Watch The COPO Camaro's Belt Tensioner Have A Seizure On A Drag Strip

I'm not talking about a seizure where everything stops moving. I'm talking about the kind where you get all twitchy all over. That is exactly what the COPO Camaro's automatic belt tensioner looks like as the car struggles to find grip and put all of its power down.


This is a 2012 327 Supercharged COPO Camaro, which makes it a rare bird to begin with. COPO stands for "Central Office Production Order," which was how dealers were able to spec high performance versions of the muscle car in the 1960s. Only 69 of the new COPO Camaros are made each year to commemorate the number of ZL-1 COPO Camaros built in 1969, when the first purpose-built drag racing Camaros appeared in NHRA's Super Stock and Stock Eliminator classes.

Watch this belt as it goes up to the supercharger pulley. The engine torques under load, stretching the rubber belt as it goes around all of the pulleys, so that's where the automatic tensioner kicks in to ensure that the belt keeps the proper amount of tension even when it's stretched.

The launch is what's most interesting, though. As the car bounces off its rev limiter and then spins its tires, the entire engine seems to get confused as to what to do. The belt tensioner shakes violently, and finally, once the car has all its wheels spinning evenly on the ground, you can see just how much a belt deforms when the engine gets going.

Belts are good, mmm'kay?