COPO Chevelle: Roger Rosebush’s COPO-Powered 1965 Chevelle

If you think Super Stock class racing in the NHRA Sportsman ranks is nothing more than expensive bracket racing you better think again. Super Stock racing requires drivers to be snipers on the tree, have the ability to make a car dance at the stripe when needed, all while coaxing as much horsepower as possible out of a very limited engine and drivetrain package. Longtime class racer Roger Rosebush is bringing a fresh look to Super Stock by injecting his classic 1965 Chevelle with some 2019 COPO Camaro technology from Turn Key Automotive.

Rosebush’s Chevelle hasn’t always been packed with the latest tech from General Motors; the Chevelle spent many years in SS/P configuration with a 283 cubic-inch engine under the hood. Over its career, the Chevelle has raced in many NHRA national events, setting class records and picking up wins, including at the U.S. Nationals.

To bring the concept of a classic muscle car with a late model driveline to life Rosebush turned to Rich Rinke and his team at Turn Key Automotive. Rinke’s team builds the modern iteration of the COPO Camaro and they were the perfect fit for the task.

“This is a very modern car now with the new driveline we’ve added. I went with Rich and told him I wanted the latest driveline available to make the car work better. It should run in the high 9-second range when we get it sorted out. I wanted to put the late model driveline in the car with all the options possible so we could tune the car in a way that was never possible with a carburetor. The plan is to race the car in Factory GT trim this year,” Rosebush says.

Last year the Chevelle had a 427 cubic-inch COPO engine between the fenders but, Rosebush wanted to change the combination again for a more favorable weight-break in Super Stock. Many of the parts that went into the engine swap for the Chevelle are available from COPO Parts Direct. The 350 cubic-inch COPO engine is backed by a four-speed G-Force transmission. A cooling system from Power Cool was added that’s a direct fit for the car to address its cooling needs. Rinke and Rosebush will be driving the Chevelle this year while Rinke performs the tuning duties.

If you want to add some new-school power to your classic racecar via a crate engine check out the Chevrolet Performance website to see all the different engine packages they have to offer.

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About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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