Updated: Jan 30
Author Matt Avery was invited to speak at the 59th Annual Pittsburgh World of Wheels car show, marking the event's first time hosting expert informational seminars. The COPO author was included in the Super Car Workshop's featured display, which included three restored 1969 COPO Camaros, including a ZL1 which was unveiled for the first time after its two year restoration. Super Car Workshop restored the trio, which garnered top honors in their class. The shop also selected to win the Builder of the Year award.
"Passion for the legendary COPO cars continues to run red hot." Matt Avery
On all three days of the well-attended show, Avery presented three different hour-long segments that are part of his 'Origins of COPO' presentation. The lecture series serves as a foundation to understand the role of Chevrolet's Central Office and the vehicles processed through it that received performance-oriented alterations.
In Part One, The Demand for 427, Avery detailed the Camaro's fall of 1966 launch and the subsequent boom of dealer conversions from the likes of Nickey Chevrolet, Dana Chevrolet, Baldwin Motion and Gorries Chevrolet 'Black Panther' cars.
In Part Two, the Rise of Yenko, the automotive historian explains the importance of Don Yenko, from his Corvette racing origins to his marketing prowess in getting Chevrolet to utilize the overlooked COPO process to build backdoor performance powerhouses. It also looked at the other COPO vehicle projects Don was a part of. The segment was made even more impactful, being held only miles from Yenko Chevrolet's Cannonsburg, PA, location.
The final installment, ZL1 the Zenith, looks at the pinnacle of classic Camaro performance, the 1969 ZL1. At the presentation's close, spectators in attendance were given a rare treat - a rope drop by the staff of Super Car Workshop, allowing them to get up close and personal with the legendary vehicle.
"Seeing an icon like this from afar is something few enthusiasts will ever do so for guests to get up close and inspect this one in person, is nothing short of extraordinary,' said Avery. "It also makes the information we just discussed more tangible. Now they can actually see the different pieces and parts on the car that made the run so special. This example is also great for learning as it has been restored to such a high level of authenticity and factory-floor accuracy."
Throughout the course of the busy weekend, hundreds of spectators passed through and attended the numerous seminars, which concluded with a question and answer session. "Passion for the COPO cars continues to run red hot,' explains Avery. "People are genuinely curious, excited and eager to learn more. It was fantastic to be able to go in-depth into what makes these cars so legendary. The backdrop was perfect, having one of the sixty-nine ZL1s flanked by two pristine iron-block 427 COPO Camaros. It doesn't get better than that."
Matt will present his Origins of COPO seminar at other national automotive events later this year.