Age is nothing but a (seven-figure) number.
Resplendent in pristine orange paintwork, a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has just been sold at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale for a record $1,094,500, as reported by the guys over at Hagerty. Besides its rarity (a mere 69 ZL1 Camaros were produced), the '69 ZL1 is also famous for its aggressive styling that would only be retained for that one year. This particular model is #59 of the 69, so it was one of the last to be built.
The ZL1 is powered by a 427-cubic-inch V8 engine with open-chamber cylinder heads, a rectangular port, and 430 horsepower - nothing compared to the modern-day Camaro ZL1, but hugely impressive for the time. It's paired with an M22 Rock Crusher four-speed manual transmission, while power disc brakes are fitted.
The striking Hugger Orange paintwork and unique ducted hood are simply gorgeous. This model also gets the Z21-style trim option and the tires feature white lettering. The all-black interior is just as immaculate and has a dainty steering wheel, long shift lever, and shallow dash, all of which are typical of cars produced at the time. An AM radio is fitted, but that's about it.
This is also the sole ZL1 that was ordered with the available NC8 chambered exhaust system. Amusingly, this option was done away with later in 1969 as some owners couldn't explain to law enforcement officials that the car's exhaust system wasn't modified.
Two years ago, this very same Camaro sold for $770,000, also through Barrett-Jackson's Scottsdale sale. What could possibly have seen it appreciate in value by $324,500 in such a short time?
According to a collector car dealer named Colin Comer, the Camaro's current owner managed to source the Chev's original engine block. Once returned to its rightful place, it's this engine that gave the car's already high value another boost.
"The location of this block had been known for some time," said Comer, "[but] no previous owners cared to cough up the reported $100,000 it took to purchase it from [a] former GM employee." According to Comer, on the day of the auction, bids exceeded $800k quickly.
An internet bidder ultimately put forward an offer that won the day and #59 of the 69 Camaro ZL1s built that year had found a new home - and hopefully a loving one. Along with a complete owner history and even a copy of the original window sticker, it may be the finest remaining example of a legendary sports car that we'll never tire of looking at.