Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Callaway Camaro represents the tuner’s attempt at an à la carte car build. Let’s see if the price tag proves to be a chef’s special.
How would you categorize the Italian marque Maserati? Is it a high-end sports car maker akin to Ferrari and Lamborghini? Or is it a luxury sedan and GT maker that only dabbles in sports cars from time to time? Wherever Maserati falls in the estimation of enthusiasts, there’s one thing the company would like everyone to forget. That is its one-time venture with Chrysler’s K-car and the brand-burning collaboration that resulted.
We, however, can’t let it go (cue the sad trombone), and just yesterday we looked at a 1989 Chrysler TC by Maserati. At $1,600, that Italian K-car was priced well below what one might expect of so venerable a brand, but even the Maserati name couldn’t salvage the car’s overall poor condition and its equally tarnished reputation. The result was a 68 percent No Dice loss.
When Reeves Callaway got out of college, he decided to flip the LP and take on a job teaching. That manifested as a short stint as a driving instructor at the Bondurant School, and that led to Callaway coming into possession of one of the school’s BMW 320i coupes. He bolted a turbocharger on the car’s four-pot and thus embarked on yet another career — that of an engine builder.
At the same time, Callaway’s love of racing — he was the Sports Car Club of America Formula Vee National Champion in 1973 — meant that there would always be more to the cars he envisioned than just a musclebound engine.
One such vision resulted in this 1995 Callaway Camaro 383. At the time, Callaway considered the Camaro to be a higher-volume companion to the company’s Callaway Corvettes and offered a slew of pick and choose performance parts for them. The centerpiece of all the available mods was the SuperNatural LT1 V8 that Callaway stroked to 383 cubic inches. The bigger engine made 404 horsepower in its base form. Other available upgrades included suspension and brake setups, and the CamAero body kit. That feature added an extended nose, a more bootylicious back end and functional air extractor vents on both front and rear fenders.
The ad claims this car to be one of 50 converted by Callaway, but seeing as the company offered a mix of parts it’s difficult to pin down the exact criteria from which that number is derived.
What the ad does say is that this custom car has done 189,000 miles over the course of its life and that the original 383 stroker was rebuilt at around 140K. Along with the big-horse V8, the car sports a T56 six-speed stick and a limited-slip rear end with 4.11 gears set up for quick acceleration.
That’s all wrapped in a T-top coupe body with the aforementioned CamAero clips and what appears to be perfectly serviceable paint. The black-with-red-stripe color scheme might be a bit dull for some tastes, but it’s tidy and could be brightened up by stripping the wheels of their dark hue and respraying them in something that brings out the bling.
The interior looks great, and by that, I mean without issue. Sadly, the fourth-generation Camaro came about during a period when GM simply couldn’t do interiors to save a life. This car’s a beige and black combination is updated with some stick-on wood trim. An aftermarket head unit pokes from the dash as well, but otherwise it’s all stock.
On the downside, the back glass has a tint job that hasn’t aged well and will need to be removed. That really seems to be the car’s only quibble. The ad makes no mention of the condition of all the consumables — tires, brake pads, etc. — but then neither does it call out any issues with those systems. Let’s call it a wash. The title is clean and the car sports current registration.
For so rare and interesting a car, you might imagine the Callaway Camaro to command big bucks, or at least for sellers to attempt them with the tired and not-so-true “I know what I’ve got” trope. For whatever reason, that doesn’t seem to be the case with Callaway Camaros, and that makes this car’s $9,900 price tag eminently debatable rather than immediately dismissible.
We’re going to do that debate right now. What’s your take on this Callaway Camaro and that $9,900 asking? Does that seem like a lot of bang for your buck? Or, stroked or not, is that just too much of a monetary displacement to ask?
H/T to Sprinty for the hookup!
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