1987 Callaway Twin Turbo Corvette - Blown Away

This '87 Callaway Twin Turbo Is A Prime Example Of The Breed

Wayne Ellwood Nov 1, 2007 0 Comment(s)
Vemp_0711_01_z 1987_callaway_twin_turbo Exterior_view_stock_body_kit 1/12

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first Callaway Twin Turbo Corvette, a limited-edition, factory-endorsed supercar sold by GM dealers from 1987 through 1991 under RPO B2K. Over that period, some 500 Callaway Vettes were delivered to power-hungry C4 aficionados throughout the U.S. and beyond. As we pass this important milestone in B2K history, a couple of questions loom large: Where are these cars now, and are any of them more valuable than others?

The answers are pretty clear. Many of the B2K cars are still in active service, regularly driven and enjoyed by their owners. And, yes, some are more valuable than others. But since all 500 cars shared many of the same features, the question of value depends, to some extent, on history, condition, and the story that goes with each car. This is one of those stories.

Corvette collector Roger Abshire is the current owner of this particular Callaway Twin Turbo. He found it in Hemmings Motor News in late 1998, during one of his periodic searches for cars and parts. The car was being offered for sale by Joe Roebuck, a real-estate professional based in the Chicago area. Joe was knowledgeable about Corvettes, and when the car had been offered as part of a property deal years earlier, he knew that it had value.

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The Vette was originally purchased by Dr. Domenic Esposito, of Valdosta, Georgia. Esposito bought it from Corvette specialist and dealer Malcolm Konner Chevrolet, in Paramus, New Jersey. Abshire's research shows that the warranty was listed as starting on December 7, 1987, with zero miles on the car's odometer. When purchased, however, the Vette was recorded as having 1,200 miles on the clock. A temporary transport tag issued in Old Lyme, Connecticut, suggests that most of those miles were accumulated during the car's delivery to Dr. Esposito on December 18, 1987.

In June of 1994, the car was sold to Gregg Bell, of Jacksonville, Florida. Bell drove the car extensively, racking up at least 40,000 of the 50,000 miles that currently show on the Vette's odo. And unlike Dr. Esposito, who drove the car very little, Gregg spent a lot of money on maintenance and performance enhancements.

In 1995, the car was sent back to Callaway for a number of additional modifications. Abshire is still searching for records to indicate how extensive these mods really were, but for now, the only external evidence of the work is a set of siamesed L98 intake runners. Nevertheless, he suspects that his might be one of the most highly modified Callaway Twin Turbos in existence. The proof? Right now, it's just in the seat of his pants.

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Abshire does have the original receipts for some of the other modifications commissioned by Gregg Bell. The most significant of these was the replacement of the Doug Nash 4+3 manual transmission with a 700-R4 automatic unit. Bell also had the rear-axle ratio changed from 3:08 to 3:42, at a cost of $853. Obviously, he was very interested in maximizing the performance and driveability of his car.

At this point in the car's history, the details start to get a little fuzzy. Abshire has put together several pieces of the puzzle and deduced that Bell and Joe Roebuck were involved in a real-estate deal. As part of the deal, Bell offered up the car as partial payment. Roebuck knew what the car was worth, took it, and put it up for sale at D&M Corvette, in Downer's Grove, Illinois.

As Abshire tells it, he saw the ad in Hemmings and started his usual pre-purchase research. Once he knew what he was buying, he and a friend flew to Chicago to pick up the car. They then took turns driving on the way home, making for what Abshire describes as "a pretty good trip."

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