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Optima Invitational Takeover at Shelby American

The Road Rally is always a treat for the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational drivers and for the past three years the OUSCI has taken over the Shelby American headquarters in Las Vegas.

The Lucas Oil Road Rally portion of the Optima Invitational is a test to determine the true road worthiness of competitor vehicles. They will drive to checkpoints along the route for speedbump tests and other tests that cars may or may not have to pass. It’s not a race, despite the word Rally, and it goes towards bonus points but for those at the top those points are hard to argue against. That why you’ll always see the cars that are looking to take the overall win compete in the rally.


The rally also used to be the start of the OUSCI, going from the SEMA Show to Las Vegas Motor Speedway on the first day of competition. However, since 2014, it’s now the bookend of the first day going from the racetrack to the headquarters of Shelby American. It’s not a long drive, if you stay on the 15 South, but the route directed the drivers to go through downtown Las Vegas. Me, I had to stay on the 15 so I could make it before the sun set too low.

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Once there, the drivers were treated to a mostly open shop where we could see new Mustangs and a few Raptors in the middle of their transformations from factory Ford pieces to Shelby powerhouses. The drivers were also treated to a dinner and raffle. This was my first time to Shelby since their move, so I took the chance to give it a look around and pushing my bravery of the restrictions on where we could and couldn’t go. More than once, I got a passing comment of “You’re brave” as I put my camera in places that many were scared to lean near let alone take pictures like I was.


Once dinner was done, the drivers would load back up and head off to their hotels, rest up for the night, and adjust their cars accordingly. The final day of the OUSCI competition was only 11-hours away.

OUSCI Shelby American Takeover Gallery

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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.