Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational at SEMA 2019

The Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational is hosted by the Ultimate Street Car Association, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway following the SEMA show.

It’s an in-depth competition in which the cars have to compete in a number of performance tests; ranging from an autocross to laps of a full road course. They are also judged on the overall build and the “streetability” of a car (i.e does it have an audio system, horn, carpeting etc)

Seeing as there is a car show element to the competition, the series attracts a lot of unusual builds. Most notable of which was this bus:


Along with this 1980s Volvo coupe. Not a car you’d typically see on track!


There were also a couple of Teslas in the field. I think it’s great to see some electric production cars finding their way into motorsports. They can be ballisticly fast!


A lot of the USCA builds were based on classic American cars. With a huge range of off the shelf parts available for them now, it does make sense. The yellow C3 Corvette I thought was a really cool car!



There were quite a few more modern American cars involved too.


I love the 90’s Camaro. I’d love one as a drag build one day.


Mazda MX5s/Miatas are always going to have a following in a series like this. A light platform with a tonne of aftermarket support.


This heritage livery R35 GTR really caught my attention!

It’s always nice to see an early generation Z. I love the aero headlight covers this wears.


This is one aggressive FD RX7!


Porsche 911s are another car that will have a good following in this sort of series. They are smart looking cars from standard and also have a good following of people that modify them.


I’m not sure that this Huracan was going to be competing, but it sure looked good on the stand.


Thanks for reading! The Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational looks like a really fun event. Sadly I was flying home on the Sunday so I didn’t get to go watch the cars perform at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Hopefully I can next year!

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By Richard Francis


  1. No caption for the beautiful ’69 Mercury Cyclone? No one knows what kind of car that is anyway. The bus and the Huracan were sponsor vehicles and not part of the competition. Only vehicles with the door decals run in the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational, presented by Advance Auto Parts.

    Given the title of your blog, I was hoping you’d mention that admission to the event was free for anyone who made a donation to Westcare Nevada, which provides a wide spectrum of behavioral health sciences to adults and families. Hope to see you out there next year!

    1. I had no idea that they were raising money. I’ll add that in later. Hopefully I’ll get to the track next year, as I flew out on the Sunday this year.

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