Callaway has built a firm reputation for producing some of the most sophisticated and advanced Corvette-based automobiles ever to hit the road. Callaway’s C12, introduced in 1998, continued this legacy. Designed, developed, and constructed with the assistance of German engineering and development company IVM, the C12 was created from the outset to be a bespoke, high-performance car that offered its occupants a civilized interior and relaxed ride.
The Callaway C12 serial number is the same as a standard production Corvette, but the C12 is in no way standard. With aerodynamic bodywork fabricated from fiberglass, carbon fiber, and Kevlar, a massaged aluminum V8, heavily revised suspension, enormous disc brakes, and a thoughtfully upgraded interior, the Callaway C12 is a custom-built American supercar. It is so different from its Corvette base that cars sent to Europe were titled as Callaways. Very few of these exclusive cars were made, as most were built specifically to customers’ orders.
This striking Callaway C12 is the first example constructed. As such, it was featured in a number of road tests for automotive magazines. In 1998, it was on the cover of Road & Track and Motor Trend, both of which championed the car. After its press use, the car was delivered to Los Angeles Times publisher Otis Chandler.
Nearly a decade later, this C12 appears like a new car inside and out. The performance offers a purported 0–60 mph time of 4.2 seconds on the way to a top speed of nearly 190 mph. Despite its performance, the C12 is luxuriously equipped and is docile around town. Rarity, provenance, history, and performance make this Callaway a distinctive alternative to today’s top-of-the-line Corvettes.