Ely Reeves Callaway III, popularly known as Reeves and the mastermind behind the Corvette tuning company, Callaway Cars, succumbed to injuries from a fall at his California residence on Tuesday. He was 76 years old.
The son of Reeves Callaway Jr., the originator of Callaway Golf, and sibling to publisher Nicholas Callaway, Reeves initiated his journey with Callaway Cars in a Connecticut garage in 1977. From these humble beginnings, he transformed the business into a renowned entity specializing in performance road cars and racing vehicles.
The initial product of Callaway’s company was a turbo kit for BMWs, which received an appreciative review from respected automotive critic Don Sherman in Car and Driver. An experienced Formula Vee racer, Callaway later ventured into more complex projects.
Callaway Cars is recognized for offering aftermarket parts for a wide array of brands, including BMW, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Land Rover, and Mazda. However, the company’s name is most frequently connected with the Chevrolet Corvette. In 1987, General Motors officially acknowledged Callaway as a Specialty Vehicle Manufacturer and permitted Callaway Corvettes, identified by the B2K factory code, to be sold via Chevy dealerships.
In 1989, Callaway Cars introduced the SledgeHammer, a C4 Corvette equipped with a twin-turbo 5.7-liter V-8 engine, generating 880 hp and 774 lb-ft of torque — extraordinary statistics for the time. The vehicle, driven by John Lingenfelter, reached a top speed of 254.76 mph at the 7.5-mile Transportation Research Center track in East Liberty, Ohio.
Callaway Cars has consistently worked on refining Corvettes and even launched a C7 Corvette shooting brake, dubbed the AeroWagon. Callaway Competition, a European branch established in 1994, has been competing internationally. The Germany-based Callaway Competition received authorization from GM to create racing versions of the C6 and C7 Corvettes for the GT3 class, working in parallel with the factory Corvette Racing program.
In a tribute posted on social media, Reeves’ son and current company president, Peter Reeves Callaway, praised his father’s pioneering entrepreneurship. He said, “Reeves’ visionary entrepreneurial spirit will guide Callaway Cars towards continued innovation and growth in the 21st century.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Reeves Callaway death
Who was Reeves Callaway?
Reeves Callaway was the founder of Callaway Cars, a company renowned for tuning Corvettes. He started his company in 1977 in a garage in Old Lyme, Connecticut, and grew it into a prolific builder of performance road and race cars.
What was Reeves Callaway known for?
Reeves Callaway was known for founding Callaway Cars and developing it into a prominent builder of high-performance road and racing vehicles. The company is primarily associated with the Chevrolet Corvette, and was officially designated as a Specialty Vehicle Manufacturer by General Motors in 1987.
How did Reeves Callaway die?
Reeves Callaway died due to injuries sustained from a fall at his home in California.
What was the first product of Callaway Cars?
Callaway Cars’ first product was a turbo kit for BMWs, which quickly earned a favorable review from the acclaimed automotive journalist Don Sherman.
What is the significance of the SledgeHammer created by Callaway Cars?
The SledgeHammer, built by Callaway Cars in 1989, was a C4 Corvette powered by a twin-turbo 5.7-liter V-8 that produced 880 hp and 774 lb-ft of torque. It achieved a top speed of 254.76 mph at a test track, which were exceptional figures during the 1980s.
More about Reeves Callaway death
- Reeves Callaway and Callaway Cars
- The Legacy of the Callaway Sledgehammer
- Callaway Cars and the Chevrolet Corvette
- Callaway Cars on the racetrack
- Tributes to Reeves Callaway