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In 1967 Chevrolet introduced the Camaro®, and by 1969 had refined their own mid-size performance car. For the ’69 model year, the Camaro® underwent major restyling for a wider, lower, and muscular appearance. The Rally Sport (RS) trim package offered deluxe interior trim and hidden headlights, and the high-performance Super Sport (SS) package offered distinct badging and a heavy-duty suspension. The Rally Sport and Super Sport packages could be combined into the most lavishly equipped Camaro® of them all, the RS/SS. Under the lid, the Camaro® offered a dozen powerplant options, from the 250ci “straight-six” to the high-end COPO monsters. In between, the SS-standard 350ci small-block V8 was boosted to 300hp, while the 396ci engines offered 325, 350, and 375hp versions. Transmission options included wide- or short-ratio three- or four-speed manuals, or one of two automatics, the two-speed Powerglide or outstanding three-speed Turbo Hydramatic.
But the big story was the availibility of the special crated L72 427ci V8 engine that dealers such as Yenko Sports Cars could install in a badgeless Camaro®, known as the COPO code 9562 option, that could crank out up to 450hp. There was also the fully street-legal ZL1, which was intended for the Super Stock drag classes. Factory-built from a SS396 or SS375 Camaro®, the SS trim and engine were removed, and a 427ci engine, cowl-induction hood, a choice of four-speed or automatic transmission, and a 4:10 posi axle were added. With aluminum heads and the first Chevy aluminum block (weighing only 500 lbs, the same weight as the 327 small block!), the ZL1 was officially rated at 430hp but made closer to 500hp, making it the most powerful Chevy factory engine and the fastest Chevy offered to the public. Ultimately, Chevy built 69 of the ZL1 Camaro®, more than enough to qualify for racing but also making this monster both classic and rare.
Ertl Diecast No. 39493 - '67 Chevrolet Camaro SS350