Vette Videos: Callaway Corvette vs RUF 911 Porsche vs Jeremy Clarkson

Dateline: 8.25.11
A snarkey look back at late ’80s – early ’90s supercars.

I must admit that before watching this I did NOT know who Jeremy Clarkson was. That’s because I really don’t watch very much TV. So, I may well be the last person in America to know who this bloke is. Clarkson is the “presenter” for the TV program, “Top Gear” and he’s quite a character.

The video starts with a piano being dropped on a 911, and other 911 being dropped from a crane. Then a helicopter gun ship fires on an early C4 Corvette. Clarkson savages the 911 first on a race track, but hoots a squeals when the turbos kick in on the 3.4-liter RUF 911. He goes straight after the obvious – at normal speeds, the 911 feels very, well, VW Beetle-like. (Are you allowed to saw such a thing? You can HERE!) “KRIKEY-MOSES!” is what he has to say when the tubros kick in. Back in 1990 the 911 RUF had a top speed of 211-MPH! In the end, he says, “What’a CAR!” The final shot of the 911 RUF is from behind and you get to see some flames popping out of the rear exhaust. Pretty cool!

To start the Callaway portion of the video, Clarkson gets the back end about 45-degrees on the first turn. After dissing the stock suspension and brakes inability to cope with the added horsepower from the Callaway twin-turbo engine, Jeremy tries to dial in the Corvette. He doesn’t provide any info about the Callaway, it appears to be an ‘87 model which probably didn’t yet have any suspension or wheel/tire improvements. What the car is very good at is bringing the back end around, which if you’re not used to, can be unnerving, to say the least. Sorry, no flames out the back of the Callaway!

The video is fun, it’s just too bad he didn’t have a more complete or newer Callaway to compare to the RUF 911. – Scott

PS – To read the Wikipedia page for Jeremy Clarkson, CLICK HERE.

To read the Wikipedia page for “Top Gear” CLICK HERE.

PSS – I covered the 1987 Callaway Corvette in The Illustrated Corvette Series No. 75 in May 2003.

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