2. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1
As you may already know, back in the late ’60s, Chevrolet was under the General Motors racing ban. This ban meant that no official Chevrolet products could race and Chevrolet as a manufacturer couldn’t participate in any racing activity. But nobody stopped Chevrolet from helping racing teams through its backdoor programs developing special engines and components. In the late ’60s, the Can-Am was a popular racing series featuring prototype class cars with V8 engines.
Chevrolet wanted to purpose-build a power plant for this championship. So, in 1969, they produced the ZL-1, an all-aluminum 427 big block. It was a high revving, 7.0-liter V8 with around 550 HP in mild tune. Chevrolet produced around 200 of those engines. While most of them went to Can-Am racing teams, they installed 69 of them in C.O.P.O Camaros they sold to drag racing teams.
The Camaro ZL-1 was the same as the regular 1969 Camaro on the outside, but it was so fast, it was barely street legal. The official 1969 Chevrolet literature doesn’t mention the ZL-1 option for the Camaro. However, if you were a successful drag racer or a dealer, you knew about this expensive option. That is why they only made 69 Camaros ZL-1.