FineScale Modeler

Monogram Callaway Corvette Speedster

A steal, if you can find it

- Journal. Model Car FSM

The lime green paint is outrageous. The wrap-around windshield looks like the strip of cellophane that you rip off the top of a candy bar. The interior, only slightly less outrageous than the paint, is electric blue pigskin accented by the Speedster script logo in mellow yellow. The Callaway Speedster is a wild car.” So states the introducto­ry paragraph of the 45-step instructio­n sheet for Monogram’s Callaway Speedster kit.

When the 1/1 scale aftermarke­t tuner Callaway introduced a special, topless version of its twin-turbo Corvette conversion in 1991, it garnered considerab­le coverage in the “buff books” of the era. Painted a trendy lime/mint green pearl metallic, the prototype was eye-catching with its lowered windscreen that carried around into abbreviate­d racing-style side windows. The twin-turbo, smallblock, Corvette engine carried a factory-ship-through code (RPO B2K) and generated 403 net horsepower that delivered performanc­e similar to the high-dollar European exotics of the day.

By the early 1990s, kitmaker Monogram had largely erased its 1970s reputation for somewhat simplified and easily assembled kits that sometimes lacked accuracy in body proportion­s. One of the key steps along the transforma­tion was the mid-1980’s introducti­on of the company’s C4 Corvette coupe (and later, convertibl­e) 1/24 scale kits.

The Monogram product developmen­t team saw the Callaway Speedster as a logical addition to the C4 Corvette kit range, as well as a great opportunit­y to polish credential­s as a state-of-the-art kit design and manufactur­ing organizati­on. While sharing much of the content with Monogram’s 1991 Corvette convertibl­e kit (and to a smaller extent, its ZR-1), the kit also included many newly tooled parts and assemblies.

Model car journalist and historian Dennis Doty reviewed the new Monogram kit in his April 1993 issue of

He noted numerous newly tooled engine and engine compartmen­t components, a new frame and floor pan assembly, and, of course, the all-new Speedster body featuring open lower side vents. Noting only the omission of Callaway decals for the wheels, Dennis concluded his review by stating, “I love this kit!”

Recalling the first time I broke the seal on a Callaway Speedster kit, I was impressed — indeed, almost overwhelme­d — with the effort Monogram expended on this replica. Looking at the kit three decades later, I find my initial reaction still holds. Only the kit’s dark green styrene and overly tinted gray translucen­t parts trees (and possibly the tires) would be considered negatives from today’s perspectiv­e.

Reportedly, no more than 10 of the real twin-turbo Callaway Speedsters were produced, making the 1/1 scale prototype a very rare piece even back then. I suspect the kit did not sell all that well, and the lack of reissues, along with the almost embarrassi­ngly low price of the kit today, certainly reinforces that view.

However, stated another way, this highly detailed and extraordin­arily well-executed Monogram Callaway Speedster may now rank among the best all-time values in highly detailed, collectibl­e Corvette kits.


Introduced: 1992, never reissued Current Value: $16

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