Here some exciting news from Mecum that is sure to make collectors sit up and take notice.
We recently learned that the most famous Callaway Corvette ever made – the 254 MPH Sledgehammer – will be offered for sale at Mecum’s annual January event in Kissimmee, Florida.
The Sledgehammer was a no-sale with the high bid reaching $600,000. We were told the reserve would be close to seven figures.
Reeves Callaway was already in the turbo charging business with Corvette, offering the twin-turbo B2K RPO starting in 1987. But he wanted to take the car further and began specially modifying a 1988 Corvette. The project idea was to build a car that could reach a top speed of 250 mph while still be able to drive it in everyday conditions with the radio and A/C working.
Paul Deutschman of Deutschman Design was commissioned to develop the Callaway Aerobody and the car used modified body panels to reduce drag and improve stability at high speeds. Reeves said it must be stable at 250 mph and still remain aesthetic to the eye.
The standard Corvette engine was replaced with a “Bowtie Block” and hand-built to exact specifications by the team at Callaway. The engine was outfitted with two turbos and produced 898 horsepower. The transmission was a Doug Nash 5-speed with a special overdrive unit and the suspension was tuned by Carroll Smith.
Inside the car, the stock interior was left mostly intact with all the conveniences like power windows and locks, Bose stereo, electronic A/C and power seats all still functional. The Callaway was outfitted with a roll cage, fire suppression system and some electronics for the engineers to monitor.
In October 1988, the Sledgehammer lived up to its promises. After being driven from Callaway’s shop in Old Lyme, CT to the Transportation Research Center in East Liberty, Ohio, John Lingenfelter drove the C4 Callaway to a record speed of 254.76 MPH on the 7.5 mile oval at the TRC. Following its run, the car was driven back to Old Lyme with no issues.
Here’s the classic video showing the development of the Sledgehammer and the record speed run from 1988.
Reeves sold the Callaway Sledgehammer at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction in 2004 with the sales price listed as $221,400. Ten years later and in the middle of a hot market for unique one-of-a-kind Corvettes, the Callaway Sledgehammer has an opportunity to really make a name for itself in a different venue – on the auction block at Mecum.
The Callaway Sledgehammer is part of the Richard Berry Callaway Collection and is scheduled to be sold on Friday, January 24th at 6:50pm. Here are the images shown on Mecum’s online catalog:
For more details of Mecum’s Kissimmee sale in January 2014, visit Mecum.com.
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