The 1969 Camaro ZL1 was not only super-fast but also super-rare. They only managed to make 69 examples with the COPO 9560 optional aluminum 427 engine. Each of these cars has a unique story or famous owner, and they sell for a lot of money at auction.
For the latest The Appraiser video, Hagerty was tasked with putting a number on a replica of the 1969 Camaro ZL1, and it turned into such an amazing video.
Most of the owners who’ve brought cars along have been humble and under-valued what they had. But this guy says his is worth something like $250,000. Now, that’s shocking when you’re talking about a replica, but this is the ZL1 we’re talking about, and I know a few of them have gone over $1,000,000.
So who’s to say a replica of a ZL1 can’t be worth a quarter of the money? Well, Collin, the presenter of the show, because he says he was the owner of the ZL1 #18 which this is based on. Wow!
After hearing that, I immediately began digging. I couldn’t find proof that Collin was the owner, but #18 has been sold twice by Mecum in the past decade. In January 2016, it went for $600,000 and in 2018, it sold as a package deal with $30 for $1,210,000.
A few things stand out as differences. Because it’s being driven, the tires don’t look period-correct, plus it’s got traction bars added to the rear suspension. Who thinks of hot-rodding a valuable car?
Why the 1969 Camaro ZL1 is so valuable
But Collin actually finds something else very wrong with the car. It’s supposed to have a “real ZL1” engine, but that’s not the case because the heads are modern parts. At its core, this rare V8 is supposed to be the fire-breathing L88 427 CI big-block racing engine. Developed for the Can Am racing series by Bruce McLaren and Jim Hall’s Chaparral team, it had aluminum in the block, heads, intake, and ancillary pieces. In its day, it was the most exotic American production engine producing 500 hp, though Chevy’s factory rating of 430 hp was almost a joke.
The other thing wrong with the close is the rear quarter panels, replaced, but not welded in. And that immediately raises flags when you’re buying any restored muscle car, even a normal 6-cylinder Camaro.
The other appraised vehicle of this weekend is the Porsche 930 Turbo. This is a 1977 version of the “widowmaker” 911, and you’ve probably seen a lot of these sell for silly money on Bring a Trailer. Even though it’s heavily customized, these are period mods. It’s got two vintage radar detectors, an engine that’s been built by Andial, and much more. Something tells me the owner is a hardcore 911 collector or even an ex dealership owner.
One interesting feature is that both the dials are installed sideways. Why? Well, the revs are inspired by race cars. You’re supposed to have the redline at TDC and shift that way. And the speedometer suggests this has been in the Cannonball run or something, where the higher speeds would need to be in the visible range at the top.