Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational to Debut on Speed TV
The most influential people, brands and media in the performance automotive aftermarket industry gathered in November for the OPTIMA Batteries Ultimate Street Car Invitational (Optima Invitational). This event invited the finest custom cars and street machines in the world to a series of race and styling events and Speed TV’s cameras were there to capture the action.
Founding event member, Murray Pfaff of Pfaff Designs (www.pfaffdesigns.com) explains that this ground breaking competition was created to take 50 of the best custom cars boasting high performance off of their polished show car stands and put them to the test under real life track conditions. Participating cars represented a wide variety of enthusiast vehicles including a 1927 Track T, 1933 Ford Coupe, 2009 Nissan GTR, Bentley Speed GT, Super Street Series NASCAR replica, and the usual pro-touring contingent of 60’s Camaros and Mustangs.
Held at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada, the Optima Invitational consists of four separate segments. They are the BF Goodrich Hot Lap Challenge, Ridetech Street Challenge Autocross, Baer Brakes 0-60-0 MPH Speed Stop Challenge, and the Speed by Spectre Design/Build Event conducted by Pfaff and Hot Wheels Design Manager Rob Matthes. Each event proved very exciting and challenging to the cars and their owners/builders/drivers. Competitors pushed their cars – a few times to the breaking point on and off the track!
“It’s absolutely amazing to watch these highly designed and detailed show cars put their horsepower to the ground and display their engineering prowess. These are more than just polished gems – they are real cars you can drive and enjoy! I commend their owners for meeting our challenge” Pfaff said.
Bruce Cambern and his ’66 Shelby Cobra swept three of the performance events on his way to taking the coveted title of 2009 OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car.
Cambern and his Cobra were named the winner of the Invitational after posting the fastest times in all three performance events, including the Baer Brakes Speed Stop Challenge, the RideTech Street Challenge Autocross and the BF Goodrich Hot Lap Challenge.
“This event was the most fun I’ve had with the Cobra in over 44 years of ownership and competition,” said Cambern. “To hold the title of OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car is just a bonus.”
Barry Bloomquist’s stunning 1962 C1RS Corvette built by the Roadster Shop was selected as the first place winner in the design portion of the competition. The completely hand built and custom formed body perfectly complements the sculpted chassis and F-1 inspired details. “This is the epitome of the type of car the Optima Invitational was created to showcase.” Pfaff stated. Following in second was Josh Henning’s clean and aggressive 1967 Chevelle.
The design portion of the event did provide for some controversy and excitement on various chat boards following the event. An oversight prevented the design scores from being divided by a factor of 10 before entering them into the computer as had been done in the inaugural year of the event. This allowed the design portion to be weighed equally with the other three events. Event organizers recognized the change and corrected the scoring to match the previous year’s event. This reshuffled only the overall winners.
Event organizer Jimi Day commented “The OUSCI is unique in its structure by having a competitive styling and design element. We will continue to recognize styling as a critical component of “The Ultimate Street Car” and we are working hard on rules and scoring modifications that will reward builders and owners that successfully create the complete package.” He went on to say “Murray is a valuable resource to the OUSCI team and Pfaff Designs has been instrumental in creating the visual identity for the Ultimate Street Car brand.”
The television program is scheduled to air nationally on SPEED TV on Saturday, January 30 and Sunday January 31. It will cover several of the vehicle builds in the days leading up to the competition. Additionally, the program will focus on driver and vehicle appearances at the SEMA Show during the week of the event and cover all of the racing excitement throughout the Invitational. Tune in Saturday and Sunday to watch the excitement unfold.
And stay tuned for exciting additions next year!