but it is likely limited to just a few hundred. Although Glacier Blue Camaros have appeared on the market in recent years, finding one with a white metal top has proven challenging. Furthermore, most of the Glacier Blue Camaros encountered were SS models, making this non-SS Camaro even more unique.

A Well-Preserved Survivor

Apart from its rarity, this 1969 Camaro stands out as an exceptionally well-preserved survivor. Although it has been repainted in its original factory colors, it retains all of its original body panels and remains free from rust. The interior is in excellent condition, and both the engine and transmission boast matching numbers. According to the seller, the displayed odometer reading of 59,227 miles (95,317 km) is believed to be genuine.

Currently, this remarkable Chevy is up for auction. However, it comes with a price tag. Bidding has reached $35,900, with three days remaining and the reserve price yet to be met. The “buy it now” option is set at $55,000. While the non-SS designation may lead some to question the price, the exceptional condition of the vehicle undoubtedly justifies the premium.

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