The Rarest Chevrolet Camaro Ever Built Goes Out For A Spin, Flexes Ls7 V8
The first-generation Camaro is arguably the most desirable version of the iconic nameplate, and it includes quite a few rare variants. The race-prepped COPO ZL1, for instance, was built in just 69 units. Don Yenko’s 1969 Camaro run included just 200 examples, while the original “pilot assembly” run comprises 49 cars. But none of them are as rare as this 1969 Baldwin Motion Camaro SS, which is unique.
Much like Don Yenko, Baldwin-Motion delivered modified Chevy Camaros with performance that exceeded factory ratings. This Daytona Yellow car is slightly different than the rest, as it’s the only Baldwin-Motion 1969 SS with a 7.4-liter LS7 V8 under the hood.
Now in the Legendary Motorcar Company collection, the one-of-one Camaro was restored about 20 years ago. Dream Car Garage, a weekly TV show that ran from 2002 to 2012, documented the process. After sitting in the LMC showroom for about 11 years now, the unique Baldwin-Motion Camaro was taken out for a spin. And it looks as spectacular and runs just as fast as it did back in the day.
The SS is loaded with plenty of Baldwin-Motion goodies, but it’s the LS7 engine that sets it apart. In 1969, Baldwin-Motion usually fitted 7.0-liter V8s into Camaros, a popular replacement for the factory 6.5-liter mill. The latter was Chevy’s range-topping option for the first-gen Camaro, as a GM corporate edict forbade the brand to install engines larger than 6.6 liters in midsize and smaller models.
Chevy eventually used the COPO ordering process to install 7.0-liter V8s, a loop-hole that spawned the COPO 427 sold by Don Yenko and the rare ZL1. Baldwin-Motion was also installing 7.0-liter units, but for this build, it went with the larger LS7 from the Corvette.
Not only that, but it upgraded the internals and increased output from the stock 460 horsepower stock to 522. Torque ratings came in at a whopping 600 pound-feet (813 Nm). The long list of upgrades, including a heavy-duty rear axle and traction bars and shocks, made this car a worthy opponent for the race-spec COPO ZL1 at the drag strip.
The video includes quarter-mile footage recorded right after the car was restored, and it’s able to pull 13-second runs at more than 120 mph (193 kph). Unfortunately, there’s no reenactment of that moment 20 years later, but the Camaro definitely runs like a beast. And it sounds really unique, too, thanks to its beefed-up Corvette engine. Crank up the volume and hit the play button below to check it out.