The Callaway Aerobody TM
In the 1980's with a major recession having ended as a result of the 1st Oil Crisis of the 1970's, people were once again hungry for power and the Automotive World responded by bringing back big power. Leading the push for power, the Automotive Magazines baited the car companies by holding high speed runs to create bragging rights which led to magazine (and car) sales. Corvette was the American favorite but fell behind Porsche, Farrari, and other European Exotics in terms of performance.
With the Callaway Corvette, the Corvette had a chance to not only compete but to take the lead in these top speed showdowns. Project Top Gun was created for GM by Callaway to push the envelope and beat the Top Dogs of the time. Top Gun was a 1988 Callaway Corvette and ran in excess of 215 MPH. It was later crushed as most GM test vehicles are when their use is complete (a sad moment in Automotive history without a doubt).
Reeves thought about the Top Speed Showdowns wth the magazines and determined that the best way to put to end it was to build a car so fast that the other car companies would not want to even try.... and the idea for the Callaway Sledgehammer was born.
In typical Callaway fashion, Reeves looked at the top speed problem of the car as a system and not just in terms of engine power, thus he needed to address issues that affect the speed of a car at very high speeds which also include air drag, resistance, and stability. Plainly put, he needed to improve the Aerodynamics of the Corvette.
At one point, he had seen pictures from a Porsche Spexster (pictures below), a customized Porsche belonging to a collector in Canada. This car had been designed by a young Automotive Stylist in Quebec by the name of Paul Deutschman. Reeves approached Paul to design improved Aerodynamics for the C4 Corvette which he would use on the Sledgehammer, beginning a long association between Callaway Cars and Deustschman Design which to this day continues for all Callaway projects.
The Callaway Aerobody was designed for the Sledgehammer's 254.67 MPH speed run which put and end to all Top Speed Showdowns for over a decade and was a production version adapted (with some modifications) as a optional component for Callaway Corvettes beginning in 1989. Additional information on the Sledgehammer is available here.
The Callaway Aerobody provides improved Aerodynamics and a distinctive look for Callaway Corvettes. Its components include the Nose, Rear, and all lower body panels below the "rub line" of the C4 Corvette. The Aerobody is still available from Callaway Cars for both standard body C4 Corvettes and their wider body counterpart ZR-1 based corvettes. A modified Aerobody was also used as the basis for the unique Callaway C4 based Speedsters.
link to Callaway Aerobody Installation Guide (36 MB)
Callaway Aerobody on Luigi's 1991 Callaway Twin Turbo Corvette
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