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Callaway Of the Month June '05

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Carlisle Callaway C36 - Part III

 

Spending time in the Carlisle Callaway C36 Corvette is something very easy to do. No twisting arms or asking twice, just say where and when and I will be there.

Having spent about 2,500 miles in the C36 over the past few months, I have been able to closely follow the C36 from its inception through its current stages of development and have gotten to know the current model of the Corvette in the process, an excellent foundation upon which to build.

Following Lance Miller’s Carlisle Events project car through the various stages of development has been exciting to say the least. When the project began this past August at the Corvettes @ Carlisle show, the car had just been delivered with only 16 miles on the odometer and was immediately turned over to Callaway Cars for what has been a thorough buildup. In our last installment of  C36 coverage, the team from Callaway Cars had just debuted a dozen new performance and appearance products on the car, cementing the company firmly into the fast paced C6 market!

While some of the components shown on the car in our last installment were considered development parts, Callaway’s team of engineers have been extremely busy the past couple months, preparing the parts for production. After a few months had passed, it was time to check in with Callaway Cars to see the progress on this exciting project. After talking over some of the updates with Managing Director, Mike Zoner, we decided to meet and gauge the latest round of improvements.

On the way to the Callaway factory, I met up with Mike Zoner at Englishtown Raceway Park in New Jersey for some quarter mile time trials. Zoner chose Englishtown as he felt the track surface was well prepared, allowing for very consistent results. Joining us at the track, another Callaway Corvette owner brought his car, Mike brought the C36, and I brought enthusiasm and optimism.

What a sight it was in the staging lanes of Englishtown! The C36 riding on wide BFGoodrich drag radials complete with a stance ready to launch, along side a legendary Callaway Twin Turbo AeroBody™ Corvette – very cool!

While the bright red paint, whooshes and whirs of the Callaway Twin Turbo certainly grabbed attention in the pit lanes, the C36 astonished onlookers with an elapsed time of 11.9 seconds @ 118 mph. The runs made at Englishtown were a full seven tenths of a second quicker than stock, and five miles per hour faster at the top end. Remembering that the C36’s performance modifications at this point consisted of Callaway’s prototype PowerGroup 1 (Honker Intake & Double-D Catback exhaust), PowerGroup 2 (Equal Length Headers & UHC-8 Ignition Wires), and PowerGroup 3 (CNC-ported Cylinder Heads, Callaway-designed Camshaft, & High-Ratio Rockers), this car was clearly reaping the benefits of improved breathing. The chassis modifications were also being put to task, planting the extra 61 bhp and 25 lb-ft of torque that had been previously measured on the dynamometer.

Computers and calculations… Installed in the C36 since the last time I drove the car, Callaway Cars is utilizing a cutting edge MOTEC data acquisition system called the Advanced Dash Logger, or ADL for short. Installed to monitor all of the test vehicle’s vital signals, it is like an automotive EKG system.

The MOTEC ADL uses a 32 bit microprocessor and samples the input channels supplying the data at rates of up to 1000 times per second. The system monitors several parameters during the test session, including vehicle speed and engine RPM with respect to time, temperatures such as inlet air and exhaust gas, pressures in the inlet and exhaust systems, and air / fuel. Activating the MOTEC to log the data is done with the flip of a switch on a small box that rests on the center console. Once the session is over and the raw data is collected, this information can be uploaded over to a laptop or PC for analysis.

With an evening of data gathered from the track runs, Mike and I left New Jersey, heading north to Connecticut. The next day brought more testing and evaluation of straight-line performance. At another test site, we were able to replicate the numbers from the previous day with a few more passes, confirming our earlier results. It should be noted that the MOTEC system allows the user to get a complete and accurate picture of the captured data. This capability is extremely important, especially when capturing data over a period of time, as track conditions can vary from day to day and in extreme cases, by the hour. The results can be looked at in a uniform fashion with the atmospheric correction factor applied and gains quantified, they can be deemed bonafide and not some fluke due to outside factors.

            After wrapping up our performance and validation session, Zoner told me what was next for the project. I would be seeing progress again very soon, as the car was getting ready to be shipped to the Chevy Vettefest in Chicago at the end of the month.

            Arriving in the windy city late in November, I made my way to the show, finding the Callaway Team and their impressive display set up with the C36 taking center stage.

Dressed in parts ready for production, the most obvious change from before was the bright new set of mufflers beneath the car. The original design consisted of one large oval canister with the “Double D” tips exiting the rear of the car; however, the car now wears a highly polished alternative. The new Callaway cat-back exhaust for the C6, sharply displays twin canisters, each sitting at an angle, forming a “V”. Exiting through the familiar “Double D” tips, the exhaust makes a powerful rumble, undeniably “the Callaway sound”. While maximizing exhaust gas flow was a chief design objective, Callaway engineers also understood that controlling resonance was paramount. They tested numerous muffler designs until they were thoroughly satisfied with the tone.

With a push of the starter button, the car burbled to life. Attending the Chicago show was the car’s owner, Lance Miller. This would be the first time he had seen the car in the current state of tune and with a blip of the throttle, Lance was all smiles. The sounds coming from the car commanded attention and certainly drew excitement from others! 

            Throughout the weekend long event, Callaway Cars’ Mike Vendetto and Bill Prout were on hand answering questions about the current offerings and details about the upcoming packages. While attending a seminar offered by Vendetto, I spotted a sign adjacent to the C36 that hinted to the future of not only the display car, but also future offerings based upon the Corvette.

            Printed on that sign were the words C6 AeroBody™ and C6 Twin Turbo – two items certain to get any enthusiasts heart rate up! While the Callaway team continues to develop the SuperNatural packages for the C6 using Lance’s C36 Carlisle Callaway, this project car would soon be receiving the C6 AeroBody™. Paul Deutschman, the longtime Callaway Cars bodywork stylist located in Montreal, Canada is in the process of designing new body components for the C6. Replacing key panels on the car for a very tasteful look and retaining the sharp lines of the base car, the changes are nothing short of amazing. Deutschman’s credits of design for Callaway Cars include the AeroBody™ for both the C4 Corvette and the Camaro, the Callaway C12 and most recently, the subtle exhaust tip surround panel seen on the C5 Power Group cars. Upon reviewing the drafts for the new bodywork, I am excited and looking forward to seeing the tangible version. In the meantime, the buzz surrounding the Callaway C6 Twin Turbo under development provides plenty of excitement.

With the performance validation completed for the first two Power Groups on the C6 and initial results of the third PowerGroup gathered, production will begin soon and by the time you read this, Callaway Cars will have the PowerGroups and components available for retail sale on their website or by mail order. Additionally, the C36 project car has just received its new 6.8 Liter SuperNatural® engine to launch it towards recognizing one of its initial goals, 550 naturally aspirated horsepower! Watch for upcoming coverage about the car, with full coverage of this new engine, and the advances in performance that push the C6 performance envelope to the extreme!

© 2005 Christopher Chessnoe

All rights reserved.

 Please click on any of the images for a full size version.

 

 


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