There's an Original Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Heading to Auction

It's one of just 69 built. This might be the ultimate Camaro.

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Mecum Auctions

When Chevrolet brought back the Camaro ZL1 for 2012, it paid tribute to one of the greatest models in the pony car's history. In 1969, Chevy wouldn't officially sell a Camaro with an engine larger than 400 cubic inches, but Illinois dealer Gibb Chevrolet used the automaker's Central Office Production Orders department to order 427-equipped Camaros. And Gibb didn't pick a regular iron-block 427, either; it selected an aluminum-block beast developed for Can-Am racing, codenamed ZL1.

This engine weighed about as much as a small-block 327 V8, but made a claimed 435 horsepower. I say "claimed" because it's that the ZL1 motor made well over 500 horsepower from the factory. This made the Camaro ZL1 a drag-strip monster.

Gibb Chevrolet ordered 50 Camaro ZL1s, but only managed to sell 13 thanks to a high MSRP of $7200. The remaining unsold models were sold back to Chevy and distributed to various dealers throughout the country. Chevy ended up producing 19 more Camaro ZL1s, for a total of 69 cars. This silver example is #4, and it's this weekend. Don't expect it to be cheap.

Presumably, this is one of the 50 cars ordered by Gibb Chevrolet, but it was first sold by Hauser Chevrolet in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Mecum doesn't have a ton of detail in its listing for the car, but it says it was recently restored, and the pictures certainly attest to that. It's painted Cortez Silver, and it's equipped with a Turbo 400 automatic transmission—don't forget, the ZL1 was a drag-racing special.

The 4.10 Positraction rear end is original, and it has power disc brakes, which are a good thing for a car with this much power. There's no estimated selling price, but good ZL1s can . We don't expect this to be a bargain like the 650-hp ZL1 Chevy sells today.

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