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Home  >>  Reviews  >>  Cars  >>  1/32  >>  Ninco

Callaway C12 Corvette

Published: February 17, 2002



By Ken


In 1986, Reeves Callaway took a stock Corvette and created what came to be known as the Callaway Twin Turbo. In 1988, it was known as the Sledgehammer, a Viper killer. Available at select dealerships, only the well off could afford this performance option, and the cars are highly collectible. In 1992, the twin turbo option went away, but in 1999, a new breed of snake killers emerged. Enter, the Callaway C12.
The Ninco Callaway C12 is based on the car that ran in the 2001 American Le Mans Series owned and driven by real estate developer Bob Mazzuoccola. The real car boasted 480 horse power from a 7.0 liter V-8 engine.
The slot car is a bit more conventional than the prototype, but the striking graphics make this an eye catcher right off the bat. The tampo's are crisp and clean, and certainly get your attention.

The detail on the car is not what you would see on a FLY car. The interior sports a modest driver and sparce interior, but one thing that impresses me is the ruggedness of the entire package. The mirrors don't feel like they'll break off on the first crash, and the rear wing is solildly mounted to the body. The overall feel is that the car could take a lot of abuse and still be a fine looking replica.
Underneith the body is nothing spectacular. The engine is inline, rear mounted, and features Ninco's NC-2 motor. There is a mid-mounted magnet that offers a fair amount amount of downforce. The rear axle mounts to the chassis though brass bushings, and there was very little side-to-side slop here. The front axle is a basic straight through design, and does have about 1/8" side-to-side slop that could be reduced with a couple washers. I left it as is for this review.
The car is fast, and on a long straight could be a real contender. Not a FLY car in the amount of magnetic downforce, it does have some tail-out action on the corners, but is very controllable. It is a bit noisy compared to most of my other cars, but it did seem to quiet down after some break-in time. The tires benefited from a little truing, making the car substantially smoother on the track, which eliminated a little more noise as well.
With a little practice, I was able to turn some pretty hot laps. There are faster cars available, and some more detailed, but this car, like the real Callaway, has an appeal all it's own. It's tough and rugged enough to take a lot of hard licks, and fast enough to make racing fun without being glued to the track. Though my track is rather small, I got the feeling that with some longer straights and wider, sweeping turns, this car could hold its own with just about any other stock car.
So if you're looking for a real workhorse, or a great kids second car, this might just be the answer. There is a lot of room under the chassis for weight modifications, and it comes with the larger track guide for Carrera and other deep slot tracks. This is definately one car I will race daily.