Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

Speedster and the NCRS

jonstr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
413
Location
Scottsdale, AZ
Not really, but since it HAS been pretty quiet around here, I thought I would share an article I wrote for our last NCRS Arizona Chapter newsletter. I'm the editor, and I was just preparing our next newsletter when I saw this article again.

Several of my NCRS brethren have asked me about the car since I bought it, so I thought I would share some info on it with them. The knowledge of Callaways in the NCRS is growing, but many members just are not familiar with them a all. There isn't really any new info for the folks here, but hey - it's activity on the forum, right? :D

Interestingly, after this article appeared, I got an email from a member who bought a car from Corvette Mike in 1991, and he remembers looking at the Speedster in Mike's showroom at the time. Small world...

And now for something completely different…
I recently sold my 1969 Corvette. I thoroughly enjoyed the car, taking it through Flight Judging, a Performance Verification, and ultimately a Duntov Award. But how do you follow that up?
Well, I figured I couldn’t. Or rather, maybe I shouldn’t try, for now at least. Those of you who have done it already or are pursuing a Duntov Award know that it can be rather draining – lots of fun and very educational to be sure, but lots of work. As a result I decided to try something completely different. What I ended up with isn’t exactly NCRS material, but I’m finding it to be a very interesting car, so I thought I would share some information on it, partly because I get many question about it, partly in the hope that others learn something interesting about these unique cars, and partly because I find that I have some space to fill in this newsletter. J
Several of you know that I was looking for a Callaway Twin Turbo Corvette after selling my ’69. From 1987 through 1991, Chevrolet offered a B2K option that could be ordered for any Corvette. Checking the B2K box on the order form resulted in your car being built, removed from the assembly line, and shipped to Callaway Cars in Old Lyme, CT. to be outfitted with a specially designed and constructed twin turbo engine. The introduction of this engine sparked significant interest in 1987, when it represented a tremendous power increase over the stock Corvette. However, with the introduction of the ZR1 in 1990, with similar performance and a similar price tag interest in the Twin Turbo began to wane. With the announcement of the LT1 engine for 1992, which would have required a complete re-design of the turbo system, it was decided to discontinue the option. In total, slightly over 500 B2K Twin Turbos were built.
The NCRS does recognize the B2K Twin Turbo cars as “factory” options. However, for me, the catch was that I wanted an Aerobody car, which is not recognized by the NCRS. The Aerobody, introduced to the world on the Callaway Sledgehammer Corvette in 1988 (which set a production car speed record of 254.76 MPH that same year) the Aerobody option was a special body kit that was ordered directly through Callaway Cars, not through GM, therefore it does not carry an RPO code.
But, I have always been an Aerobody fan and, having spent a few years on the Duntov process on my ’69, I thought that maybe a break was called for.
My search for a Callaway nearly ended with a very nice, low mileage 1991Aerobody convertible, one of the last produced (signified by special ‘Callaway 500’ engine badges). Unfortunately, I hesitated, and the car was sold the day before I called to make an offer. In my subsequent discussions with the dealer, we began to talk about another unique Callaway Corvette, the Speedster.
While the Aerobody changed several of the body panels on a stock Corvette, the Speedster changed everything – from body panels to the glass to the interior – into a sleek open-top roadster designed by Paul Deutschman. Speedster production was to be limited to 50 cars, and it was introduced to great fanfare in 1991 at the LA Auto Show. Each Speedster was custom designed by the buyer and Reeves Callaway, with the two of them meeting to decide on exterior color, interior color and materials, carpet colors and styles, and engine/brake/suspension options.
But all this special attention added up to a very expensive Corvette, and despite the excellent engineering, rave reviews, and exclusive nature of the car, only 10 Speedsters were built before the B2K run ended at the close of 1991. As a result of this abbreviated run and the individualized nature of each car, no two Speedsters are alike.
It so happened that the owner of one of these Speedsters had approached the dealer I was talking to a few months prior proposing a trade for something else. That deal didn’t go through, but if I was interested, he would call the owner and see if he was interested in selling. I had loved the Speedster ever since seeing the ‘Old Lyme Green’ prototype in 1991, so he didn’t have to ask twice. The call was made, a deal was struck, and now the Speedster sits in my garage.
This particular Speedster was ordered by Corvette Mike Vietro after he saw the prototype car at the LA Auto Show. Corvette Mike was the West Coast Callaway distributor at the time, and he absolutely had to have one of these cars in his showroom. He committed to the purchase at the show, and contacted Reeves shortly after his return to formally order the car. As a result, this car was the first ‘production’ Speedster to be built. Interestingly, Callaway allowed the early buyers to select their number in the series. Mr. Vietro, either being a James Bond fan or just liking the sound of the number, requested ‘007’, which is the official number of this car in the series.
I am the third proud owner of this unique car, and because it has spent most of its life in private collections, it has just 800 miles on the odometer.
Well, that’s a little bit about the car, and how I came to acquire it (oh, and there is a photo of it in the lower left corner of page 10). As I mentioned, it isn’t exactly NCRS material, but hopefully you all will let me continue to hang around anyway.
 
T

TurboLuigi

Guest
Jonstr,

Great Article!!!

Awesome Car! ... even better in person - I only wish I could have stayed around to see the historic Reeves/Dave test drive.

Congrats again :beer

-Luigi
:cool
 
S

SurfnSun

Guest
great read, Jon! If they don't let you hang out you know where youre more than welcome :D
 

kingforward

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 19, 2003
Messages
124
Location
pittsburgh
thanks for the article Jonster.

regarding the NCRS, if an '89 b2k w/o aerobody had the upgraded automatic transmission would that still qualify?
 

jonstr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
413
Location
Scottsdale, AZ
thanks for the article Jonster.

regarding the NCRS, if an '89 b2k w/o aerobody had the upgraded automatic transmission would that still qualify?

Just to be clear, everything with the word "Corvette" on it (from 1953 to 1993 at least) technically "qualifies" for NCRS judging. During that judging, anything that differs from the way it was delivered to the original owner that the judges can identify is cause for a point deduction for originality (and all equipment, original included, is subject to condition deductions). The B2K option cars do not get originality deductions because the option was orderable from Chevrolet. The Aerobody does receive deductions because it was ordered directly from Callaway.

Going back to your question, if you do not have an Aerobody, then of course there would be no originality deductions for the body. As for the upgraded automatic, the words in red above are key. If the car was originaly equipped with an automatic, and the installed transmission is not visibly different from the original, then there would be no deduction. Note that it is very rare that they do more than kneel or lay on the ground to look under the car (occasionally at a national meet they will put it on a lift, but that is rare), so there is no checking of transmission numbers or dates in normal Flight judging.

On the other hand, if the car was originally a manual transmission, or the transmission is visibly different, then there would be some deduction.

I hope that helps.
 

*89x2*

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Messages
10,357
Location
CallawayOwnersGroup.com
On the other hand, if the car was originally a manual transmission RPO MM4), or the transmission is visibly different, then there would be some deduction.

I hope that helps.


That seems to be the case with an 88 that was judged, as it apparently had an RPO code for the maual transmission.

On the otherhand, I have seen two 1989's w/ automatic RPO's vs. MN6 for the six-speed.

The car judged, lost points for the clutch res., etc.


I am not saying the NCRS book was right, just relaying the info I have been given to this point.
 

LIFTMAN

Active member
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
31
Location
LONG ISLAND NY
Corvette
1989,CALLAWAY,1962,1966 BIGBLOCK ROADSTER, 2001
what do you mean upgraded tranny? i am having my 89 b2k 6 speed judged at the ncrs national.it does not have the aerobody
 

jonstr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
413
Location
Scottsdale, AZ
I am not saying the NCRS book was right, just relaying the info I have been given to this point.

That's a really good point, particularly if you are new to Flight Judging. Never go out and make changes just because a judge, or the manual, says something is wrong. The NCRS judging manuals are just a guide, written by people with lots of knowledge and a passion for the cars, but people none the less. Mistakes are often made, and far more frequently than the books can possibly be updated. Each new edition is better than the last, but there may still be errors.

I came within minutes of ripping the original windshield out of my '69, even already had the new one sitting next to the car, because it was judged to be incorrect at a meet. Turned out my car had standard glass and the judging manual only covered tinted glass, so mine was right. Fortunately, the person changing the glass for me noticed, after he had removed all the trim, that the glue and sealer looked pretty darned original, and he stopped. I found many examples of the book being wrong as it pertained to my '69. Many of those errors were corrected in the next revision of the judging manual.
 

LIFTMAN

Active member
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
31
Location
LONG ISLAND NY
Corvette
1989,CALLAWAY,1962,1966 BIGBLOCK ROADSTER, 2001
I CERTAINLY AGREE . IHAVE HAD MY 89 B2K JUDGED 3 TIMES AND EACH TIME I HAVE BEEN GIVEN DEDUCTIONS FOR CALLAWAY SPECIFC ITEMS THAT NEITHER MYSELF OR THE JUDGES WERE AWARE OF. I HAVE RESEARCHED INFO, AND HAVE DOCUMENTATION FOR THE JUDGES. THE CAR IS GOING TO BOSTON FOR THE NATIONAL . I WILL POST THE RESULTS AFTER THE CAR IS JUDGED.
THANKS TO 89X2 FOR SUPPLYING AND CONFIRMING THE INFO ON THE B2K
 

*89x2*

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Messages
10,357
Location
CallawayOwnersGroup.com
That's a really good point, particularly if you are new to Flight Judging. Never go out and make changes just because a judge, or the manual, says something is wrong. The NCRS judging manuals are just a guide, written by people with lots of knowledge and a passion for the cars, but people none the less. Mistakes are often made, and far more frequently than the books can possibly be updated. Each new edition is better than the last, but there may still be errors.

I came within minutes of ripping the original windshield out of my '69, even already had the new one sitting next to the car, because it was judged to be incorrect at a meet. Turned out my car had standard glass and the judging manual only covered tinted glass, so mine was right. Fortunately, the person changing the glass for me noticed, after he had removed all the trim, that the glue and sealer looked pretty darned original, and he stopped. I found many examples of the book being wrong as it pertained to my '69. Many of those errors were corrected in the next revision of the judging manual.

Yep, that's what I am talking about. The NCRS book/manual, was written by using a 1987 Callaway Twin Turbo as the guide. Liftman has dealt with some of the problems judging by that book, with respect to his 1989.

I have a set of judging manuals coming to me from the NCRS to review - this will take time. In the meantime, I forwarded a picture of an MXO car's SPI label that showed it was originally an automatic car, before, during, and after the B2K. That 1989 convertible also has Z5G on its label, something my 1989 Z51 coupe does not show, but would clearly have. :W...it gets better by the minute. :w
 

*89x2*

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Messages
10,357
Location
CallawayOwnersGroup.com
thanks for the article Jonster.

regarding the NCRS, if an '89 b2k w/o aerobody had the upgraded automatic transmission would that still qualify?


Interestingly, the NCRS is remaining firm on their position that the automatic was a Callaway option and would have points deducted vs. the Bloomington Gold Standard of considering it an option, but not a deduction.

I am still trying to get this clarified with both groups, more with the NCRS, as they apparently judged one automatic (a 1988 car) that was originally a manual transmission car and until two days ago, did not know that the car(s) could have been ordered with RPO's for the B2K and for the MXO automatic ;shrug
 

*89x2*

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Messages
10,357
Location
CallawayOwnersGroup.com
thanks for the article Jonster.

regarding the NCRS, if an '89 b2k w/o aerobody had the upgraded automatic transmission would that still qualify?


Those w/ in the NCRS that I have shown information to, still say the automatic was a "CALLAWAY option" and not a Chevy option. Since the car uses a Turbo 400 transmission, it would lose some points. But not enough points to keep it from any significant award, provided the car was otherwise "correct." ;shrug
 

BlackWidow#2

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
12
Location
Pittsburgh
Corvette
1991 Black/Black ZR1
Hi Jon,
That's a very interesting story on your car. I'm glad I got to see it. I hope you've been enjoying it. Thanks,
George
 

Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Supporting Vendors

Dealers:

MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!

Parts/Accessories:

Vetteskins

Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Double Your Chances!

Partners

Top Bottom