Remember those COPO Camaros of the 1960s we talked about earlier? The baddest of the bad, the stuff of bedroom posters and “I swear I saw one” stories, the kind of car the uber-rich still build replicas of today? Well in 2011 Chevrolet modified a modern Camaro in a COPO sort of way and took it to SEMA, and the response was overwhelming. So they built it for real. And at its heart, you could have this: a 5.7-liter supercharged 350 crate engine dubbed the COPO 350.
There’s nothing like a quick and dirty slapdash lift job with some pucks to get the lifted look. However, this won’t hold up when push comes to shove on choppy surfaces or hard slopes. You will need suspension travel as well as flexibility and rigidness at the right times. When starting your Jeep mods, hard plastic pucks won’t give you the response and dependability you need.
The Nite was sort of a half-assed attempt at a special edition. The upgraded features were an upgraded paint and decal job along with some forged aluminum wheels. A blackout trim on top of a black paint job made it stand out and a decal running down the side that transitioned from blue to magenta gave it a menacing look, but that is where the upgrades ended. The suspension was also tightened up but this was hardly a performance pickup.
The Routan was designed to offer a firmer suspension for a more fun driving experience. Another fail. When compared to Kia and Honda used minivans, the firmer suspension makes for a clumsier experience all around. These shortcomings put a lot of pressure on the powertrain to offer a glimmer of hope for this used minivan. Nope, nope, nope.
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.
We will never understand why this isn’t always a default option on all new vehicles capable of off-road driving. There are times when you will need slow and steady power coming from both wheels on each axle. A limited slip differential will keep some of the single side spin down but a full locker is much better in terms of 4×4 Jeep mods. Locking both wheels to spin in unison is an easier way to get out of sticky situations. When combined with the use of a properly anchored winch, there’s almost nowhere you can’t go.
Forged steel rods. Forged steel crank. Forged aluminum pistons. Aluminum heads. Mechanical roller cam. Huge valves. A 7100 rpm redline. A massive 13.1:1 compression ratio that’s well into diesel territory. It all combines to make 776 horsepower, 649 lb-ft, and a whole lot of noise from its 7.4 liters of absolute fury. I’ll let GM explain what that all means.