If Rick Hendrick ever gets tired of running his Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR team—or overseeing his empire of auto dealerships—he may want to apply to GM’s Performance Build Center in Wixom, Mich. After all, he already has hands-on experience at the center building V8 engines for his own Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Edition and, this year, his Chevrolet COPO Camaro. And this wasn’t a case of Hendrick getting special treatment, either. According to Chevrolet Los Angeles, Chevy offers all customers the chance to come to Wixom to hand-build high-performance engines for the brand’s range-topping performers—or one of GM’s crate performance engines, if they’d prefer.
“Building an engine is a time-honored tradition in hot rodding, and this program allows enthusiasts to enjoy that magical do-it-yourself feeling, while still enjoying the value of a GM Powertrain-engineered and factory-warrantied engine,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “For hands-on hot rodders, these programs truly enable them to say they did it all when it came to building their project. There’s nothing else like it in the industry.”
Equally exclusive will be the COPO Camaro itself. According to Chevrolet Dealers Indianapolis, Chevrolet is producing just 69 units, commemorating the 1969 debut of the original factory-produced and limited-edition drag star. The 2012 version is expected to be among the quickest competitors in the NHRA’s Super Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes, with enough firepower to put up 9-second quarter-mile times. Needless to say, it also will be the quickest Camaro ever sold by the brand.
And according to New Mexico Chevy Dealers, while Hendrick didn’t mention whether he’d be taking his to the strip anytime soon, he did say that: “Last year’s Corvette engine build was such a memorable experience that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do it again with a COPO Camaro. As a Chevy enthusiast and collector, it’s a real privilege to do something like this.
“I want to thank everyone at the Performance Build Center for having me back. It means so much to spend time with people who share my passion for cars and work so hard to produce some of the best engines in the world.”