The final bid for this one-off, 900-hp gem was $500K; the owner says that's not enough.
Every once in a while an especially unique Corvette comes along that attracts attention from beyond the usual crop of collectors. We thought this one-off 1988 Chevrolet Corvette Callaway SledgeHammer would be one of them. It was up for auction on Bring A Trailer and the bidding appeared to be going just fine. The highest bid reached $500,000, but it wasn't enough.
In the end, the online auction failed to meet the minimum reserve price set by the seller. As the market thought it was getting a deal. The SledgeHammer was no ordinary C4 because it had supercar levels of power.
Its twin-turbocharged 5.7-liter V8 setup was built by Callaway Cars and was driven to a top speed of 274.6 mph with the late John Lingenfelter behind the wheel 33 years ago. It was one of the fastest street-legal Corvettes to exist in its era. The current owner purchased it in 2014 and drove it very little; there are still less than 2,000 miles on its clock.
Understanding its importance in American automotive and Corvette history, its owners stored it in a museum environment for nearly 30 years. Because of the temperature-controlled climate and devotion to meticulous maintenance, the car still looks brand new. The sale also included a clean CarFax report and all Callaway engineering records.
If there had been a winning bidder, that individual would have even received a familiarization course from Callaway Cars. It's always hard to judge exactly how much a one-off creation such as this is truly worth. The owner/seller will always aim high but there are a lot of other contributing factors like general name recognition and, of course, the "wow" factor. Callaway Cars is a highly respected company in the industry as well.
Unfortunately, the listing did not state the minimum reserve price but we wouldn't be surprised to find out it was set at around $700,000. In any case, the seller will have to try again if they're truly anxious to sell.