Director, James Cameron was living the high life in 1997. Professionally, his seventh movie, Titanic had just become the first film to ever bring in more than $1 billion at the box office and, in his personal life, he was about to wed Linda Hamilton, the star of his first cinematic success, 1984’s The Terminator.
Cameron and Hamilton’s relationship didn’t blossom on the set of Sarah Connor’s first adventure though because Mr. Cameron was still with his first wife. When the time came to film the sequel, T2: Judgement Day, in 1991, the pair could finally get serious as things were ending between Cameron and wife number three.
Fast forward to 1997, after years together with Ms. Hamilton, James Cameron decided to give the whole marriage thing another shot. To celebrate his impending fourth nuptials, Mr. Cameron wanted to buy a grand present to commemorate the year that the connection took off. Gifting supercar from 1991 to his new bride became his mission.
Ask most car people what the cream of the automotive crop in ’91 was, and they will tell you that the Ferrari F40, in its penultimate year of production, would have been the obvious choice for someone like James Cameron. Enzo’s final vehicle just didn’t fit the bill for what Mr. Cameron was looking for; it was far too spartan on the inside and the words “second to last year on the market” just didn’t ring special enough for him to give to THE Linda Hamilton. Then there was the problem of rarity, with 1,311 units produced, the market was basically flooded with examples of the 478 HP twin-turbo V8 Ferrari. Luckily, Cameron and his people were able to track down a base, low-mileage 1991 Corvette that would remedy all of the F40s perceived shortcomings. A call to Callaway Cars in Old Lyme, Connecticut is all it took to start the transformation of that, humble C4, into one of the coolest cars of the decade, a Callaway Speedster.
Inspired by American speedsters of the ’20s and ’30s from Auburn and Stutz, Callaway’s Speedster was the ultimate expression of open-air, luxury motoring. It combined Callaway’s legendary, Twin-Turbo L98, exotic and functional Aerobody, and a gorgeous, new chop-top design. 1991 was the final year that you’d find an L98 under the hood of a Corvette and as such, the final year for the Callaway Twin-Turbo program. Up to that point, through GM’s RPO B2K option box, more than 400 L98s had been twin-turbocharged by Callaway. They had it down to a, vastly-reliable, science by this point. Callaway’s engine enhancements took the L98 from an underwhelming 245 HP and respectable 350 lb-ft of torque into the stratosphere to the tune of 450 Horses and a mind-blowing 613 lb-ft of torque (compare that with the F40’s 424 lb-ft or the Porsche 959’s stat line of 444 HP and 369 lb-ft).
The total price of the transformation was an eyewatering $186,625, which seems like a lot of money for a “refurbished” six-year-old car but Mr. Cameron knew what he was getting. In total, just 10 Speedsters were ever made, each one a bespoke collaboration between the owner and the brilliant minds at Callaway. The James Cameron car is finished in Ultra Black over a beautiful, Goldenrod German leather, luxury wool carpet, and orange carbon fiber cockpit that has the power to stifle even the harshest Corvette Interior critics. The car currently sits at just 4,335 miles and features a six-speed manual transmission, Callaway’s Z5G equipment group, J-55 brakes, electronic A/C, the FX3 selective ride and handling suspension, engine cooler, and more.
If your bank account could fund the creation of a time-traveling killer robot or if you are sitting on a large stash of unobtanium, the awesome “Cameron-ilton” Speedster could be yours. It is for sale by owner and is being offered with both original window stickers, the GM build sheet, factory manuals, and accessories, and a clean title signed by, and still in the name of, James Cameron. It’ll put you back a measly $500,000 American Greenbacks.
But wait, there’s even more to the story! The seller is offering up another Callaway as a package deal with the Speedster. The car in question was the second of the 68 B2K Twin-Turbo cars finished in 1989, when the package was rated at 382 Horsepower and 562 torques. This Convertible (one of 25 for ’89) Aerobody shows just 5890 miles and is one of only 19 Corvettes to receive the Callaway Heavy-Duty automatic transmission in the final year of the ’80s.
It was originally sold in Denver by Chesrown/John Elway AutoNation Chevrolet. According to Callaway, this 1989 is the only example finished in 20U Medium Blue Metallic paint with the Bright Blue Interior and a white convertible top. Its value is currently estimated at $80,000 but the package deal with the half-million-dollar Speedster knocks $30k off of that price for an all-in cost of $550,000.
If you’d like more information so that you can live your best life like James Cameron circa-1997, or if you’re just wanting to click through the stunning photo galleries of the two cars (have your desktop ready because there is a lot of background-worthy shots), you can see the full posting at CallawayCars.com.
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