The second-annual Optima Batteries Ultimate Street Car Invitational was held at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada, the weekend after the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show this past November. This invitation-only event takes 40 of the coolest muscle cars from across the country and puts them to the test. The vehicles compete on a closed-circuit professional road-racing course in four categories that include acceleration/braking, autocross, road course laps and styling. The three racing segments of the event are timed and the styling part is judged on overall vehicle quality, design and craftsmanship. Styling points are awarded on a 1 to 10 scale, with 1 being the best and 10 being the worst. The vehicle race times are cumulative and combined with the styling points for the overall scoring. Only those competing in all four segments of the event are eligible to win the Ultimate Street Car of the Year title. All vehicles must be street-legal and pass a basic safety and technical inspection at the track before the event begins. The event started bright and early with a drivers meeting, where everyone was put into groups and given a breakdown of the events and courses. After the meeting, all the cars went through tech and got filled up with VP racing fuel. Then the first group of cars was led on a few parade laps to get familiar with the course. After that the second group took the course while the first group went back to the pits to perform any last-minute tweaks. After both groups finished the parade laps the first car was let loose to lay down a lap time. The before the cars could be let loose on the track they had to pass a basic tech inspection. The full list of requirements is on the Optima Invitational web site but some of the big ones are; proof of insurance, helmet, OE or better seat belts, DOT tires (no drag radials, no shaving), proper brake pedal pressure and travel, battery hold down, lug nuts in place and tight, working head lights, taillights and turn signals, safety glass windshield, side windows roll up and down as the factory did and full hoods are required. The before the cars could be let loose on the track they had to pass a basic tech inspecti The BF Goodrich Hot Lap Challenge was held on a 2.2-mile road course that featured banked and off-camber corners, blind drops, along with a long straight that let the drivers put the pedal to the metal. The track allows the driver to take some time to pick a good line around corners to see how well the car will stick to the pavement in a high-speed situation. The driver who turned in the fastest lap time in this event scored a free set of BF Goodrich tires. The Ridetech Street Challenge Autocross was the second event to burn the VP fuel and eat tires. This short course was laid out with cones and featured tight corners and a 360-degree circle towards the end. Most of the competitors just drove the circle as fast as possible without breaking traction, while some drivers decided to drift it. There were a select few that were forced into a drift after getting a little too aggressive with the go pedal. That didn't do much for their time, but it was a kick in the pants to see. Unlike the road course where the driver can take his time to find a good line the autocross is more like a mad zigzag dash in a confined space. The driver who turned in the fastest lap time in this event won a complete Ridetech suspension system. Last year's winner and Super Chevy staffer Steven Rupp and his Bad Penny '68 Camaro came out to defend his title. The former cover car is powered by a stroked LS2 that puts out 480hp to the wheels. It uses C6 Corvette stuff up front and a 3-link with a Watt's linkage in the back. Steve had just recently upgraded to a set of Baer 6P brakes and Hoosier A6 tires in hopes to improve over last year. Unfortunately, Steve lost his power steering pump during the autocross, which slowed him down considerably and put him in fourth place overall. Last year's winner and Super Chevy staffer Steven Rupp and his Bad Penny '68 Camaro came o Scott Mock brought out his LS2-powered '69 Sunoco tribute car. Except for the paint, the car was built entirely by the owner in his garage in just seven months. It has an Art Morrison subframe, Wilwood brakes, homemade 3-link and Anvil carbon fiber pieces. This thing was absolutely awesome and ran a best time of 02:16.0 on the big track and 00:46.2 on the autocross track. Scott Mock brought out his LS2-powered '69 Sunoco tribute car. Except for the paint, the c Ridetech's '66 Chevelle sported a 440-hp small-block and 700R4 from Bowler Transmission. It goes without saying the car has a full Ridetech suspension set up that not only proved to be well balanced it let the car drop down when the air was relived from the Shockwaves. Ty Hauer clicked off a 02:01.8 on the track, 00:09.9 at the speed stop, and 00:47.1 on the autocross. Ridetech's '66 Chevelle sported a 440-hp small-block and 700R4 from Bowler Transmission. I Scott Parkhurst brought out this '67 Malibu wagon to flog around the course. This behemoth of a car has a 545-hp stroked small-block backed up by a T56 trans with a Centerforce clutch. Up front is a Savitske Classic and Custom stage 2 suspension package and a full Hotchkis setup out back with adjustable QA1 shocks. It rolls on Edelbrock 17-inch rims and Nitto 555 rubber. We nabbed this shot as Scott put the big wagon sideways in the autocross event while his crew chief Scott LaPointe sat shotgun. Scott Parkhurst brought out this '67 Malibu wagon to flog around the course. This behemoth Jonathan Goolsby was doing pretty well on the big track until a faint knocking sound came from under the hood. Instead of hurting the car any more he decided to pull off and find out what was wrong. Unfortunately upon closer investigation he figured it was a spun rod bearing. Even though the car didn't place in the performance categories he did however take second place overall in the Speed by Spectre Design/build Challenge. We will have a full feature on this car very soon so stay tuned. Jonathan Goolsby was doing pretty well on the big track until a faint knocking sound came This ultra clean '67 Chevelle is owned by William Shores and was built by Jonathan Goolsby and Josh Henning at Goolsby Customs. The car has a ZZ502 big-block with a Barry Grant 6 Shooter carb set up backed by a Tremec TKO five-speed. Underneath all that slick paint is a full Roadster Shop chassis, Boze wheels, Michelin Pilot tires, Wilwood brakes and was one of the cars selected off the SEMA show floor. Here you can see Jonathan ripping it around the autocross. If you don't think these guys push these cars to the limit, just take a look at the front tire about to come off the rim. This ultra clean '67 Chevelle is owned by William Shores and was built by Jonathan Goolsby The Baer Brakes Speed Stop Challenge was the third event, which basically means hammer the gas till you hit 60 mph and then stomp the brakes until you stop. This event should have been called the burnout and skid as most competitors smoked the tires off the line and locked them up at the end. The driver who could do this in the quickest time won a complete Baer brake system. The final part was the Speed by Spectre Design/Build Challenge. This is where the cars are judged on style and craftsmanship of the build. The judges ranged from past magazine editors to industry people. This score was added to the total times of the performance events to find the overall winner. The two cars that scored the lowest in this category would walk away with a bunch of product from Spectre. This '69 Camaro (known as Jackass) is powered by an LS9 crate engine and features an Art Morrison front subframe with C6 Corvette front suspension. It uses carbon-ceramic Brembo ZR1 Corvette disc brakes to stop and was piloted by Mark Stielow. The car turned in a 1.49.30 lap on the road course, 00:07.8 on the speed stop challenge and 00:45.1 on the autocross. These times combined with his design/build placed the car third in the overall competition. This '69 Camaro (known as Jackass) is powered by an LS9 crate engine and features an Art M Mary Pozzi, an SCCA national autocross champion and one of the test drivers in Super Chevy's Nitto-sponsored Suspension & Handling Challenge, came to run in her 383-equipped '70 Camaro. The car has a full line of Hotchkis components and had to be the only Bow Tie in the competition with leaf springs in the rear. Forgeline wheels, Hoosier tires and Baer brakes all help Mary click off the second fastest time on the autocross at 00:43.4. Mary Pozzi, an SCCA national autocross champion and one of the test drivers in Super Chevy Optima Larry Callahan brought out his "motiv8r" '68 Camaro and really put the 14-inch Wilwood brakes, Forgeline wheels, and BFG tires to the test. The car has a twin-turbo'd 406 small-block with Richmond six-speed trans. It was built by Prodigy Customs and features an Art Morrison subframe up front and a Prodigy Bar 4-link out back with dual adjustable Shockwaves at all four corners. Optima Larry Callahan brought out his "motiv8r" '68 Camaro and really put the 14-inch Wil The winner of the Speed by Spectre design/build Challenge was Barry Blomquist's "C1RS" '62 Corvette. The slick black Vette has a 618hp LS7 by Turnkey Engines that produces 640 lb-ft of torque. With a time of 01:58.0 on the road course this car is no show queen. It has a full Roadster Shop chassis with Detroit Speed and Engineering suspension components, Brembo 14.5-inch, six-piston brakes and one-off custom spindle mount Forgeline wheels. A stellar look combined with great performance is what this event is all about. The winner of the Speed by Spectre design/build Challenge was Barry Blomquist's "C1RS" '62 Coming in fifth-place overall was Kyle Tucker in the Detroit Speed and Engineering test mule. An all-aluminum 6.3L L92 engine powers the '70 Camaro. This is the car DSE uses for engineering design and development of suspension parts for second-gen Camaros. With lap times of 01:53.0 on the track and 00:45.2 on the autocross the car is obviously well-balanced. Coming in fifth-place overall was Kyle Tucker in the Detroit Speed and Engineering test mu The second car from the Ridetech camp was the Velocity Camaro. The suspension is the complete Street Challenge air suspension package from Ridetech. Driven by Bret Voelkel, the car turned in 02:00.5 on the track and 00:46.0 on the autocross. You can see a full write up about this bitchin Camaro in the January '10 issue. The second car from the Ridetech camp was the Velocity Camaro. The suspension is the compl This '63 Impala known as Corpala features a Magnuson-supercharged LS7 backed by a 6-speed manual transmission. The car has a one-off frame structure to house an entire C5 Corvette suspension. This bad boy was built by Eckert's Rod and Custom and turned in a 02:14.7 on the track and came in third in the design/build challenge. This '63 Impala known as Corpala features a Magnuson-supercharged LS7 backed by a 6-speed This '10 Camaro was a joint venture between Jon Moss and Fesler Built and was driven by Champ Car driver Paul Tracy. The car has a supercharged LS9 stuffed under the hood and with the hired gun behind the wheel ended up finishing the big track with a time of 01:50.2, the autocross in 00:43.9 and the speed stop in 00:08.5. Those are some impressive numbers from a car you can purchase already modified. This '10 Camaro was a joint venture between Jon Moss and Fesler Built and was driven by Ch Another Detroit Speed and Engineering test car was this '69 owned by Stacy Tucker and driven by Ryan Mathews. Ryan ended up turning in the second fastest lap time on the track (01:47.5) and took home second place overall. Not bad for a car that gets driven to the grocery store in its off time. Another Detroit Speed and Engineering test car was this '69 owned by Stacy Tucker and driv By Calin Head Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!