Corvette Stalking at the Optima Invitational

The Corvette is quintessential American Performance Coupe and it’s well represented at the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational, the final round of the Ultimate Street Car Association. Here are some of my picks from the bunch.

The Corvette, just saying the name brings up images of Daytona, Sebring, Road Atlanta, and other classic automotive race tracks that the car has laid rubber down at. C2s (1963 to 1967), C3s (1968 to 1982), C5s (1997 to 2004), C6s (2005 to 2013) and brand new C7s (2014 and on) all show up to Ultimate Street Car Association races across the nation, so it’s no wonder we see so many at the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OUSCI). Since this is the 10th year for the OUSCI, I decided to choose those that best represent the ultimate Chevrolet at the Ultimate Street Car Invitational.


I doubt that I’m alone in thinking that the C2 is probably the best-looking chassis of the bunch. Sure, it could use some help in the handling department but companies like QA1 and Ride Tech all take care of those issues to make it a car that’s equal in handling to any C5 to C6 today. While her husband, Greg, has a very orange C2, Jane Thurmond’s 1964 Corvette is classic red with some ghosted K&N logos on the car as well as two very large and white ones on the rear haunches. It’s not too distracting, so it retains a classic look.



While the C4 is looked at as the red-headed stepchild of the Corvette Family today, it was the C3 that held that title due to its far lower power thanks to early EPA requirements. From 1973 to 1982, the 350 was only producing 165-horsepower to a whopping 230-horsepower. Bob Bertelsen and the Green Mamba make you forget all of that with its wild green color, modern LED headlights, and Holley EFI-equipped Kurt Urban 427. The work done to this car is nothing short of amazing and it brings some pride to C3 owners everywhere it runs.


Last year, Danny Popp was the man to beat in his 2003 C5 Z06 as he took home the overall OUSCI as well as being a seven-time SCCA Solo-II Champion. He’s normally one of the faster cars out on track and the C5 has a Lingenfelter built LS7 destroked to 388-cubic-inches. Danny was also best known for his own C3 that he still runs in the Goodguys Rod and Custom Association events in 2017 and is known at the “Real McCoy”.



With the introduction of the new C7, used C6s have become easier to reach for first-time Corvette owners who don’t want to reach down to earlier ‘vettes as their first. However, when it first debuted, it was a game-changing chassis for the mark. Fixed headlights, debut of the LS2 architecture GM V8 and six-liters of displacement, and the eventual the return of the ZR1 variant and its LS9. It was hard to pick an absolute favorite, but the clean look of the Abel Racing’s 2006 Z06 driven by Rich Willhoff caught my eyes the most from the OUSCI.

With more and more C5s and C6s becoming available, will we see even more new Corvette owners make their way to the OUSCI for 2018. It certainly won’t hurt but I’d like to see a C4 pop up eventually.

Of the generations that run, which is your favorite Corvette that runs in the USCA?


Corvettes of the OUSCI

Justin Banner

Justin Banner, Lead Editor and Founder of Carbage Online, has been involved with the automotive media and industry in many capacities and now tackles publication ownership with CarbageOnline.com. Prior to that, he has freelanced for top online publications of modern media that include Speedhunters, MotoIQ, Super Street Online, Hot Rod Magazine and many others. All due to his nearly 20 years experience as a mechanic, service writer, and technical support in the automotive industry. Justin is also a Journalist Level member of the Motor Press Guild - an industry recognized entity of professional automotive journalists - since 2015.

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