The first Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 garnered a cool quarter-mil when it went across the auction block at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Las Vegas over the weekend.

The most powerful version of the Chevy muscle car ever built will reach showrooms early next year at a decidedly more affordable price – anticipated to be somewhere around $50,000.  But the very collectible first retail Camaro ZL1, offered by a Sin City dealer, was aimed at raising money for the YMCA of Southern Nevada.

Curiously, it was another dealer who anted up the winning bid.  Rick Hendricks, owner of Hendricks Motorsports and chairman of the Hendricks Automotive Group, took the gavel at $250,000.  He’ll have to pony up the money now though he’ll only take delivery of his newChevy Camaro ZL1 sometime during the first quarter of 2012.

The wait should be worth it considering the ZL1 Hendricks will get will be the only one produced with a Carbon Flash Metallic exterior. It will be the 69th ZL1 to roll off the line at the Oshawa Assembly Plant, in tribute to the legendary 1969 Camaro ZL1, of which only 69 were produced.

The ZL1 is the long-awaited Chevy response to the likes of the Mustang Shelby GT.  The Camaro ZL1’s 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 will make a jaw-dropping 580 horsepower and 556 lb-ft of torque.  That is, incidentally, 24 hp more than the same LSA V-8 makes under the hood of the Cadillac CTS-V thanks to improvements made to the intake system, supercharger and intercooler.

The car Hendricks will drive home will come with a 6-speed manual gearbox, though the ZL1 will also be offered with a 6-speed automatic.

“Our family has been involved with the YMCA for more than 25 years,” said Greg Heinrich, president of Fairway Chevrolet, explaining the Las Vegas retailers decision to put the one-of-a-kind ZL1 on the auction block.

The original 69 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 clones when for a grand total of $7,200 – closer to $45,000 adjusted for inflation today.  But one of those rarities commanded a record $840,000 bid when it went up for auction in 2005.  So, maybe Hendricks got a steal after all.

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Tags: Barret, Camaro, Chevy, Gt, Jackson, Mustang, Shelby, ZL1, hendricks

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