Here is an example of a relatively unknown classic car for many. Its name draws question marks of all kinds-and for good reason. With only 69 copies produced, the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is a rare gem indeed. Some featured a 427 cid V-8 engine, while others began with a 396 cid 375 bhp engine. As the first of it kind, this Chevy engine had an aluminum block. The 427 cid, a speed demon in its own right, boasted over 500 bhp, and according to the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide, it was the most “powerful engine Chevrolet ever offered to the public.”
Only the wealthiest buyers could obtain this car, and often, those buyers were drag racers who could make up for its whopping cost in prize money from races (the ZL1 was completely street legal). The astonishing price tag was $7,200, which is equivalent to $45, 003.34 today. Because of the prohibitive cost, of the 69 units produced, 30 were returned to Chevy and took years to sell. A handful of others had their engines removed to be sold separately, but at $4,160 just for the engine, that still required a special buyer. For perspective, that engine price is equal to $26,001.93 today- more than many people earn in a year.
Those lucky enough to own one of the handful produced certainly enjoyed a fast ride. It took about 11.6 seconds to go a quarter of a mile at 122 miles per hour, and it was the fastest production car Chevrolet had ever made. It had stock dual exhausts and some fine tuning earned it special ranks among the most illustrious Chevy models in muscle car history.