Enthusiasts are likely familiar with Callaway — purveyor of tuned Camaros, Corvettes, Silverado, among other Chevy vehicles. Back in the late 1990s, the firm released the Callaway C12 — a modified high-performance version of the Corvette C5. Callaway produced only 19 units of the C12, and this particular example — unit 18 of the 19 — fell into the hands of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2004. And now, it’s for sale on eBay.
Before we tell you about the Callaway C12, we should mention its racing brother — the Callaway C12.R. it was made to compete in the LeMans GT2 class against such world-class marques as Ferrari and Porsche, and it famously took pole position at the 2001 LeMans. Meanwhile, the goal behind the non-R C12 was to utilize proven technology developed for the C12.R in order to deliver a refined performance driving experience in a road car with excellent road manners.
Built in conjunction with IVM Engineering Group from Germany, the C12 project was the result of a collaboration between U.S.-based Callaway Cars and Callaway Competition in Germany, with the latter arm being responsible for fielding the C12.R in LeMans. Callaway designer Paul Deutschman was responsible for the exterior styling that turned the C5 Corvette into somewhat of a unique design with a two meter-long body to take advantage of LeMans dimensional regulations. But we expect Corvette enthusiasts to see the easily-identifiable roots underneath the sleek sheetmetal.
Though C5 Corvettes were powered by the naturally-aspired 5.7-liter (350 cubic-inch) LS1 V8, the listing states that the car being sold features a 6.2-liter (382 cubic inch) V8 with 3.73 gears, mated to a manual transmission. The car also got a coil-over suspension with a unique control arm and gas-over-coil adjustable dampers.
Somewhere along the line, the C12 was repainted to BMW 287 Blue Pearl using a 3-step Glasurit process; the interior is gray with some black highlights. But its claim to fame are two-fold:
- It was featured in the November 18th, 2002 issue of Autoweek magazine
- It was purchased by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2004
According to daleearnhardtjr88 — the (aptly-named) eBay account selling the vehicle, new C12s were purchased for an average price of approximately $200,000. This particular model has 24,432 miles on the clock, and the auction currently has 116 bids at $50,400, which has yet to meet an unspecified reserve amount.
The auction ends Monday, January 26th, 2015 at 8:00 am. So, if you want a C5 with a unique body and some performance tunes that was previously featured in a buff book and owned by a Nascar celebrity, now is your chance. Though if it were our money, we’d just get a seventh-generation 2015 Corvette Z06, and spend whatever’s left on professional driving lessons.