2014 OUSCI Preview- Rodney Prouty's 1968 Chevrolet Camaro
While the supercars and legendary builders that compete in the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OUSCI) get a lot of the attention at times, KN Filters wanted to make sure the great people in the industry were acknowledged as well, even if they aren't a famous builder (yet) or driving a $500,000 supercar. Those folks could work in the industry or just be an enthusiast, who is up to their eyeballs in the automotive aftermarket and has a lot of passion for what has really become much more than just a hobby. Rodney Prouty easily fits both of those descriptions, as he is an employee of RideTech, who would probably be at every Pro-Touring event he could afford to attend, even if he was just bagging groceries. Even if Prouty showed up at an event without his car, he is always willing to lend a hand when needed.
When Prouty rolled in to the Ultimate Street Car Association event at Gateway Motorsports Park back in July, he was just looking to have a great weekend. He came away from the event with the KN Spirit of the Event award and an invite to the 2014 SEMA Show and OUSCI. It is a testament to his passion and enthusiasm, that even after he received the invitation, he didn't change his plans and focus all his resources on totally rebuilding his car over the next few months, before heading out West. Rodney still wanted to have fun in his '68 Camaro and ran in four more events since Gateway, including another USCA event at Michigan International Raceway.
That's not to say he didn't have those thoughts about rebuilding his car, but that's just not his style. While Rodney's day job at RideTech has allowed him to score some trick suspension components, his F-body doesn't have the latest LSX technology under the hood. Instead, it has the kind of 6.0 LQ4 iron block, that Jalopnik can tell you how to score for free. It's not the fastest or the prettiest, but it gets the job done and allows Rodney to have a great time behind the wheel.
That's not to say Prouty will totally "run what he brung" in Nevada. He is keenly aware that the Lingenfelter Performance Design Engineering Challenge is a real difference-maker in the OUSCI, so he went through the interior of his car to make sure it shows well in Nevada. He also added a new fuel tank and pump, as well as balancing his driveshaft, which he thinks was damaged when he previously blew up a transmission. "I had a really bad shake on the banks at Gateway at about 130 mph, which really limited me in that event at any higher speeds," says Prouty.
Rodney also opted to add a roll cage, which he knows will bump his curb weight up to about 3,200-3,300 pounds, but he feels the added safety factor is well worth the weight. If you have a conversation with Rodney about his upcoming trip, the words "party" and "fun" will likely surface on more than one occasion. At the same time, you'll also probably hear him talk about the RideTech Autocross course at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and his hope that the layout will be small and tight, to help neutralize the horsepower advantage so many other competitors will have over him.
It's the right balance of fun and competition that makes Prouty a great addition to the 2014 OUSCI and we're glad he is joining us in Las Vegas. We want you to be there too, as this is poised to be the biggest and best OUSCI ever. Buy your OUSCI tickets today!