'69 Chevrolet Nova COPO

Published on
June 12, 2011
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Revell, Inc. - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Revell, Inc. - Website: Visit Site
Box Art

In the heyday of muscle cars, if the buyer knew what boxes to check on the order form, they could get a rocket right from the factory, in effect doing the much same thing as having Yenko or Baldwin-Motion “improve it” after driving it from the dealer’s lot. This dealer option was abbreviated COPO---Central Office Production Order.

Revell’s re-released their ’69 Nova SS kit in a less-glitzy COPO version, with additional parts for the 427-cubic-inch L-72 V8, and applicable chrome parts as well---the SS chrome parts are still included in the kit.

Novas came in several colors---the box art shows Gloss Green Metallic, but planning the build, I more or less put myself in a buyer’s place and asked what color I’d want this rod if I were ordering it, so opted for Hugger Orange. I also figured a set of black “Camaro Stripes” would coordinate well with the black interior, so decided to add those from a spare decal sheet, as they don’t come with the kit. There are, however, three body trim stripes on the decal sheet---black, white, and silver---giving the builder a choice of trim no matter what body color they choose…nice touch. The chrome scripts and fender lights are items on the decal sheet as well, so I sanded the raised ones off the body shell prior to painting.

The kit parts fit really nicely---I had no trouble at all building the basic car. The interior tub, with its bench seats (no buckets like the SS) features a textured stripe down the center of each seat. With the specified semi-gloss black color for the interior, I decided to apply a body-colored stripe to these areas to break up the “coal hole” effect. I used some International Orange trim film stripes for these parts of the seats---a fairly good match for Hugger Orange.

The SS had a piece of brightwork across the deck lid above the rear bumper, while the regular Nova didn’t. The COPO kit provides a body shell insert to fit here, and in the interests of getting the body all sprayed the same color, I glued it to the shell prior to painting, instead of waiting to install it later as the instructions specify. I used Bare-Metal Foil for the chrome trim around the windshield and rear window, but left the B pillar and chrome side window surrounds body color. Photos show this to be what I think was probably an optional trim package.

I had a little problem with the chrome parts. The air cleaner has three sprue attachment points, and when these nubs are cleaned up, some of the fluting around its circumference is lost. The grille wasn't a great fit to the body, so I used CA to attach it, bending it into place and holding it while the stuff cured---and hoping I wasn't getting real attached to my work in the process. The front and rear bumpers each have two circular marks in their centers---they may be ejector pin marks---so it's almost mandatory to hang license plates to cover them up. Noted in the instructions but easy to overlook, if you use the Illinois 'Antique Vehicle' plates given on the decal sheet, the one with the little red expiration sticker goes on the rear.

The clear parts are excellent, provided you don't get glue on them as I did (rats!) and mess them up. I removed the marred window (the left rear) and sanded and polished the mark out as best I could, but when I re-installed it, the mark was still visible. I returned to my spares box and found a dealer's sticker decal to cover the booboo---this isn't included in the kit, either, but it hides my errant glue droplet and doesn't look too out of place.

Redline and narrow whitewall tire decals are given in the kit. I applied the redlines first and they just didn't "do it" for me, so I removed them and tried the whitewalls, which really made the model pop.

The third (and last) item I added to the build which wasn't in the kit was an antenna mast---the dashboard has the radio face molded in, so I figured this was a necessary detail. When all was assembled and ready for me to take its glamour shots for the website, I found the hood wouldn't stay open on its own (hence the little wire support seen in an accompanying photo). This may have been my fault in building the kit and not a shortcoming of the kit itself. One of these days I'll learn to build cars the right way.

Terrific kit. I wasn't sure when I received it that I'd enjoy the build as much as I did, but boy, the excellent fit and beautiful detail in it was a nice surprise which lifts the kit out of the ordinary in my estimation. Now it's time to buy Revell's Nova SS kit and build a companion piece to my COPO.

Thanks to Revell and to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this gem.


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