1997 Callaway C12
Offered by Mecum | Dallas, Texas | September 8, 2012
If you don’t know, or can’t tell, this car is based around a Chevrolet Corvette. 1997 was the first year for the C5 and the first year for the Callaway C12 – and this is the very first C12 built.
Callaway was founded in Connecticut in 1977 by Reeves Callaway. They began tuning Corvettes in 1987 and have dabbled in aftermarket tuning of other cars over the years, including Range Rovers and Alfa Romeos. But it’s mostly been Corvettes with the occasional Camaro thrown in for good measure. And it was mostly engine and performance modifications. That is, until 1993 when they introduced the Callaway C7, a GT1 racecar produced for the 24 Hours of Daytona.
The C12 was a continuation of that ultimately doomed attempt at building a successful racing car. Reeves Callaway wanted his cars to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. And he got his wish – they scored a pole in the GT2 class in 2001, the final year for C12 production. In order to compete, the company needed to homologate the car for the road and 20 examples were built.
Callaway reworked every part of the Corvette except the roof and greenhouse. Everything else was modified, so it’s essentially its own car. The 5.7-liter V-8 underhood makes 440 horsepower, allowing the car to sprint to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds on its way to a top speed in excess of 190 mph. Originally, these cars were supposed to cost $140,000 – but they were built to an exacting standard for high-profile customers who would have likely paid more if asked. The cars were also built under license in Germany as the IVM C12 from 1998 through 2003 and these were available as a coupe, hardtop or cabriolet.
Update: Not sold.