The COPO 9560 used an all-aluminum 427 cu in (7.0 L) big-block called the ZL-1 and was designed specifically for drag racing. The package was conceived by drag racer Dick Harrell, and ordered through Fred Gibb Chevrolet in La Harpe, IL, with the intention of entering NHRA Super Stock drag racing. Just 69 ZL-1 Camaros were produced, the engine alone cost over US$4,000 — nearly twice that of a base coupe with a V8. Though rated at 430 hp (321 kW) gross, the ZL-1 made 376 SAE Net HP in its "as installed" state. With exhaust changes and some tuning, the horsepower jumped to over 500 hp.
The ZL1 engines were hand assembled in a process that took 16 hours each, in a room that Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov described as "surgically clean". All ZL1 engines were manufactured at the Tonawanda Assembly Plant before being installed in Corvettes, Camaros, or sold over the counter to racers. This car came with a 5yr/50,000 bumper to bumper warranty.