The Callaway C16 Speedster is Born

August 20, 2007
by Luigi

As the owner of a 1991 Callaway Twin Turbo Corvette (CTTC), throughout the year I have been participating in the 20th anniversary celebration of Callaway Cars' continued ability to create Powerfully Engineered Corvettes. Being the 2nd owner of a CTTC (acquired in 2001), I have wondered how  it must have been back during the hey-day of the C4 era when the Callaway Twin Turbo Corvette was all of the fuss, to have witnessed first-hand its introduction and the incremental developments that followed leading up to their highly celebrated CTTC Speedsters. Back then I was fresh out of college, beginning my career, and focused on many other things but Corvettes as they were out of my financial reach. Fast forward 20 years, this time I am privileged to find myself in the middle of it all, to witness the birth of the spirit, heart, and body of new Callaway Corvette with the introduction of the Callaway C16 line of cars.

But how times have changed. In one year, Callaway has repeated the efforts which originally took some 5 years to accomplish and put them on the map of the Automotive world, this time wiith the C6 Corvette. In less than 1 year, "Callaway Cars has managed to launch not 1 but 3 cars, which for a small car company is somewhat of a feat" says Reeves Callaway standing just a few feet from me. This stirred memories from Corvettes at Carlisle 2006 when Reeves first shared a rendering of his idea in order to guage the reaction of the small group of CTTC owners. I was amazed with the rendering as it was reminiscent of the C12 along with cues of the CamAerobody sprinkled in.

His plan was agressive. From rendering to initial production in just 3 short months, the goal to debut the Callaway C16 Coupe at the 2006 LA Auto Show; and what an event that was. With the first of the Callaway C16's introduced to the world class press and status of the LA Auto Show, I was proud to be present and to be one of the first to get a glimpse. A complete combination of massive power, great styling, and a variety of options, the Callaway C16 quickly became the focus of nearly every Automotive print and online publication.

With the first orders coming in for the C16 as well as C6 stock body supercharged Corvettes, Callaway did not stop there. Spring was the time that the Callaway C16 Cabrio was introduced at the New York Auto Show. And a few weeks later when I heard of a possible debut of a Callway C16 Speedster at the  Pebble Beach Concourse D'Elegance, I quickly made plans to be there in person. And what an appropriate venue it would be for this most significant Callaway C16. The most influencial of American Automotive events was the backdrop and the C16 was the star.
Unlike earlier Callaway Speedsters which have shortened glass, this version has no side or rear windows whatsoever, and the front windshiled (and wiper assemblies) are completely removed to provide its owner the traditional Speedster experience of early-era goggle wearing racers. Both Driver and Passenger have small wind deflectors in place and there are ultra-light, carbon-fiber Formula1 type helmets manufactured by their partner Stand21, neatly tucked in the rear deck lid enclosures for "spirited driving" opportunities. Up front, the center bulge tunnel conceals the supercharger while flowing smoothly and seamlessly enters into the center of the dashboard, neatly accented by the stitching of the Callaway Deutschleder interior trim.

With its sleek and elegant look, one often overlooked item on this Speedster are mirrors. That's right, look again. You don't see any rear or side mirrors. One of the cleverest

In the photo (left-click to enlarge), long time Callaway Designer Paul Deutschman stands next to the C16 Speedster while Callaway Managing Director Mike Zoner raises the rear deck lid to reveal the ultra-lightweigh helments.

Click on any photo to enlarge. Far Left photo: A close up of the Stand21 Helments seated in their respective compartments awaiting a spirited driver. Left Photo: A close up of the driver's windscreen and the continuity of the hood features over the dash. Right Photo: A view from the side showing the windscreens and the completeness of the hood featues as they flow into what is normally the top of the dash in the standard corvette. Notice how the stiching of the interior leater wrap neatly aligns with the upper hood finish.
features of this car are the integrated cameras in the side gills and the rear difusser panel. The standard GM Navigation unit is replaced with one that when a button is pressed, up pops a 4 window partition. One partition is for each of the side "mirror" cameras, one is for the rear-view "mirror" camera, and the other displays a CallawayCars Logo. A very unique and pleasing way to deal with the mirrors which will not detract from the sleek look of the car.

Though the C16 Speedster shares its general body with the C16, the rear wheel wells are 1" wider on each side giving the car a more pronounced stance. Unlike the C16 Coupe or Cabrio, the Speedsters side openings have aluminum slats which are very reminiscent of the Aerobody gills of
In the left photo (click to enlarge) shows the rear diffuser panel. Notice the small camera in the black panel over the center of the Double-D exhaust. Also notice the nice aluminum fins which add a finishing touch to the exhaust

Right Photo (click to enlarge), notice the small hidden camera just above the upper fin of the forward side gill panel.

the CTTC Aerobody side gills.

Other standard features of the C16 Speedster which are optional on the C16 Coupe and Cabrio are the Carbon Fiber/Magnesium Spoke, Dymag Wheels, Callaway Competition Brake Package featuring mamonth 15" rotors and 6 piston caliper brake system, and the track ready 10 position, independently adjustable suspension system. Inside the car, standard features include the Competition Seats as well as the Deutschleder finely stitched Leather and Alcantara interior tailored to your choice of color.
In the far left photo (click to enlarge) shows  the Dymag Wheels and Bridgestone tires package. The center Photo shows the Callaway Competition Brake Package. The photo on the right shows the Deutscleder fine German Leather and Alcantara interior.
Overall, Callaway Cars made a fine statement of styling and power with the Speedster version of the C16. Its debut was highly welcomed among a crowd of spectators at the Concept Lawn at Pebble Beach. This car was presented to its owner at this event and he was very proud of the resulting car which he received. I was very fortunate to have been able to witness the finishing touches as they went on, to be able to tag along for the early morning photo-shoot, and the final presentation event, which followed. There is no doubt that this will be another legendary milestone of fine and powerfully engineered automotive history. Enjoy the pictures. 

See the official Callaway Cars Press Release on the C16 Speedster here.

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