For a few brief moments in the ’70s, it looked like the Sports Wagon would become the next big thing. On the heels of Volvo’s P1800ES, automakers around the world looked at their sporty offerings, then their station wagon offerings, and thought “Sure, why not?” There was a design for a Datsun 240Z Sport Wagon, a Chevy Camaro Kammback, and the Pontiac Firebird “Type K,” which came tantalizingly close to production. There were even kits to turn your boring old ’60s era Mustang or Stingray Corvette into a respectable grocery-getter. Now, nearly 50 years later, the Sports Wagon could come out of left field and become the next big thing again, thanks to the Corvette-based Callaway C21 AeroWagon.
On the surface, you could credit the Ferrari FF — er, Lusso GTC4 for bringing the old “breadvan” body style back to the forefront of the sports car world, but in truth, there’s always been a market among well-heeled sports car fans for European-style “Shooting Brake” conversions. Still, the AeroWagon looks less like a tastefully converted Aston Martin or Jaguar, and more like the bonkers, muscular designs that were favored in the ’70s, just like it should.
Callaway made a name for itself in the ’80s with the Sledgehammer, its twin-turbocharged, 898-horsepower, 254-mile-per-hour Corvette, and since then it hasn’t looked back. Today, the Connecticut-based company is still cranking out high-performance Chevys, including the SC757, a supercharged Z06 ‘Vette with 757 horsepower and 777 pound-feet of torque that can go from zero to 60 in 2.8 seconds. That kind of power doesn’t come cheap ($16,995 on top of the $79K Z06 base price), but it pushes the world-class Corvette even further into supercar territory — and for a lot less. Now, you can have that kind of performance and help your friends move. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the wagon body style will lower your insurance premiums any…
Callaway first unveiled the AeroWagon’s design back in 2013, within weeks of the C7 Stingray’s debut. The design looked great then, and luckily for us, it hasn’t changed a bit. Like the SC757 conversion, the C21 AeroWagon conversion doesn’t come cheap (an estimated $15K on top of a new ‘Vette), but the good news is this: Callaway will do the conversion on any C7, not just its performance models. Best case scenario, you can take home a base AeroWagon for around $70K. It may not have four seats like the Lusso GTC4, but it’s also over $200,000 cheaper.
What’s more, the AeroWagon has a carbon fiber roof and seamlessly integrates into the Stingray’s existing architecture. It’s even hinged at the same point as the factory hatch, meaning that you don’t have to rely on a tiny rear aperture to stuff your groceries through. And since the stock weatherstripping, hinges, and latch remain in place, you can transform your ‘Vette back to a fastback whenever you get the itch. What’s more, it doesn’t interfere with the car’s targa top, so you can get the world’s only open air wagon experience — take that, panoramic sunroofs.
While the AeroWagon won’t be radically different from the standard C7 performance-wise, we love that it’s going into production, and that it’ll be hitting the streets by the end of the year. It perfectly embodies the outrageousness of the ’70s designs while looking contemporary enough to hold its own against the Ferrari. If we had money to burn on a Corvette, we’d make sure to drop by the Callaway shop before getting too far ahead of ourselves.