Any Chevy fan will undoubtedly be familiar with the name Callaway, the famed engineering shop responsible for a series of high-performance Corvettes.
Unfortunately, the gearhead world has just learned of the passing of its founder, Reeves Callaway.
Though Reeves belonged to the Callaway golf family, he preferred the raceway to the fairway. After rising through the amateur racing ranks, Reeves translated his talents to the professional sector, first as a driving instructor, before tuning his attention to high performance engineering.
Callaway began designing his own turbocharger kits, which proved popular with both the aftermarket and OEM crowds. That experience ultimately led him to develop a twin-turbocharging system for the then-new Corvette C4, which could be installed through Chevrolet’s dealer network.
But Callaway put the performance world on notice when he pulled the wraps of the “Sledgehammer” C4 Corvette in 1988, designed and built in-house at Callaway’s shop. Thanks to a twin-turbo setup and a striking aero kit, the Sledgehammer Corvette was able to surpass the 250 mph mark. That made it the fastest street-legal Corvette at the time—a title it would retain for eleven years.
Suffice it to say, that made Callaway a pretty popular guy.
From there, Callaway made serious inroads in racing, and he began expanding his engineering firm, Callaway Cars, to cover all-manner of cars, trucks, and SUVs. Pretty soon, Callaway Cars was releasing more of its own eponymous models.
In other words, seeing the Callaway badge on a fender or hood was a quiet way of saying that vehicle is bringing the goods.
The Callaway family released this statement:
“Thanks to Reeves’ visionary entrepreneurial spirit, Callaway Cars will continue to innovate and grow in the 21st century, inspired by his unique, extraordinary vision, and by his personal example of integrity, resourcefulness, and leadership as our founder. Dad’s passion for making beautifully designed and crafted machines can be seen in each and every project, and we remain devoted to executing to the highest standards, in true Callaway fashion. He was rarely found doing anything other than working towards the next milestone for the company. He was a charismatic leader with a sense of humor that we will all remember through various “Reeves-isms”. I feel fortunate to have grown up working with him and the company.”Peter Reeves Callaway – Reeves’ Son & President of Callaway Cars
The Callaway legacy will be sustained by his four children and two grandchildren.