The golden anniversary of the COPO Camaro began with a special-edition model of Camaro from Chevrolet Performance, which debuted at the 2018 SEMA Show and it concluded at the 2019 NMCA All-American Nationals presented by Whipple Superchargers with the 50th Anniversary COPO Camaro Shootout presented by COPO Parts Direct.
Over 80 COPO Camaros were in attendance representing the largest gathering of the specialty machines anywhere. The Shootout saw 59 COPO Camaros take their shot at qualifying on the Summit Motorsports Park racing surface, with many COPO drivers also competing in many of the NMCA’s other categories.
In addition to the many COPO owners and racers in attendance, the event hosted guests from Chevrolet Performance, COPO Parts Direct, and Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center.
“The one thing that I realized is the camaraderie that exists between the COPO owners,” said Marketing Manager, Chevrolet Performance & GM Propulsion Steve Walczak. “The passion that these guys have for the sport; these guys are living it and getting their hands greasy. There were 81 COPOs competing, the largest gathering of COPO Camaro in any form anywhere. It was great to see the turnout at that venue.”
Rich Rinke and Mike Lawrence from COPO Parts Direct were also in attendance and were not just spectating, but working, and racing as well.
“It was a fantastic event,” said operations manager Mike Lawrence. “ It was awesome to see the turnout. We saw some 50th Anniversary COPOs and we even did a delivery at the event.”
The delivery was to first-time COPO customer Steve Clough of Maine, who purchased a 2019 50th Anniversary COPO Camaro equipped with the 427ci engine and the racers package, which includes a weight box, auxiliary battery kit, carbon air inlet, and a parachute.
“He was really excited and he’s a pretty calm guy,” Lawrence said. “We did it during one of the happy hours and had all of the existing COPO customers there to talk with him and that was a neat way to introduce him to that.”
COPO guests were treated to luncheons on Friday and Saturday courtesy of Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center and there was a Friday evening happy hour and free parts raffle presented by Gold Rush Trailers and Overkill Motorsports where attendees not only got to mix it up with fellow COPO owners and racers, but also benefitted from a parts raffle with well over $10,000 in prizes given away. Ryan Korish of LaCrosse, Wisconsin won a $5,000 scholarship bonus from Sam Tech, and Roger Rosebush of Rosebush Racing presented $500 to the top qualifiers in the COPO 50th Shootout, Holley EFI Factory Super Cars, and Coan Engineering Stock/Super Stock Combo classes.
The 50th Anniversary COPO Camaro Shootout presented by COPO Parts Direct of course culminated in a final round of competition between Aaron Allison and Todd Patterson, and the race between the two COPO drivers did not disappoint. The event was such a success, that the NMCA plans to incorporate the COPO Shootout at the Norwalk stop as part of the regular event class schedule.
“We were extremely excited to be involved,” said COPO Parts Direct’s Mike Lawrence. “It was a very historic event and we were very happy with the racer enthusiasm and hope to try and recreate that at the next event.”