For Corvette devotees who make the pilgrimage to Carlisle each year, the phrase "Small world, isn't it?" can take on special meaning. As it did with Alan Arthur last year, resulting in this Callaway C16 gracing his Corvette collection.
The original owner of the car (the fourth one built, by the way) had stayed at the same place near the Carlisle Fairgrounds as Arthur had. "We'd met each other before, at the 20th Anniversary of Callaway Cars at Carlisle," Arthur recalls. "We were at the same B&B, and I remembered him." What really jogged his memory was when he saw this C16 advertised for sale last year.
In case you're not familiar with it, the C16 is Callaway's ultimate expression of C6-based engineering and design, with a hand-built, highly modified 616-horsepower LS engine under its distinctive styling.
Only 25 of them have rolled out of Callaway's works since 2007. "You never see them for sale," says Arthur—who did just that last summer, while he and his wife, Jennifer, were on a motor-home holiday. "I just totally flipped out when I saw it," he says. "My wife kept saying, ‘What on earth are you going crazy over?' and I said, ‘You never see these for sale. Never!'"
Arthur then contacted the C16's owner. "I called him while we were in Texas, and it turned out that he lived in Arkansas." It was then that the Carlisle-weekend B&B connection was remembered, all the while fanning the flames of Arthur's desire to have a Callaway. "I've always loved them," he says, "and I've always wanted one."
Arthur and the C16's owner agreed to the sale, and on a convenient delivery point. "The easiest thing for us to do was to meet at Carlisle. He was going anyway, because it was the 25th Anniversary of Callaway Cars, [so] he'd trailer it up from Arkansas."
It wasn't long after the sale was completed that the car caught our eye. "I thought it was funny that I happened to run into [VETTE contributor] Jerry Heasley there," says Arthur, with another "small world" story. "I'd met him a few years ago at the same B&B. I said hello to him and asked him what he was doing. He said, ‘I'm looking for Corvettes for the magazine.'"
As the pair perused the Carlisle grounds together, Heasley turned around and looked at one particular car—this one. Arthur picks up the story: "He said, ‘What's that?' I took him over and showed it to him, and asked if he'd like to meet the owner. He said, ‘Yeah,' and I said, ‘You're talking to him!' And Jerry said, ‘I've got to do an article on this!'"
Our Spec Sheet lists the considerable upgrades that Callaway made to the C6 to create the C16, most notably the 616-horse supercharged V-8, based on a specially machined LS2 alloy block. Every piece that went in and on it was specified by Callaway Cars after plenty of R&D work, with a result that's been likened to fine jewelry, if not fine art.
That extends to the custom coachwork, styled by Paul Deutschman just for Callaway. So elegant is the finished car that a lot of people, including one of Arthur's friends, have had trouble believing that it's based on a Corvette.
"He asked if it was a Ferrari or an Aston Martin. That's the reaction I get from everyone. When I tell them it's based on a Corvette, they say, ‘You're kidding—it's too beautiful!'"
He adds that the car is as beautiful to drive as it is to look at. "I am so impressed with it," he says. "It drives like my wife's Benz. I'm just totally flipped out at how smooth, quiet, linear, and nice it is."
Arthur's advice, if you're thinking about adding a Callaway to your Corvette collection? "If you love them, you ought to get one. It's that simple." He continues: "If you're a Corvette guy, Callaway is it."
And, thanks to a "small world" of Carlisle-going Vette owners, he now has one.
|2006 Chevy Corvette Callaway C16 coupe|
|Owner||Alan Arthur; Westfield, IN|
|Block||Callaway-modified LS2 aluminum with six-bolt main bearing caps|
|Heads||Callaway-modified LS2 aluminum, CNC-machined|
|Valves||Callaway-spec stainless steel, 2.02/1.57-in|
|Camshaft||Callaway custom hydraulic roller|
|Pistons||Callaway-spec Mahle forged aluminum|
|Fuel Injection||Callaway-engineered electronic with high-capacity injectors and electric pump|
|Power Adder||Eaton Roots-type supercharger with integral air-to-liquid intercooler|
|Exhaust||Callaway Double-D with high-flow mufflers|
|Transmission||Callaway-modified six-speed manual|
|Rearend||Stock with 3.42:1 gears|
|Suspension||Callaway/Eibach coilover system with composite leaf springs, companion helper/tender springs, and tubular-steel stabilizer bars|
|Brakes||Callaway Le Mans GT four-wheel discs with 380/355mm rotors and six-piston/four-piston calipers (front/rear, respectively)|
|Wheels||Callaway aluminum; 19x10 in front, 20x12 in rear|
|Tires||Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 ZP; 295/30R19 front, 335/25R20 rear|
|Current Mileage||Approximately 14,000|