History of the 1989 Chevrolet Corvette Callaway Speedster | Taza Khabre

Key findings

  • The 1989 Callaway Corvette Speedster was a rare and iconic car that became very popular in the 90s. It had unique features and was in high demand.
  • This particular Speedster is a one owner car with original tires and low mileage. It was also used in a popular BF Goodrich ad.
  • The Speedster had impressive specs: a 450 horsepower engine, a top speed of 190 mph, and the ability to go from 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds. Callaway Cars is still a highly respected tuning brand.


One thing that makes American cars so much fun is the fact that there are several tuning companies that are associated with the manufacturer. Companies like Hennessey Performance, Shelby Performance, Yenko Chevrolet and Saleen have built some of the craziest muscle and sports cars since the 1970s. Among these tuning giants, however, is Callaway Cars, a company with humble beginnings that decided to push the envelope when it came to design and performance.

Here we take a look at one of the most important cars built by Callaway Cars, the 1989 Callaway Corvette Speedster. Not only did this car look great, but it worked just as well. John Temerian of YouTube channel CuratedTV looks at the second Speedster ever built. Let’s find out what’s behind this rare piece of American automotive history.

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The Callaway Corvette Speedster got great press in the 90s

John explains that he was originally talking about the iconic Callaway cars of the 1980s and 1990s, specifically the one-of-a-kind hand-built cars. Reeves Callaway may be gone, but the mark he left on the automotive world is insane, especially when you look at what he did with the Sledgehammer and many of his other Le Mans race cars. John claims he got a call from a customer who recommended he look into Callaway Speedsters.

According to John, the car he had with him was car number two, which is two out of ten. When this particular car was built, ten Speedsters and two Super Speedsters were planned to be built. The number one car was the popular light green Speedster and was featured on the covers of several magazines such as Automobile Magazine. In fact, the Callaway car was so popular at the time that resin models were available. At the same time, the car itself was based on the C4 Chevrolet CorvetteCallaway has gone to the next level with the Speedster.

There are several things that make this car special

  • This car has one owner.
  • It was recently purchased and has everything from extras to memorabilia.
  • The car was used in a very popular BF Goodrich advertisement.
  • The car still has original tires with 1,800 miles on them.
  • The Speedster was featured prominently on many brochures.

John also found a letter of thanks from BF Goodrich to the owner, essentially thanking them for letting them use the car. John notes that this Speedster has a lot of extra features. The ten Speedsters were incredible as they were built for a roofless design that looks incredible from every angle, and each one was available in a variety of colors. These color schemes included yellow on blue, green on blue, metallic pink on silver, and black on yellow.

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The entire L-98 engine block was redesigned

John explains that the car comes with some optional extras. This includes a 450 hp engine upgrade. with twin turbo charging. While the cars came standard with OZ Futura wheels, a custom leather interior cost an extra $15,000. The candy paint cost $7,500, the suspension would cost an additional $2,900, and an additional $6,500 would go toward an engine upgrade.

Engine upgrades included dual air coolers, a free-flow exhaust system, forged pistons, forged crankshaft, high-pressure fuel pump, stainless steel valves, and improved valve springs. Essentially, the entire L-98 engine block was redesigned to create a platform suitable for big, reliable power.

A brand new Speedster cost $167,600, which was a lot of money in the 90s. This put them on par with the Lamborghini Diablo and Ferrari 512 TR. Having 450 hp. and 575 lb-ft of torque, the Speedster was quite powerful and could hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, which was impressive for the 1990s.

Limited production specifications

production

1990 year

Units produced

12 (10 speedsters and 2 super speedsters)

Unique features

It has an airframe designed by Paul Deutschmann.

Moving

350ci (5.7 liters)

power

450 hp

(Technical characteristics of limited production are obtained from Supercars.net)

A parts list was added to the car

  • The most expensive optional extra was the $12,000 custom leather interior.
  • The Speedster does 0-60 in 4.2 seconds.
  • An engine upgrade is cheaper than candy paint.

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The Callaway Speedster was a completely unique car

1989 Callaway Corvette Speedster engine compartment
YouTube – CuratedTV

John notes that the list of things that have been done to the engine is absolutely insane. The most impressive thing about this vehicle is that Callaway also offers a 24-month unlimited mileage warranty on the transmission. This shows that they are confident in what they have built.

The candy fuchsia Speedster was constantly filmed during that period and featured on various posters, magazines and calendars. John explains that this Callaway is unique because the arrow package was available for the rear end. Then, unique taillights, a unique exhaust system, and more were added. The Speedster also features unique glass that wraps around the car, giving it a retro-futuristic look.

Productivity

0-60 mph

4.2 seconds

The highest speed

190 miles per hour

Equipped mass

3527 lbs

Horsepower

450 hp

A turning point

575 lb-ft

Model

Front engine, rear drive

(Performance specs sourced from Supercars.net)

  • The Speedster has been featured in many magazines.
  • The entire front and rear setup is different from the standard C4 Corvette.
  • The car had a 24-month warranty.

The Aerokit was designed to operate at speeds up to 250 miles per hour

1989 Callaway Corvette Speedster Seat
YouTube – CuratedTV

Callaway is a special tuning brand

  • The Callaway Sledgehammer exceeded a top speed of 250 miles per hour.
  • Callaway Cars still customizes GM cars and sells them to the public.
  • Callaway Cars is one of the most important tuning brands in the USA

John explains that the aero fairing was designed by Paul Deutschman for speeds of up to 250 mph, which was not done in the Speedster. However, that speed was erased by the Callaway Sledgehammer. John explains that Callaway is a tuner that makes you think about magazine pieces and extravagant posters, essentially speaking to your inner child because it has always been a cool car brand.

Engine characteristics

Producer

General Motors

Years of production

1987-1992 years

Configuration

V8

Moving

350ci

power

450 hp

A turning point

575 lb-ft

fuel

Gasoline

Programs worth paying attention to

C4 Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet IROC-Z

(Engine specs taken from Supercars.net)

Although Callaway was not the biggest tuning company, they are one of the most important. To this day, they continue to offer customers the opportunity to purchase some of the most powerful vehicles available on the US market, from Cadillac to Chevrolet. For GM fans, they seem to have something for everyone.

Sources: Callaway Cars Inc., CuratedTV, Supercars.net

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