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Hypothetical ThirdGen COPO

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Old 01-07-2018, 02:14 PM
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Hypothetical ThirdGen COPO

The idea of the 1st, 5th and 6th gen COPOs is fascinating. So, that makes me wonder... what if they made a 3rd gen COPO? What engine would they use? What would the suspension be like?

The ZZZ 350 engine came out in '89 and had 345 hp. I bet they would have used that combined with an old school TH350 trans with a bit of a stall. They might have probably used the Dana 44 rear end since they did make some for this car already. A Ford 9" might have been overkill for this simple small block. The real questions is the suspension. They probably would have just went with a beefed up stock-type system rather than custom fab 4 link. I think they would have just kept it simple back then.

So, what are your thoughts?

(note: I'm not trying to start an argument as to whether 3rd gen COPOs existed... despite what your brother's dog's cousin's uncle says.... they didn't exist)
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:30 PM
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Re: Hypothetical ThirdGen COPO

1LE in 88 was Close to this, if you knew which boxes to check
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:26 PM
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Re: Hypothetical ThirdGen COPO

Most of the original performance COPOs (I think any fleet order like police cars were COPO also but not considered here of course) was just ordering an engine that was larger that was normally available but was still available in other platforms, such as Corvette, and agressive gearing on a mid level model. The 425HP 427 was the engine for COPOs in '69 with a few very special aluminum block versions. A COPO Chevelle I know would have been a Malibu (not on the SS) with a 4 speed and 4.10s.

So, it might simply mean an L98 with alum block (if there was an aluminum race version made) and heads and 4.10 gears - but following suit it may have not been available on a Z28/IROC. An RS perhaps.

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Old 01-08-2018, 03:24 PM
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Re: Hypothetical ThirdGen COPO

I agree that it would have definitely been a base RS car. But it would be horribly disappointing it would have been anything like a barely-different-than-stock 1LE or had an L98- even it was all aluminum. Then again, it was the 80s, and GM liked to make stuff like they hated it.

I see that the high compression LS7 454 was still available in the 80s as a crate engine. They might have put that in there with those terrible Hooker Super Comp headers. I know they did build some 454 test cars in the early 90s, so they might not be opposed to this idea. If going with the big block, they might have done a tricked out Powerglide and a Ford 9. That would have been sweet.

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Old 01-10-2018, 03:48 PM
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Re: Hypothetical ThirdGen COPO

Gotta remember that in the 60's, the COPO wans't a brand, it was just an acronym for the description of how you ordered these vehicles. It didn't SAY anywhere that it was a COPO car. Similar to (but not exactly) how the Z28, Z06, Z71 have all become brands, with badging, etc. etc. At one time they were just a set of letters and numbers no different N64 spare tire. No one says they have a Camaro N64. It's interesting to read about them because short of what they were and how many were ordered, there's not really a lot of info. No COPO literature, no brochures, no commercials, and back then you didn't say I have a COPO. Heck, most were boring fleet cars and taxis. It wasn't 'til later on that it really became a thing.


...but nowadays, COPO IS brand, no different than Z28. -and a performance brand to boot. Funny thing is that the Z28 still has that z 2 8 RPO, but I highly doubt a COPO requires a central office production order

And I'm also not sure how you could've circumvented the EPA during the 80s. Back in the 60s you could just stick a ZL1 in a Camaro if ya knew to use the COPO. Nowadays you couldn't do that, even if Chevrolet would let you.

So yeah....basically 1LE. No reason that I can see that it couldn't have been an Iroc. -or any other trim. Powertrain options would still have to have been something we're all aware of like a LB9/t5 etc. etc., otherwise the EPA would've stepped in. COPO worked around GM rules, but didn't have to deal with the EPA.

I know. I'm a party pooper.

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Old 01-10-2018, 05:01 PM
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Re: Hypothetical ThirdGen COPO

Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
I agree that it would have definitely been a base RS car. But it would be horribly disappointing it would have been anything like a barely-different-than-stock 1LE or had an L98- even it was all aluminum. Then again, it was the 80s, and GM liked to make stuff like they hated it.

I see that the high compression LS7 454 was still available in the 80s as a crate engine. They might have put that in there with those terrible Hooker Super Comp headers. I know they did build some 454 test cars in the early 90s, so they might not be opposed to this idea. If going with the big block, they might have done a tricked out Powerglide and a Ford 9. That would have been sweet.
They built a couple of those and had them out at the Mesa Proving Grounds. Bad *** cars for sure!
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Old 01-10-2018, 05:42 PM
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Re: Hypothetical ThirdGen COPO

Originally Posted by PurelyPMD View Post
They built a couple of those and had them out at the Mesa Proving Grounds. Bad *** cars for sure!
wow! man, they should've sold 'em!
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:25 AM
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Re: Hypothetical ThirdGen COPO

IIRC, COPO
Central
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Old 01-11-2018, 03:25 PM
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Re: Hypothetical ThirdGen COPO

Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
The idea of the 1st, 5th and 6th gen COPOs is fascinating. So, that makes me wonder... what if they made a 3rd gen COPO? What engine would they use? What would the suspension be like?

The ZZZ 350 engine came out in '89 and had 345 hp. I bet they would have used that combined with an old school TH350 trans with a bit of a stall. They might have probably used the Dana 44 rear end since they did make some for this car already. A Ford 9" might have been overkill for this simple small block. The real questions is the suspension. They probably would have just went with a beefed up stock-type system rather than custom fab 4 link. I think they would have just kept it simple back then.

So, what are your thoughts?

(note: I'm not trying to start an argument as to whether 3rd gen COPOs existed... despite what your brother's dog's cousin's uncle says.... they didn't exist)
The TH350 was way out of production by that point. The TH400 was still being produced for trucks and fits right into the tunnel. GM probably would have used the TH375 version with a short tail (vs 4L80E length long tail) and the TH350 sized output shaft. GM probably would have stayed with the Austrailian 9 bolt and 3.45 gears like the 5 spd G92 cars had. GM might have been able to tweak the ZZZ enough with a SLP T-Ram to get it pass emissions.
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:34 PM
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Re: Hypothetical ThirdGen COPO

Originally Posted by Bow_Tied View Post
Most of the original performance COPOs (I think any fleet order like police cars were COPO also but not considered here of course) was just ordering an engine that was larger that was normally available but was still available in other platforms, such as Corvette, and agressive gearing on a mid level model. The 425HP 427 was the engine for COPOs in '69 with a few very special aluminum block versions. A COPO Chevelle I know would have been a Malibu (not on the SS) with a 4 speed and 4.10s.

So, it might simply mean an L98 with alum block (if there was an aluminum race version made) and heads and 4.10 gears - but following suit it may have not been available on a Z28/IROC. An RS perhaps.

1LE is what your referring to, there is also the G92 package. Also, dont forget about the Firehawlk in the early to mid 90s. Second of all no police car has a special engine. Police cruisers are the same as the civilian models always, they only have heavy duty suspension and high out put alternators to run all the equipment.

Last edited by Ibazzabar92; 01-12-2018 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:47 AM
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Re: Hypothetical ThirdGen COPO

Originally Posted by Ibazzabar92 View Post
1LE is what your referring to, there is also the G92 package. Also, dont forget about the Firehawlk in the early to mid 90s. Second of all no police car has a special engine. Police cruisers are the same as the civilian models always, they only have heavy duty suspension and high out put alternators to run all the equipment.
Not always limited to suspensions and alternators, as the exhaust configuration might be different or specific, seats, etc.

I had a 2007 CVPI which was equipped with "stab proof" seats, and were much more supportive, even in "admin" trim than a grandpa model. It also had a straight air inlet tube without sound baffling, no under hood sound deadner or intake manifold covering, and the alternator was clutched, for reliable service during upshifts. It also had silicone hoses and special hose clamps, etc. Pretty neat car. And different. One of the best vehicles I've ever owned!

But if we're talking about Camaro police package, still special, but not quite as much unique from other models which could have similar options.


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Old 01-13-2018, 04:09 PM
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Re: Hypothetical ThirdGen COPO

Originally Posted by Ibazzabar92 View Post
1LE is what your referring to, there is also the G92 package. Also, dont forget about the Firehawlk in the early to mid 90s. Second of all no police car has a special engine. Police cruisers are the same as the civilian models always, they only have heavy duty suspension and high out put alternators to run all the equipment.
The 9C1 caprice TBI engines had a police specific engine that used a L98 camshaft rather than the 305 TBI peanut cam, larger police specific injectors and police specific prom chip. The exhaust was revised and the valve body and governor in the 700r4 was built to allow a WOT 3-4 upshift.

The 9C1 LT1s also had some goodies aside from the normal civilian models. The had revised tuning, silicone hoses, and other tweaks for better service life in grueling conditions.

The GMT400 Z52 Tahoes were also substantially different from production models. They had an add on electric cooling fan, revised programing and a 3.08 rear axle as well as programming that allowed the 4L60E to shift into OD at WOT.

In the pre-emissions days cars like the Ford Galaxie with the 390 V8 had hotter camshafts that were often solid lifters to get more RPM and HP from the engine. Some of the older interceptors also had dual 4bbl carbs or 3-2 barrels from the factory.

Last edited by Fast355; 01-13-2018 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:01 AM
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Re: Hypothetical ThirdGen COPO

Right, I think there was a 352 version, thunderbird interceptor, or something like that. I recall looking at a '58 claiming this. My dad has a '59 Galaxie 500 but just a standard 352. Neat cars.

Originally Posted by Ibazzabar92 View Post
1LE is what your referring to, there is also the G92 package.
Not sure what you mean, I understood 1LE and G92 to be an RPO code, and not a model or ordering department. Or do you mean that 1LE is a modern COPO equivalent? Perhaps, but performance COPOs in '69 had engines of larger displacement than was normally available... there may not be a modern equivalent for 3rd gens in this case short of a truck engine. In '69 there was a corporate limit of 400CI or less in an intermediate car and the COPOs were the work-around to this rule.



This could be also interesting to discuss what would have a 3rd gen looked like with a Yenko or Baldwin Motion work over which there the Firehawk I think is a prime example.

Last edited by Bow_Tied; 01-14-2018 at 10:08 AM. Reason: splelling
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:16 AM
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Re: Hypothetical ThirdGen COPO

Originally Posted by Bow_Tied View Post
Right, I think there was a 352 version, thunderbird interceptor, or something like that. I recall looking at a '58 claiming this. My dad has a '59 Galaxie 500 but just a standard 352. Neat cars.



Not sure what you mean, I understood 1LE and G92 to be an RPO code, and not a model or ordering department. Or do you mean that 1LE is a modern COPO equivalent? Perhaps, but performance COPOs in '69 had engines of larger displacement than was normally available... there may not be a modern equivalent for 3rd gens in this case short of a truck engine. In '69 there was a corporate limit of 400CI or less in an intermediate car and the COPOs were the work-around to this rule.



This could be also interesting to discuss what would have a 3rd gen looked like with a Yenko or Baldwin Motion work over which there the Firehawk I think is a prime example.

But Firehawk was an RPO, too...RPO B4U, 1991-92

Dealer conversions, while possibly neat, don't mean the same, or close.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:36 AM
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Re: Hypothetical ThirdGen COPO

Originally Posted by Speed Racer
wow! man, they should've sold 'em!
I remember GM building both a 454 C4 and 3rd Gen Camaro back in the day, one named Big Doggie and the other Angry Poodle, you can obviously guess which one was which being that the Corvette platform was always their flagship. The Camaro actually ran a carburetor while the Vette was given a modified tunnel ram running EFI, which is where the idea for the Holley Stealth Ram essentially and eventually sprung from. I have the article detailing the Angry Poodle Camaro if anyone is interested in reading about it, it was a Red RS Camaro, I believe it had Gray ground effects if I remember correctly. It was about a half a second slower than the Corvette which was clocked at 13.00 ET, the Camaro running a 13.50, which for the early 90's was very quick.

I don't recall the trap speed off hand...

- Rob
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:56 AM
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Re: Hypothetical ThirdGen COPO

I thought that GM built big block Camaro was called "Great white"
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