General Info & Background
The Callaway Owners Group is dedicated to the preservation of the world's most powerful Corvette.
CALLAWAY CARS PERIODICAL LIST IS: *HERE*
Callaway Cars - A Historical Perspective
Some of the most unique Corvettes in the world have been hand crafted by a company of dedicated engineers & enthusiasts based in Old Lyme, Connecticut - They are known as Callaway Corvettes. Callaway’s creed has for years been, “Powerfully Engineered Automobiles”; let’s take a look at how these special Corvettes came into existence.
Callaway Cars, a company known for their engineering skills and fine attention to detail in the craftsmanship of their products over the years have been at the top of the high performance field for over two decades. Started in the garage at his Old Lyme, Connecticut home, Reeves Callaway began experimenting with BMW 3 series cars. Out of those experiments came his first turbo system that received rave reviews when reviewed by Car&Driver Magazine. With his first project deemed a success, he continued to develop other products, often with major vehicle manufacturers, such as Alfa Romeo and their GTV6 Twin Turbo car.
It was the Alfa Twin Turbo car that was the catalyst that sparked interest within the ranks of General Motors (GM) towards Callaway Cars and their engineering abilities. In the early 80’s GM was looking at high performance engine options such as turbo charging and multi-valve technologies. GM was aware of Callaway’s reputation and the cars it had produced. In fact, they had taken a Callaway Alfa Twin Turbo and examined the work closely. After GM’s own twin turbo V6 and V8 projects had run their course, Dave McLellan gave the nod to Callaway, authorizing him to develop a prototype. The resulting prototype was introduced in June 1986 to GM and the media. With 345 hp and 465 lb–ft torque, the twin turbo V8 package was engineered to be the ultimate Corvette package, producing tremendous power while retaining its emissions controls and a complete warranty.
The Callaway Twin Turbo Corvette became known as Chevrolet option RPO B2K and was available through select Chevrolet dealers both in the United States and abroad. It continues to hold the distinction of being the only engine package produced outside of GM to hold an RPO code, something that will probably never happen again. Produced between 1987 and 1991, over 500 of these special Corvettes were made in coupe, convertible, and at the close of production, the Speedster form. By ordering a Corvette through the dealer, and checking the option box for B2K, it triggered a series of events, which ensured the cars received special equipment and handling under SEO Z5G.
Throughout production, changes were made. Optional wheels were available in 1987 cast out of magnesium from Dymag in England and were available in 16-inch diameter and later in the year, a 17-inch size. In 1988, power levels increased. Horsepower was now rated at 382 and torque rose to 565 lb-ft. That year also saw the 17-inch Dymag wheels become standard equipment with other options such as an automatic transmission and full leather interior also was offered. Available for the 1989 B2K was the handsome Aerobody designed by Paul Deutschman and first seen on the Callaway Sledgehammer Corvette. It became available mid year on the production versions and replaced or installed over the lower panels of the car. 1990 brought more power once again. Horsepower rose to 390 and torque output was 562 lb-ft. however; the automatic transmission was no longer available. 1991 was the final year for the B2K option with power up again, this time to 403hp and 575 lb-ft. A subtle change to the hood included the installation of blisters to duct cold air to the intercoolers. The Aerobody, introduced in 1989 continued to be an option and late in the year, the Speedster model was revealed.
1992 brought changes to the way Callaway Cars did business. That year, General Motors introduced the second-generation small block V8, called the LT1. This engine would require a complete revision of the B2K option and after review of the situation, it was decided to shift gears and change direction.
Changing direction introduced us to the Callaway SupernaturalÔCorvettes. Previously, Callaway Corvettes made their increased power through positive manifold pressure; now they made it through increased displacement and finesse. Initially called the CL1 or CR1, they designated the chassis they were built upon – either LT1 cars (CL1) or LT5 cars (CR1) and were available with a host of options. These included the familiar Aerobody, special paint colors; a full leather interior as seen previously on the Speedsters, special wheels, brakes, and exhausts round out the list. Cars could either be ordered and shipped directly to Callaway’s facility in Old Lyme or a select authorized installer for installation or, an existing Corvette could be sent to them for conversion. Available between 1992 and 1996, the SupernaturalÔ Series output constantly evolved. Introduced as a SupernaturalÔ 400, designating 400 horsepower, it grew to become the 425, 435, 440, and finally the 450 models for LT1 based cars and the 475 or 490 being offered for the LT5 models. The SupernaturalÔ line was a great success, with Callaway expanding it to the Camaro and Impala lines with similar options. It should also be noted; three very special cars were also constructed during this time, based upon LT5 models. It seemed natural for Callaway to turbo charge the LT5 and on three occasions, he did. Two Super Speedsters were built and one coupe, each unique in their own way.
1997 brought the newest model of the Corvette, the C5. With that, in 1998, Callaway debuted their latest model called the C12 at the New York Auto Show. With a distinctive body and wide stance, this Callaway shared little with the Corvette it was built upon. Measuring two meters wide and powered by various naturally aspirated engines, the C12 was not only beautiful to look at but was competitive to boot. The C12’s styling once again was handled by Paul Deutschman and was molded in lightweight carbon fiber. In addition to the C12, Callaway also offers a product line for the current Corvette including, top end packages, exhaust, brakes, and interior enhancements.
2004 brought the introduction of the C6 Corvette and with that, the SuperNaturalÔ series continued. Offered for the coupe and convertible models alike, the SuperNaturalÔ Callaway Corvettes could be had with either 490 or 550 horsepower, with either of the transmissions that Chevrolet offered. In the summer of 2006, the next chapter of Callaway performance came, when Callaway Cars took over engineering and support of the Corvette supercharger line from Magnuson. Bringing an additional 160 horsepower to the table, Callaway's SuperCharger program for Corvettes delivered an amazing 560 horsepower with the return of forced induction. Combining many of the SuperNaturalÔ package components with the new SuperCharger line, delivered an amazing 616 horsepower in a package that was almost close to excessive in power! In the fall of 2006, Callaway's newest supercar, the C16 was unveiled at the LA Auto Show to the delight of the media and enthusiasts alike. In the spring of 2007, a Cabrio version joined the lineup, followed by the radical new Speedster model in the summer of 2007 at the prestigious Pebble Beach Councouse D'Elegance.
New for 2008, with the introduction of the 6.2 Litre GM Corvette LS-3 base engine, Callaway has designed a new larger SuperCharger, the MP-122 which rasies the power of the base SuperCharged Callaway Corvette to 580HP and 510Lb. Ft. of Torque. Additionally, Callaway has greatly expanded its dealer network bringing turnkey purchase, finance, and support as well Callaway SuperCharged cars in stock and ready to drive off the lot. For the C16 series, 2008 has changed from an a-la-carte program to a complete package (body, engine, suspension, wheels, brakes, and luxury interior) and the power has been increased to 650HP.
For over twenty years, the name Callaway has been synonymous with powerful and well-engineered Corvettes. With the new C6 models being developed and marketed by Callaway Cars, Callaway enthusiasts continue to be amazed with what Reeves Callaway & Team offer for us all.
1987 - 1991 Twin Turbo Corvette
1990 - 1996 SuperNatural™ Corvette
2005 - Current Power Group Corvette & SuperNatural™ and SuperCharged Series
2007 - Current C16
2007 - Current C17 Callaway SuperCharged Corvettes
1993 - 2002 Callaway C8 Camaro
1994 - 1996 Callaway C9 Impala
Race Models C7 and LM
2010 - Current Callaway C18
Callaway Twin Turbo Corvette Production Numbers
The Callaway Twin Turbo Corvette was officially produced, between 1987 and 1991 under the Chevrolet Regular Production Option “B2K”. By ordering a Corvette through the dealer, and checking the option box for B2K, it triggered a series of events, which ensured the cars received special equipment and handling.
While the final production exceeded 500 Corvettes, the total that were ordered through the Bowling Green plant was lower due to a few factors. These factors included many dealers sent cars already in the process of delivery to their stores, or may have been on their lot and were used to "prime the system," as Reeves Callaway has explained to us. "Callaway Cars was under obligation to deliver a product, and we did so by taking some cars in after they left the Bowling Green Assembly Plant." These cars would not have had the RPO code in the glovebox, but would have been built using the exact same parts list and built to the same standard as any other Callaway Twin Turbo Corvette. Individuals could also send in their own Corvettes to Callaway in Old Lyme for what is called a “Direct Conversion”. These cars are built to the same standard as the cars during the Twin Turbo program however, some parts might be changed for what was currently available. As an example, a flat-hood on a 1987, or different wheels, etc.
The production numbers listed below are broken down as best as I could and while the final count is very close, there are still a few mysteries to be solved.
One 1986 Callaway Corvette was constructed. This rare Callaway was built, using an equally rare Malcolm Konner Special Edition Corvette (RPO 4001ZA) coupe as its foundation. Originally wearing BBS mesh wheels, Silver 16 inch Dymag wheels were added at some point in its history.
167 cars were ordered with RPO B2K, while Callaway records show 188 cars constructed.
You may have also seen the number of cars built listed as 184 (121 Coupes & 63 convertibles) however, four more cars were produced bringing the overall total to 188 Callaway Twin Turbo's for 1987 (123 coupes and 65 convertibles.
1987 ‘s wore the factory wheels for the most part, with two different Dymag Magnesium wheels offered during the model year. Optional 16" Dymags available, wore a dark graphite finish. According to records, fewer than two-dozen sets of the 16" Dymag cast magnesium wheels were fitted to Callaway Corvettes for the 1987 model year. Most cars produced, wore their regular Corvette wheels appropriate to their suspension (RPO) code. The 16" Dymags were charcoal in color, although a few have subsequently been painted other colors by their owners after delivery. The Dymag wheels were an expensive option, costing owners an additional $2,995 over the cost of the Callaway engine option. Offered later as an optional upgrade, the next generation of Callaway Dymags could have been fitted. 17” in diameter, these wheels wore a silver finish. These were the Dymags that became standard in 1988 on the Callaway Corvette.
Though not an official option, two of the 1987’s were equipped with automatic transmissions from Old Lyme, CT.
105 cars were ordered with RPO B2K, while Callaway records show 125 cars constructed.
Bowling Green records showed 50 coupes and 55 convertibles made while Callaway records showed 60 coupes and 65 convertibles. 1988 also saw the official release of the automatic transmission – 10 coupes and 16 convertibles were equipped this way. In 1988, Corvettes saw 17-inch wheels become available. Callaway Corvettes for that year (and subsequent years) wore handsome, silver 17" Dymags that utilized the base Corvette locking center cap.
This year saw the fewest Callaway Corvettes ordered through Bowling Green with RPO B2K. Only 51 cars were listed as ordered this way, 32 coupes and 19 convertibles. Callaway records show 67 cars constructed, 43 coupes and 24 convertibles. It should be noted however, that one more car was constructed after the tally was taken, skipping one car in the production sequence. I have personally driven #89-069, which is an Aerobody 6 speed convertible, and it is understood that this car was the final unit made for the 1989 run.
The automatic transmission was offered again in 1989 with 8 coupes and 9 convertibles equipped that way.
1989 also saw the release of the Callaway Aerobody. Available on coupes and convertibles, this extremely attractive bodywork could be ordered along with your new 1989 or, retrofitted to any previous Callaway Corvette.
59 cars were ordered with RPO B2K this year, while Callaway records showed 58 cars constructed.
Bowling Green records reported 38 coupes and 21 convertibles made while Callaway records state 37 coupes and 21 convertibles were constructed. Gone for this year, was the automatic transmission however, the B2K option was now officially available for sale in California. The Aerobody also continued to be an option on these cars.
Bowling green records showed that 25 coupes and 38 convertibles were produced while Callaway’s numbers (which included Speedsters into the tally) stand at 71. The cars constructed were, 27 coupes and 44 convertibles. Again, these numbers take into consideration, the Speedsters constructed during this year and that model is broken down a bit further below.
In addition to the Speedster option from Callaway, the Aerobody was also optional this model year as well.
Series I Speedster Production was 10 cars. These cars were powered by the L98 Twin Turbo powerplant and were custom tailored to the owner’s style and taste.
End of an era:
At the end of the 1991 model year, the official B2K production came to an end.
The final count from Bowling Green stands at 445 cars while Callaway’s numbers reflect 510 cars constructed. It should also be mentioned, there was one 1986 Callaway Corvette built. Constructed from a unique Malcom Konner Special Edition Corvette coupe, it is one of a kind and wears a set of silver 16” Dymag Wheels.
The final chapter on that generation of Callaway Twin Turbo Corvettes came in 1994 with the third and final LT5 based Twin Turbo being constructed. This 94 ZR1 was finished in Aqua metallic with gray leather interior and wears a standard body with two large ovals opened in the hood section to allow airflow through the huge front mounted intercoolers. This car is fitted with 18” RW magnesium wheels.
Speedster | 1986-2001 | C12 Production
Please consider these numbers a guide. While they are as close as I have come, if you have proof of anything different, please contact us – Thank you.
Callaway Vehicle Spotters Guide: Link Here
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