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GTS Customs 1963 Widebody C2 Chevy Corvette Leaves SEMA for OUSCI Race Track

GTS Customs 1963 Chevy Corvette Inside Spectre Performance SEMA show booth

Spectre Performance sponsored driver of the 1963 Chevy Corvette, nicknamed Scar, earned one of 10 golden ticket invitations for the 2015 OUSCI, just two days after the car’s debut at SEMA

Each year following the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Optima Batteries, in cooperation with the Ultimate Street Car Association (USCA) puts on the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OUSCI). Throughout 2015, the USCA promoted nine nationwide Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car events as an opportunity to qualify for a highly coveted spot in the 2015 OUSCI. For racers unable to attend a USCA event, or who were not fortunate enough to qualify, Optima Batteries reserves 10 additional spots in the OUSCI which are awarded at the SEMA show in the form of a “Golden Ticket.”

963 Chevy Corvette during 2015 OUSCI autocross at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Greg Thurmond’s first event of the 2015 OUSCI at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was the autocross, and as he got a feel for his Spectre equipped car and the course, his lap times improved

Spectre Performance sponsored driver of the Spectre HPR air filter equipped 1963 Chevy Corvette nicknamed Scar was one of 10 lucky golden ticket recipients for the 2015 OUSCI. Greg Thurmond, founder of GTS Customs, built and unveiled his latest personal 1963 Corvette at the 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Las Vegas Convention Center on November 3, 2015. Greg's 1963 widebody Corvette was placed inside the Spectre Performance booth, number 22557, in the Central Hall. Many times SEMA show cars are “SEMA ready,” meaning they look finished but probably still have a lot of little details that need to be finished.

So for Greg Thurmond to finish his Corvette in time for the 2015 SEMA Show, and have it race ready for the 2015 OUSCI says a lot about Greg’s skills as both a builder and driver. Even still, as the 2015 SEMA Show was coming to a close Greg Thurmond took an opportunity to further tune his car during show tear down and the SEMA Cruise immediately after the show on Friday November 6th, 2015. The SEMA Cruise ends at the SEMA Ignited after party held in the LINQ Las Vegas High Roller Event lot. While Greg was honored to have been handpicked to do a one-on-one interview at the SEMA Ignited event, it meant he’d have to do additional race prep on Saturday morning.

1963 widebody Vette during 2015 OUSCI speed stop challenge

Greg took the first couple laps of the Speed Stop Challenge conservatively to get a feel for his Corvette and explore its limits and as he found his groove he pushed Scar further

Saturday morning began early for Greg Thurmond as he had a personal check list of items he needed to go over before his first event. One such item on his list was to swap the Corvette’s front wheels with another set he brought with a more favorable offset. After completing his checklist and applying all the appropriate OUSCI sponsor decals Greg was ready for his first event. Greg’s first event was the autocross portion of the OUSCI, and prepping the car that morning meant he didn’t have time to walk the course. Greg struggled, as did many others, on his first few runs. But as he got a feel for the course his lap times improved.

Any time a car is put to its limits parts are bound to fail. This is only more common in a fresh build with very little run time. Greg suffered from a failed starter motor in his LS swapped C3 Corvette, but luckily the comradery amongst OUSCI drivers resulted in Kyle Tucker at Detroit Speed and Engineering helping Greg with a starter and get the car up and running just in time for the Lingenfelter Design Challenge and the Speed Stop Challenge. Greg took the first couple laps of the Speed Stop Challenge conservatively to get a feel for his Corvette and explore its limits. Once Greg found his groove he started to push Scar more and more.

2007 Corvette Z06 driven Danny Popp won 2015 OUSCI hot lap challenge

Greg Thurmond’s quickest lap time during the Hot Lap road course competition was 1:56 compared to the fastest car of the weekend, a 2007 Corvette Z06 driven Danny Popp, with a 1:39

Day two of the 2015 OUSCI started out smoothly for Greg Thurmond, but as the day wore on he discovered further issues with his Corvette that probably wouldn’t have been noticed in normal driving situations. Greg started out easy in the Hot Lap road course portion of the event; however as he started driving more aggressively the car began to experience issues with vapor lock and fuel starvation. This caused the car’s LS engine to hesitate when exiting turns. This isn’t an uncommon problem so as the day wore on Greg was able to get the car sorted; working around his fuel issues, and began doing extremely well. His quickest lap time during the Hot Lap road course competition was 1:56 compared to the fastest car of the weekend, a 2007 Corvette Z06 driven Danny Popp, with a 1:39.

All things considered Greg Thurmond did very well for a fresh SEMA build that rolled out of the Spectre Performance Intakes SEMA show booth and onto a race track for the first time. Overall Greg placed 54 out of approximately 90 competitors. If it wasn’t for all the hiccups during the weekend, Greg might possibly have done much better. Greg Thurmond is an experienced driver and has proven this in his previous Corvette builds. With a little more seat time in the 1963 widebody Corvette nicknamed Scar; Greg Thurmond will surely become a force to be reckoned with on the Pro Touring scene.

Since 1983 Spectre Performance has designed and offered unique, innovative, parts and components to fuel your car or truck obsession. Whether your fixation happens to be a classic or modern muscle, Spectre will help fuel your passion for performance. Please use the Vehicle Search tool to find additional vehicle specific parts, or browse a wide array of custom Spectre Performance products. If assistance is required please feel free to call Spectre Performance at 909-673-9800.


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For over 30 years Spectre has been obsessed with cars, racing and speed. Since 1983 Spectre has designed and offered unique and innovative parts and components to fuel your obsession with your car or truck. For more information, visit spectreperformance.com.