1988 Sledgehammer Corvette
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The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport can do 267 mph. The McLaren F1 from the 1990s could reach 240 mph. Not just once or twice, but given a straight enough road and a private police force to keep traffic out of the way, these cars can do those speeds all day long. You would probably need to carry a fuel tanker and semi full of spare tires along, but that’s the cost of having that much fun.

The Mclaren F1 had been the fastest production car for some time. Until, the Bugatti Veyron came along. Even before the McLaren F1 was conceived, the Ferrari F40 was the fastest production car with a top speed of 201 mph. However, things could have been very different if Callaway had made a claim for the title.

The Sledgehammer, which was essentially a hopped up and seriously modded Corvette, was developed in the 1980s and featured some of the most advanced aerodynamics for its time. So, why did this Corvette require such sleek aerodynamics? Well, to allow the Callaway Sledgehammer to hit its mammoth top speed of would top out at 254.76 mph.The Sledgehammer hit this top massive top speed on October 26th, 1988 with John Lingenfelter behind the wheel.

The aptly named Sledgehammer achieved what the Bugatti Veyron could do almost two decades later. Now you have the opportunity to own the Sledgehammer — one of the rarest cars on Earth — as it is set to cross the auction block. Unfortunately, the winning bidder won’t be permitted to drive it on public roads.

Click past the jump to read more on the Sledgehammer and to see the 1988 video of the Sledgehammer hitting this massive top speed

From the outset, the target for the Sledgehammer Corvette was to break into the 250 mph range. Based on a C4 Corvette, Callaway roped in Paul Deutschman to take care of the aerodynamics while John Lingenfelter got busy with the engine.

The 6.0-liter V-8 was fitted with two turbochargers and numerous other custom parts. The result was a mighty 898 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 772 pound-feet of torque at 5,250 rpm. A roll cage was custom fitted for safety but rest of the interior was left untouched.

Driven by Ligenfelter himself, the Sledgehammer clocked 254.76 mph (410 kph) at a test facility in Ohio. After setting new unofficial record, the car was driven back to base and Deutschman later went on to design future models for Callaway.

The car last made an appearance at Barrett Jackson auction in 2004 and since then, the Sledgehammer has kept a low profile, only to be put up on sale now.

Back in 2004, the car fetched over $220,000, and it is expected to haul in $800,000 to $1 million. Oh and by the way, it isn’t road legal anymore. So you can own it, but you can’t drive it.

1988 Callaway Sledgehammer Specifications:

Horsepower 898 Horsepower @ 6,200 RPM
Torque 772.2 lb·ft @ 5,250 RPM
Top Speed 254.7 MPH
Acceleration (0-60 MPH) 3.9 Seconds
Quarter-Mile 10.6 Seconds

Source: Mecum Auctions

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