One of the joys of being an automotive enthusiast is learning about rare cars. For rare car fans, the two 1967 Corvette COPOs, which stands for Central Office Production Order, will be available at the 2024 Mecum Glendale Auction next month and are no exception.
What Makes a COPO Car Special?
According to a report from Motor Trend, COPO is a paperwork system that Chevrolet dealers utilize to special-order cars that would have never come out of the factory otherwise. Think of it as the dealership using “cheat codes,” like what video game players do to unlock special features or character abilities that they would otherwise be unable to access.
As Motor Trend points out, the COPO loophole allowed for the creation of rare Chevy classics like a 1969 Chevelle that rocked a 425 horsepower Corvette engine under its hood. It's also what gave birth to a 1969 Chevy Camaro ZL1 that sported an all-aluminum big block! However, it was not just a handful of out-of-this-world pony cars that certain Chevy dealerships special ordered; they led the way to create a handful of one-of-a-kind Vettes, too.
Chevy dealerships often used this COPO system as a hack to order cars with interior or exterior colors unavailable to the public. (Consider Donald Trump special ordering his 1997 Lamborghini Diablo in Blu Le Mans, making it the only Diablo VT Lambo ever produced in that color.) The result was some color combinations contradicting what many would describe as good taste. For example, a Freemason group, the Shriners, ordered some 1962 Corvettes painted a light purple shade called Royal Heather Amethyst and red interiors. It's what happens when someone hands extra cash over to a dealership. You give them money, and they use their COPO system to special-order your car to come in any color combo your heart desires.
How Many COPO Cars Are There?
While tracking down official numbers for exactly how many COPO cars Chevy dealerships have ordered is tricky, a separate report from Motor Trend estimates that dealerships have ordered several hundred COPO cars. As for 1967 COPO Corvettes like the ones at the upcoming 2024 Mecum Glendale Auction, Motor Trend estimates that around 10 to 25 exist.
According to Mecum's website, a 1967 COPO Corvette with a Silver Pearl paint job and a 67 Vette with an Elkhart Blue exterior and a Saddle Tan interior will be available at the Glendale Auction. Both Vettes come with Chevy's 427 Big-Block V8 engines that generate 390 horsepower under the hood. The Silver Pearl Vette sports a four-speed manual transmission, while the Elkhart Blue one rocks an automatic transmission.
The 2024 Mecum Glendale Auction will run from March 5 to 9.