Ely Reeves Callaway III, the founder of Callaway Cars and father of current Callaway Cars President Peter Callaway, has passed away at the age of 75.
As the son of Callaway Golf founder Ely Callaway Jr., Reeves dreamed of becoming a race car driver. However, that didn’t quite pan out, and he eventually became a racing instructor at the Bob Bondurant racing school. It was during this time that he developed his first aftermarket piece, a turbocharger kit for the BMW 3 Series.
Initially kickstarting Callaway Cars from his garage, Reeves was eventually able to open an independent shop in Old Lyme, Connecticut, where he modified the likes of BMW, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Land Rover, Mazda and General Motors products. That being said, some of his most well-known work was with the Corvette, like the 1989 Callaway Twin Turbo Vette.
Thanks to a close relationship with The General, Callaway Cars is one of the primer aftermarket tuning companies for GM vehicles today, and offers products for the likes of the Camaro, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, Sierra, Yukon and Escalade.
Ely Reeves Callaway III is survived by four children and two grandchildren.
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“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,” Callaway Cars President Peter Callaway stated in a prepared statement. “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.”