The heads-up came via Facebook’s messenger app. Chris Chessnoe, program manager for Callaway Cars said the AeroWagen will be in Tampa and would I like a few hours with it?
Um, sure Chris!
My time with the latest Callaway creation would be short, and I was anxious to the make the most of it. Arriving at Stingray Chevrolet in Plant City on a Tuesday afternoon just before 5pm, the Torch Red AeroWagen was parked out doors but strategically next to the entrance so that those entering would pass right buy it.
A quick conversation with Corvette specialist Matt Blundo of Stingray Chevy and then I was on my way, merging onto interstate I4 West with heavy traffic headed back to Tampa.
This was my second time in the Callaway 757 Z06 but it was the first time to be all alone in the drivers seat. Callaway’s C7 nomenclature confirms the Callaway Z06 tire-shredding 757 horses and 777 lb-ft of torque. But the heavy rush hour traffic and the presence of more than one Florida FHP trooper would insure that the day’s drive would be anything but tire-shredding.
And that’s okay. Not everyday can you live out the fantasy that you’re the next “Johnny O” driving for Corvette Racing. So with just a couple hours of daylight, I looked to get off the beaten path and get in some photography of the Callaway.
The car is a blast to drive and never once did I feel any intimidation or fear that it as going to scoot out from under me. In regular driving conditions, it acts as docile and compliant as you would expect. The few times I did get heavy on the fight foot, the Callaway responded almost instantly and within seconds the cares of the world are in your rear view mirror.
And I suspect that’s the secret of the Callaway formula. A Corvette that’s as easy to drive as the family sedan with a ton of performance ready to be tapped as a moments notice. Cruising around on city streets, the slight wine of the Callaway’s three-intercooler supercharger can be faintly heard, like a siren calling your name, asking you for a little more.
The AeroWagen component is really just more flash for an already cool car. It does add some additional room in the rear, but any gains are negligible. Callaway says the AeroWagen hatch does help with aerodynamic air flow over the rear of the coupe, but again, those gains are also said to be negligible as well.
So why is there an AeroWagen in the first place? Because they can? Wagons and extended hatches have appeared on Corvettes since the customizing-crazy phase in the mid 1970s with Greenwood and Ralph Eckler kits leading the way. This is just the latest Corvette wagon iteration in modern day C7 form.
Reeves Callaway told us at the NCM Bash that the AeroWagen represents a slightly different direction for the company than in generations past. Where Callaway would previously offer fully rebodied Corvettes like the C12 and C16, for the C7 generation, customization of the body would be limited to specific projects like the AeroWagen.
So how has the car been received? Most of the Corvette fans we hear from don’t like it and aren’t afraid of expressing their opinions. (Meanwhile, some of these same owners are the ones that put all kinds of non-stock items on their car). Sometimes I think that the only ones who do like this Corvette wagon are bloggers like ourselves. But in the short time I had the car, I received several waves and thumbs up and more that a few people were spotted taking photos of the Torch Red Rocket.
So back to my date night, the last stop before heading home would be the North Pier rest area on the Sunshine Skyway, the large bridge the spans the mouth of Tampa Bay and it was there we conducted this Facebook Live video.
With the visible carbon fiber top removed, I then cruised back over to South Tampa where I showed off the car to the family. The DOC (daughter of CorvetteBlogger) loved the car and demanded a ride to school in it the next day. The neighborhood cat also liked the Callaway as when I opened my front door in the morning, she was chilling on the exposed supercharger but took off before I could a pic.
After dropping off the DOC in front of her school, I made the drive over another bridge to visit the Dream Garage in Clearwater, home of the Corvette Dream Giveaway. They have an automotive photography studio in-house and were kind to allow us to do a photo shoot under the studio lights:
Just as I was wrapping up the photo shoot, I got the message that Chris had arrived at Tampa International Airport, and so that was the end of our Quick Date with the Callaway SC757 Aerowagen. Despite the car being in my possession for less than 18 hours, it was hard saying goodbye to such a fun ride. Our Quick Date may be over, but the thrill of driving that supercharged 757 horsepower Callaway will be one of those memories that last a lifetime!