Deceased July 11, 2023

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In Memory

Ely Reeves Callaway III, founder and CEO of Callaway Cars, died July 11, 2023, at his home in Newport Beach, California. According to his company, he passed from injuries sustained in a fall. He was 75.

Reeves was a legendary figure in the high-performance automotive field as reported in the national media. (See New York Times, July 24, 2023.) He spoke of his own life and career as a featured guest on Jay Leno’s Garage (March 2017, YouTube video).

Reeves lived like he drove—fast, effortlessly and always at will. At Amherst, he was a member of AD fraternity, majored in fine arts and played rugby. His study carrel was his off-campus “foreign car” repair shop, where he restored Ferraris, didn’t charge friends for labor and even found time to do his sculpture homework. Despite opposition from the fine arts department, for his independent scholar thesis he submitted a meticulously documented restoration of a historic Ferrari.  

As his roommate for a summer at the ABC House in Amherst, I knew him as a compassionate guy who helped others without being self-righteous. I was his navigator for the New England Grand Prix road rally. Even though I misdirected us to a dead-end dirt road, Reeves sped to the finish line, often at 160 mph, to win us the race.

Many classmates have posted rich memories of Reeves. Robert Nathan ’70, an AD brother, recollected, “He carried himself as a man who knew what he wanted and where he was going. His passion for cars and speed aside, he was intense in the quietest way and unfailingly kind and decent.” John Grahame ’70 wrote: “He made everyone feel welcome wherever he was, whatever he was doing ... the coolest, sweetest guy I ever knew.”

Our condolences to Reeves’ four surviving children and two grandchildren. Our class will sorely miss him.

A more complete obituary written by Reeves’ company can be found at:

Mark Harris ’70