Callaway Twin Turbo: 1987 Chevrolet Corvette

When I hear the name Callaway these days, the first thing that comes to mind is golf clubs, specifically, drivers with titanic sized heads. I know, I should be ashamed of myself admitting that on a car site. I think it’s the fact that the Corvette makes such monstrous power right out of the box, today, and has for years, that it doesn’t really need the extra help anymore. But that wasn’t the case in 1987 when Callaway Cars Inc. set their sites sights on the Corvette, at that point their upgrades were warranted. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at a 1987 Chevrolet Callaway “BK2” Corvette that is located in Montclair, New Jersey and available, here on craigslist for $47,500. Thanks to Ikey H. for the tip!

Callaway Cars Inc. was formed in Old Lyme, Connecticut in 1977  by Reeves Callaway. The company’s initial focus was on turbocharger kits for various European marques and their success on that front caught the attention of the Corvette’s then Chief Engineer. Specifically, Callaway first offered the twin-turbo option (RPO BK2) for the Corvette in 1987. It developed 345 HP, had a 178 MPH top speed and retailed for just under $50K with production continuing through 1991. There were also aero body enhancements included with option BK2, known as the Calloway AeroBody, introduced with the 1989 model. The total production volume of BK2’s was 184 cars and they were available directly through participating Chevrolet dealerships. Callaway continues to this day and still provides aftermarket performance enhancements for Corvettes and other GM vehicles.

Our 15K mile example, number 104 of 184, is well documented and appears to be in like-new condition. Other than the NACA hood ducts, this ‘Vette looks like a standard convertible model so it’s a bit of a sleeper. The subtle appearance, triple black finishing, and BBS wheels create a sinister, business-like appearance. One statistic that I could not uncover is the split between coupes and convertibles that were enhanced by Callaway but it stands to reason that the coupe was the majority benefactor. The seller rates the body of his car as a 10!

The listing for this ‘Vette claims a 365 HP output from its 5.7-liter V8 engine even though Calloway rated their upgrade at 345 – perhaps it has had modifications? The seller adds, “This car has 2000 proprietary upgraded and CNC machined superior metal parts – over a regular Corvette.” I’m not sure what that means, if it’s 2,000 unique parts attributable to the Callaway option, I suppose that’s possible but it seems like an excessive number. While performance stats are listed, there is no mention as to how this specific Corvette runs and drives. One would think it’s a spectacular performer and worthy of some braggadocio. Gear changes are handled by the peculiar 4+3, four-speed manual transmission which provides an automatic overdrive.

As for the interior, the seller states, “Interior still smells new. Graphite leather sports seats, carpets glass are a 10. It’s a show-car! Guaranteed 1st place with this machine.” No doubt about it, it’s in excellent condition in its blocky, chunky 1980’s way. It’s a matter of preference, but I could seriously do without the video game instrument panel, it’s more of a distraction than anything else, but again, it’s a subjective preference. The good news, at least, is that it all appears to work.

The seller suggests, “This is USABLE performance. A refined sports-car for the executive collector.” That seems to be this ‘Vette’s next stage in life as it’s obvious that you can buy a much newer, used, stock Corvette, for a whole lot less, that will perform notably better. And that begs the question, is a 32-year-old, OEM modified Corvette a true collector car? And if not, will it be in the near future?

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Comments

  1. Cadmanls Member

    Seems a little high as you can get a king of the hill C4 for less. Collectors don’t have a lot of love for that platform.

    Like 10
  2. blueovaldru

    This car & same pics has been on here twice before, January & July this year. FYI

    Like 8
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Thx for the heads up (I hate that).

      JO

      Like 4
  3. Frank Sumatra

    Multiple attempts to sell. Maybe, just maybe, the price is too high. Hmmm. Cool idea in 1987. Not so much in 2021. If you can buy a 375 HP 1990 ZR-1 for $25,000 why would you go for the Callaway? The seller is in a tough spot.

    Like 9
    • Jef Fowler

      Good point on ZR-1. Especially with the 4-cam engine. How many ZR-1s produced?

      Callaway may make it more ‘collectible’.

      If it’s only on Craigslist that may be less than ideal.

      Some interesting comments about the BMW M1 on Barn Finds about selling venue.

      Like 1
      • Frank Sumatra

        6939 from 1990-95. Not rare by Collector’s standards I have been told. I just don’t believe there is a market for a large group of cars today that were desirable 30+ years ago. IMO this Callaway falls into that group. I’m guessing any Corvette built in the last 10 years has higher HP.

        Like 1
  4. Jcs

    Super sweet ride but the seller is way too proud on this one. The ask is well beyond all the money, quite simply these are not there yet.

    Hard to believe some goofball thought that it would be a good idea to put a nitrous kit on this killer Corvette and proceeded to grenade the engine and trash both turbos. Imagine that.

    Like 4
  5. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    I like it.
    Strange they make golf clubs too.

    Like 1
    • Frank Sumatra

      And they have a winery in Napa Valley CA. I believe the golf equipment (Big Bertha drivers) was started by the father of Reeves Callaway, not sure about the winery. Pretty talented and very wealthy family. I think Reeves started on VWs before the Corvette phase. The “Sledgehammer” Corvette held (And maybe still does) a speed record.

      Like 2
  6. Autoworker

    He’s asking way too much money. Will be fortunate to get half of that. It is amazing that a lot of modern day V6’s are putting out that kind of horsepower.

    Like 2
  7. Jef Fowler

    Dare l mention the typo?

    First para “set their sites on the Corvette”

    ‘sights’ rather than ‘sites’ maybe?

    OK, not in the best mood this morning…

    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Yes, you should mention them. Fixed.

      Thx,

      JO

      Like 1
  8. C5 Corvette

    Years ago I had a C4. If I were to get another it would be a ZR1. For now I am enjoying my C5.

    Like 1
  9. Sean

    Jim I could read your posts all day long!
    I appreciate your style man!

    Like 2
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Thank you Sean!

      JO

  10. 86_Vette_Convertible

    There are those that want Callaways, there are those that don’t. Now especially, with the age of the car the older the parts the harder they are to find. Add some very limited parts and that makes it even worse IMO.

  11. Mahmoud Maged

    What is the 4+3 transmission?! 🤔

    • Ike Onick

      Doug Nash 4+3. Borg-Warner 4 speed with three electronic overdrive. Most people don’t care for them. ZF6 available from 1990 -1996 much better transmission.

  12. Joe

    Didn’t they take one to Germany, and it melted down in less than 30 minutes? Heat on heat, surrounded by more heat.

    • Frank Sumatra

      Not sure about that. They do have a facility in Germany where as you know, you can get the most out of a Callaway vehicle. Looking at the website and I see they have SUVs and a 750+ HP Caddy CTS-V done up Callaway-style.

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