In 1969, when muscle cars were king, Chevrolet built a handful of Camaros and Chevelles specifically for drag racing in the NHRA Stock Eliminator class. Designated COPO, or Central Office Production Order, these specialty machines weren’t marketed to the general public.
Let’s start with the 9.1:1 compression, which means you can run this on pump gas. Add in a cast aluminum block, titanium valves, and a forged steel crank attached to forged titanium rods attached to forged aluminum pistons. Top that off with hydraulic roller cams, aluminum heads, and a high-helix supercharger pushing 10.5psi of boost.
The Ranchero is based on a two-door station wagon platform and was marketed as a light pickup that could haul a fair amount of cargo while being easy to operate and drive, like a car. There is not enough space here to cover the various engines and features that were incorporated into the Ranchero over the years, but a few engine choices consisted of a 250 cubic-inch six-cylinder and a variety of V8 power plants that ranged from a standard 302 to a 428 cu-in. (7.0 L) Cobra Jet.
This crate engine is hand-assembled in its own special facility, presumably so as to not risk contamination by one of those plebian engines we saw earlier. Gone are the days of solid lifters and cast-iron heads this beast combines an LSX cast-iron block, LS7/Z06 aluminum heads, forged steel crank and rods, forged aluminum pistons, hydraulic roller cams, and 10.2:1 compression.
The Kia Sedona can stand toe-to-toe with any of the used minivans on the market. The current models are powered by a 3.3L V6 paired to a smooth shifting six-speed automatic gearbox. The engine has an output of 276 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. Most owners describe the engine’s acceleration as quick and its response as immediate. The Sedona outshines its competitors by offering a lower price point and more options for every dollar spent.
In addition to their beauty, they were pretty powerful for their day. In 1954, Ford dropped in an overhead valve V-8 that put out 130 horsepower. By 1956, it was up to almost 180. In addition, 1953 was the first year that an automatic transmission was put into a Ford pickup.
Plus, in the late 60s, Chevy didn’t use engines over 400ci in midsize cars this meant COPOs were far and away the fastest Chevelles and Camaros on the road. From day one they were, and still are, offensively expensive.
The powerplant behind them was the legendary 427 “L88”, a 450-horsepower 7-liter engine found in many other GM cars including the Corvette. But this version had high compression, required race fuel, and made an insane-for-the-time 450 horsepower.