254-MPH Callaway Sledgehammer One of World's Greatest Corvettes


One-off 900-hp Vette up for auction as part of the Richard Berry Callaway Collection.

On October 26, 1988, John Lingenfelter drove the Callaway Sledgehammer to a record speed of 254.76 mph, making it the fastest street-driven car on the planet. Based on a 1988 Chevy Corvette, the Sledgehammer was powered by a 4-bolt main Nascar-spec GM “Bowtie” block hand-built to deliver 898 hp and 772 lb-ft of torque. The powerplant featured Mahle pistons on forged connecting rods, a special cam, Brodix aluminum heads, and twin Turbonetics turbochargers and matching intercoolers.

Callaway Cars had to think long and hard about how they would get all that gear into the Vette’s tight confines, but the problem was eventually solved. Caroll Smith was then tasked with tuning the suspension for high speed stability, with Koni shocks used in addition to 17-inch Dymag aluminum alloys wrapped in special Goodyear rubber. The exterior boasts a Paul Deutsman Design Callaway Aero body complete with quad vents in the nose, a lower nose and ground effects undercarriage, while a mostly stock interior comes with a leather-padded roll bar, five-point harness, as well as air con and sound system.

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The street-legal Corvette remained the world’s fastest car until 2007 when the SSC Ultimate Aero hit a speed of 256.18 mph, making it the longest speed record holder of all time. The car last sold for $221,400 back in 2004, and Mecum hopes that figure will be well surpassed when it puts the Sledgehammer up for sale at is Kissimmee, Florida, auction that runs from January 17-26.

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