Das Ist Der Hammer
Corvette was never on the European short list of favorite cars. Ferrari, Aston, Lamborghini, Alfa, and Mercedes, definitely. Corvette, not so much—until Callaway in 1988.
Europeans referred to the AMG Mercedes as “Der Hammer”, obviously implying the biggest/baddest #*@# in the room. However, after the European press drove the Callaway, one appeared on a German magazine cover with the headline—“Das Ist Der Hammer.” This was a not-so-subtle statement that Mercedes had just been displaced. And by a “normal” twin turbo 350 HP Callaway Corvette, at that.
Since the Germans nicknamed it “The Hammer”, Callaway wondered what it would be called if they built a really powerful one-off version. Maybe the Sledgehammer?
The strategy? Engineer a car with 1,500 HP capability and detune it to a “manageable” 900 HP. During a private test run, the Sledgehammer reached 254.76 mph.
Imagine covering the length of a football field every second with both the air conditioning and radio on. This accomplishment is a significantly important endorsement of Corvette’s platform engineering post-Duntov.
By the way, Sledgehammer was as fast 25 years ago as today’s $1.6MM Bugatti Veyron.
Owner: The Berry Collection