The first 1969 ZL1 Camaro ever built crossed the auction block at last weekend's massive Mecum Spring Classic auction event in Indiana. When the bidding ended the successful buyer had agreed to pay $400,000 for this important piece of muscle car history.

Only 69 Camaros were built with the legendary aluminum ZL1 427ci V8 in underneath the hood in 1969. The first car was reserved by the man who sold Chevrolet on the idea of putting the massive engine in the Camaro—Fred Gibb—to be used as a drag strip terror sponsored by his dealership.

As the story goes when this car and the second ZL1 built arrived at Gibb Chevrolet in LaHarpe, Illinois on a snowy New Years Eve in 1968 they wouldn't start and had an unimaginably high price tag attached to them (Gibb agreed to a purchase order of 50 ZL1s as a condition of them being built without knowing the sticker price).

That didn't stop Gibb from getting ZL1 #1 prepped for the strip by Dick Harrell. A few short weeks later with the car prepped and both men's names on the side, Gibb proceeded to take this car on a cross country tour collecting straight line victories and sending the competition back to the drawing board wherever he went.

Considering this car's historical importance and extreme rarity we'd say $400,000 was a relatively reasonable price to pay. We could be wrong, but something makes us think the next time this rare car crosses the auction block it will sell for a whole lot more.

[Mecum via Hemmings]