In 1969, Fred Gibb Chevrolet contacted the General Motors factory
to produce the Camaro with the ZL1 all-aluminum 427 engine. The
factory would agree to do it if Gibb placed a minumum order of 50
cars. Gibb initiated the order and this was the beginning of the
COPO 9560 Camaro.
The first two ZL1 Camaros arrived at Gibb's dealership on a snowy
evening in the last days ofDecember 1968. The agreement GM made with
Gibb was to have ZL1 cars available for sale prior to the end of
1968. The GM factory delivered as promised.
Unfortunately, Gibb had neglected to ask about the cost of these
cars. The window sticker price was over $7,200. Needless to say, not
many Camaro enthusiasts were eager to step up and pay a price that
was almost twice the cost of the COPO 9561 cast iron 427. Due tothis
"sticker shock", negotiations transpired between Fred Gibb
and the Chevrolet factory managers. It was agreed that Gibb could
return most of the cars. It was the first time in history that the
factory took back cars from a dealership. The unsold cars were
re-invoiced at the factory and redistributed to other
high-performance Chevrolet dealerships.
In addition to the original 50 ZL1 Camaros shipped to Gibb
Chevrolet, an additional 19 ZL1's were ordered through the 1969
production year by various other high-performance Chevrolet
dealerships. This ended the 1969 ZL1 Camaro production run at a
total of 69 cars. Fred Gibb Chevrolet did manage to sell 13 of the
original 50 that he ordered.
This ZL1 pictured here is the last of the 13 cars sold by Fred
Gibb Chevrolet. It was purchased by a non-racer, which thankfully is
why it has all its original sheet metal. It was not tubbed or
otherwise modified for the race track as so many of these cars were.
This ZL1 also has its original motor which only a handful of the
surviving cars have. This Camaro was Gibb-prepped and tuned by Dick
Harrell who was known as "Mr. Chevrolet". In fact, this
ZL1 still has the Dick Harrell badges denoting his personal
signature on the car before it went out the door to the customer.
Also included is a letter on Gibb Chevrolet letterhead from Fred
Gibb himself about this ZL1.
The records on ZL1 Camaros can be found in a book called The COPO
Connection. In this book, the options on this car are as follows:
power disc brakes, M21 close ratio 4-speed, F70x14 white letter
tires, black vinyl trim, ZL2 induction hood, hugger orange, and 9560
ZL1 High Performance Unit.