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OPTIMA Invitational

Posted: Oct 20, 2011

2011 OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational Preview- Brian Hobaugh's '73 Camaro

t-brian-hobaugh-chevrolet-camaro-47.3.jpgBrian Hobaugh's 1973 Camaro represents Wilwood's entry into the 2011 OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational, presented by Wilwood Disc Brakes and KN Air Filters. If this car looks familiar to those in the Pro-Touring community, it shouldn't, even though Brian did buy it from OUSCI regular, Mary Pozzi, three years ago.

Brian tells us the only parts of the car that haven't been changed since Mary owned it are the shell and subframe. Maier Racing built the cage and basic structure for the car, along with all the suspension parts, including front control arms, spindles and a three-link rear suspension, finishing things off with JRI shocks. Once the chassis was completed, the car was moved to the body shop Brian manages, Car West Elite, in Fremont, California, where it spent the next year having paint and body work done. The front end is now a one-piece unit that can easily be removed, the flares were hand-made and certain body lines were altered slightly, to suit Brian's taste, but he wanted to keep the theme of the car simple and clean.

Before you start thinking this build was all hat and no cattle, it's worth mentioning that Brian has been autocrossing competitively for 25 years, competing against fellow OUSCI entrant, Danny Popp, at the SCCA Solo II National Championship in the mid-1990s. Much of Brian's autocross driving has been behind the wheel of his father's '65 Corvette, but he also campaigned a former Trans Am Series Mustang for several years as well. While Brian wanted his Camaro to be drivable to the local cruise night, he also wanted a top-level autocross car that could run all day long at open track events.

To accomplish those goals, he selected a 416 cubic-inch LS3 from Mast Motorsports, which produces 611 horsepower and 539 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to a G-Force four-speed manual transmission and a Ford 9-inch rear end. As one would expect of a car with "Wilwood" splashed across the side of the body, braking is handled entirely by Wilwood components, including calipers, Spec 37 rotors and Wilwood's EXP600 brake fluid.

KN custom-built the intake system for the car at their facility in Torrance, California and the exhaust system feature headers from Edelbrock and mufflers from Magnaflow and Borla (we're going to have to take a closer at that in Pahrump). Michelin tires surround wheels from DPE, with the fronts measuring 19x11.5 and the rears measuring 20x13. The entire build took three years to complete and Hobaugh is looking forward to running in his first OUSCI.

If you've never been to the OUSCI before either, you don't have to make your first trip as a competitor. Spectator tickets are available for the first time ever, but less than 700 remain as of this morning.

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