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Old 08-31-2009, 05:56 PM
Chevy454 Chevy454 is offline
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Default September 2009 Feature Car

<u>Dana Fitzpatrick's 1969 Berger COPO</u>

When I was 14, I started a paper route.My papers were dropped off at a family friends gas station where I spent alot of time.

One day,I showed up to start my route,and this Camaro was up on the hoist.Little did I know I would be the owner a couple of years later,bought with my route money for $2200.

After it was purchased from Berger Chevrolet it started earning its reputation as a racer (from what I have been told by some people in Grand Rapids,even before it left Berger).It has been raced both on the street and strip from day one.Two of the pictures show it being raced at Martin dragway 2 days after the original owner purchased it.All of the owners are local,it has never left a 10 mile area from my house.

I raced Kevin Dewitte's Berger COPO more than once after Kevin sold it,and I remember his car being for sale about 5 minutes from me for $4500 by the guy who got it from Kevin.

I raced the car for years with a Liberty pro-shifted super T-10,but in the mid 90's I put in a turbo 400. Engine-wise it runs a 427 or a 454,with the 454 in it right now.Both engines are very much the same,the 427 a tenth or so slower.

On a side note,this car was included on the first order Berger placed for the COPO's,its an 02D car.A good friend of mine owns 2 Berger COPO's, a red RS one body # ahead of mine, restored by Scott Tieman,and a gold RS 2 body #'s after mine.Nyle Wing restored a triple green car 1 body # after mine.

Thatís four Berger RS COPO's in a row still present and accounted for


Hereís some more info! The two pictures at Martin were taken in the pits. One is a close up thatís not centered very well, and one with a 57 Chevy in it. The 57 is a C/MP car owned by a good friend, Paul Stewert. Very well known racer back then. I now race with Paul's son. Paul was a very good friend of my cars first owner, Pat Knowles. By the way, Pat passed away before I owned the car, but many locals who knew the car from the beginning, said Pat did not get the car until the spring of 1970.This includes Paul, and also Patís best friend who I have talked to many times in the past.

Patís best friend told me he was with Pat when he picked the car up at Berger, and remembers it had a couple of thousand miles on it. He clearly remembered Pat having a long discussion with the guys at Berger on the warranty. Paul Stewert remembers that these two pics at Martin were taken 2 days after Pat got the car. You can see the 1970 plate on it. I sometimes take it to the Berger show and the local racers have mentioned it being ran on the street by the guys from Berger. I've heard stories of grudge matches with the car against Dutler Ford, against a Cobra-Jet Mustang driven by their service dept. Back in 1978,just after I got the car,I worked for Bob Delamar who ran Bergers Hi -Po sales dept,by the way.One last thing...In the specs I gave you,I failed to mention like almost all the Berger COPO cars mine is a double COPO, with the 9737 package also.


Thanks,

Dana


















(NOTE: a big *THANK YOU* to Dana &amp; Bruce for making this a cut/paste deal! )
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