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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This past week has been a blur, but it has also been a whole lot of fun. Our 57 wagon was invited to be part of the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational. This is an event that happens the Saturday after SEMA in Pahrump NV where 50 of the country’s top Pro-Touring cars get invited to participate in a day full of fun and pushing your car to its limits.

My trip started the Monday before SEMA when I had to get the wagon to Vegas to be in the Optima Batteries Ultimate Steer Car Invitational car corral. I left Templeton, Ca at 1:00 AM and made the 400 mile trip to Vegas. It was a fairly uneventful trip traveling through the desert in the dark, the car ran great and I got 24 mpg thanks to the LT-1 and 6 speed combo. I arrived at 7:00 AM and got the car into the OUSCI car corral where we waited for all the other participants to show up and park their cars. At 1:00 PM the welcome meeting started and we were told how the weekend would be run and some basic info. We were given lots of stickers to put on the car, which we opted to try and stick on the windows to make sure they did not remove any of our stock paint when they came off. We were also told to be back on Thursday for a special announcement about a new part to the event.

On Thursday we found out that there would be a road rally added to the event on Friday night where we would have to meet at the Silverton Casino directly after SEMA ended for a picture and get a memory card for our digital camera. We would then have to go take pictures of the car at “famous Las Vegas landmarks” for points. We decided to head to old town and got shots of the car in the drive-through window at the Little White Chapel, and under the canopy on Fremont Street. We were even able to find Elvis and get a few pictures with him. We then made the 60 mile trip out to Pahrump where the actual track events were happening in the morning.

Saturday morning we were at the track at 7:00AM ready for tech. All the competitors were given 3 practice laps on the road course to learn the track and try and figure out the race line. We were then broken into groups and sent to our different events. My first event was on the road course. There were two cars on the track at a time with about a half lap between them. We got one warm up lap, three timed laps, and one cool down. I was in race mode right off the bat and entered turn three, which is a very tight right hander at the end of a straight, a little too fast and not having the brakes warmed up sent me spinning through the corner. I was able to collect the car and keep it on the track and I took the rest of the lap as a warm up. My three timed laps went smooth and my biggest hurdle was remembering what corner was coming up having never been on this track besides my 4 previous laps. The wagon could use some more motor for events like this. The 280 hp LT-1 was definitely under powered compared to the rest of the competition.

My next event was the auto cross. I had walked the track earlier in the day and found out it was much tighter than it looked once behind the wheel. I did my best to keep the car smooth and tried to not over drive the course. This event was a lot of fun to watch because you could see the whole course from the side lines and there were more than a handful of people who liked to power around it, which looks cool but is not the fastest way.

After lunch everyone was done with the autocross and they set up the Speed Stop Challenge. This event consisted of a standing start, go as fast as you can and stop in a stop box. It is timed so the faster you get to the stop box the shorter the time. This is where the wagon really stuck out as being under powered. The brakes worked awesome, but there was no making up for horsepower in this event. This was another fun one to watch with lots of tire smoke at both ends of the track.

At the end of the day when all the points were tallied and times recorded we got to hear the final results. The wagon came in 25th on the road course, 7th in the auto cross, and 36th in the speed stop putting us in 19th place overall. We were blown away that the big wagon with very little horse power could compete and do so well against the quality of cars that were in attendance.

here is a video of how we did

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=901FJ09piyA

here are some pictures of the day.






 

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That's a ROCKIN wagon! :tu

:congrats: GO LONGROOFS!
:D:tu
 

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Thanks for sharing how the Optima challenge went. Once again you got some good video as well. Does your '55 have more horsepower or is it running the same motor? Jesse
 

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Interesting how the frames per second and wheel rpm was such a close match on the wheel cam portion of the video...
Camera at 30 frames per second and wheel at some multiple of 30 rpm (30, 60, 90,...) at one point the spokes appear to be stopped but the bowtie in the center is spinning...

Oh Yeah, nice car and bet you had a blast at the event...
 

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Cool car, I love when people keep the original patina and fix up the running gear! Looks great. Do you have any info on the white Mercedes in the picture below? Thanks

 

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Great Car

:congrats::congrats::congrats::congrats::congrats: Congrats!
 

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Cool car, I love when people keep the original patina and fix up the running gear! Looks great. Do you have any info on the white Mercedes in the picture below? Thanks

I have some pics of it I need to post. Sitting on a brand new SL600 v-12 twin turbo chssis tuned by Renntek, stratched 9 inches, widened 6 inches, and I heard the build was near or around 7 figures. Most understated build at SEMA, you would not have realized what it was unless you really looked at it
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
the Mercedes is a way cool car! they made the body fit on a 06 SL65 frame and running gear. They said they had to widen the body and leghten it to fit but looking at it you would never know. The guy said that at no time during the build was is not able to drive under its own power. The grill started as a 480 lb chunk of aluminum and was CNCed down to 58lbs.

it was by far the coolest car i saw all week at SEMA. It was pretty neat to see them out there beating on it. the best part was it was new car quiet but still went fast. It was eerie watching it go around the track after listening to a bunch of noisy camaro's.

i will try and find a build thread on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
here is what a fast lap looks like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sAkJ6q9G8w

this guy won every other event except the road course, which he had the fastest time of the day until Stop-Tech's C-5 race car got a second set of laps because he caught the car in front of him on his fist go-round.
 

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Hey Kyle,
I always enjoy your post, keep up the good work. Or is it play? Got a couple questions for you, when was the wagon built and how many miles on it since.
Hope to have mine on the road soon.
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The wagon was built in 00'. The odometer has 50,000 on it, but the speedo and odometer was not hooked up for the first 2 years of its life when it got used the most (to and from to school everyday and as the shop "truck"). Paul had quiet a few toys that have come and gone in the past 10 years so it didn't get used as much as he would have liked (its still his car of choice for road trips) We are guessing we have put something like 80,000 on it and not many of them have been "easy miles". Most of the time this car is driven it gets driven pretty hard..... how can we resist, it does it so good!

I'm looking forward to seeing your car completed Jim. I think you will be pretty happy with how it drives.
 

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COOL :cool: video Kyle. Looks like it was a nice day for racing. :tu
 
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