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Ultimate Street Car Challenge - Car Show

Jared Holstein
Feb 28, 2007
Writer: Dave Coleman
0403_sccp_01_z+uscc_carshow+nissan_skyline_gtr32_with_nissan_350z_and_toyota_supra Photo 1/5   |   Ultimate Street Car Challenge - Car Show

To judge the car show, we brought in a gaggle of experts that know pearl from candy and are less likely to be offended by intercoolers hung on normally aspirated cars. The SCC staff did not qualify.

Elton Lo is a regular judge for the esteemed Import Showoff in addition to owning a tuning shop. Jeff Famely has won more import car shows than you can shake a 12-foot trophy at. And the king of clean, Jerrod Straus, obsesses enough about cars to qualify.

There's nothing quantitative about this portion of the contest, and what the judges say goes. Cars were judged on engine appearance, quality of engine modifications and installation, body overall, paint, wheels/tires/suspension/brakes, interior modifications, audio, execution of custom parts, cleanliness and overall appearance.

If, as Jerrod points out, "money does buy awards," then James Chen paid the right bees to sting his interior. The luscious, thick yellow paint didn't hurt, either.

Apparently, re-engineering the incredibly complex mechanical portions of Jay Esterer's Ultima wasn't enough, and his neurosis extends to the custom kangaroo and suede covering every inch of the interior. It's like sitting in an exquisite briefcase, and for this he received 76 points.

The red '94 Supra polarized the judges, who handed in descriptions ranging from "very clean paint, lots of bolt-ons," to "clusterfuck, parts hanging everywhere." We, at least, thought the video screens playing bad-ass MPEGs in the side windows were cool.

There isn't much on the Viper to help it do anything but make stupid horsepower levels, but its owner did a good job of making sure the car was clean.

Thirteen years of going holy-shit-fast has taken its toll on the aging Skyline, but it was polished to a fifth place.

Although relatively little was paid to the bling gods, so much was custom-fabricated by the owner on the MR2, the judges were impressed enough to place it sixth.

0403_sccp_02_z+uscc_carshow+dodge_viper Photo 2/5   |   Ultimate Street Car Challenge - Car Show

We liked Scot's black Eclipse because he cares as much about impressing Jiffy Lube attendants as we do, instead modifying only essential items that make the car work well. This, however, did not impress the judges, who slapped him with seventh place.

"Yet another racecar at a car show" moaned one judge about the S4, slamming it with eighth place. So much time was spent on Roy's silver Eclipse making 600 hp, he apparently forgot about Q-tip-carrying judges who slammed his car. And Matt's pretty much stock Supra was judged as a pretty much stock Supra, placing him dead last-like Hoffa.

A yellow car with a yellow interior and yellow shoes catapulted James Chen's Z to the overall lead after the car show, followed, surprisingly, by the Ultima and Scot Gray's Eclipse. The tables will turn again though, by the time the geek panel is done with the cars.

Fourteen of the 15 USCC tests are scored on a 110-point scale with the winner getting 110 points, the loser getting 10. Those who blow up so badly they can't cross the finish line get a zero. The scores for everyone but the best, worst and most blown up are based on how the competitor finished relative to the best and worst car. If, for example, the most powerful car made 800 hp and the least powerful made 300 hp, there would be a 500-hp spread between them. A car making 700 hp would be 80 percent of the way from the loser to the winner, so it would get 90 points (that's 80 points, plus 10 points for not blowing up.)

Now the exceptions: The Gross Display of Horsepower is worth only 25 points, and is scored by a panel of judges well versed in the art of the burnout. The gas mileage test is worth a total of 120 points since we offered an extra 10 bonus points for anyone willing to pour our 91-octane swill into their tank.

A perfect score for the USCC would be 1,575 points. Last year's winner took the trophy with only 68 percent of the total points. This year... 68 percent. Guess it doesn't matter how we set up the scores.

1 {{{Nissan 350Z}}} 110 A true showcar inside and out
2 Ultima GTR 76 What car is that again?
3 {{{Toyota Supra}}} (red) 76 "2Fast 2Furious"
4 {{{Dodge Viper}}} {{{57}}} Too much race stuff, not enough pretty stuff
5 {{{Nissan}}} Skyline GTR 47 Ridden hard, put away wet
6 {{{Toyota MR2}}} 34 Custom, just not show custom
7 Mitsu Eclipse (black) 30 A black Eclipse
8 {{{Audi S4}}} 22 At least clean the wheels!
9 Mitsu Eclipse (silver) 18 Is the intercooler compensating for some tuning?
10 {{{Toyota}}} Supra (green) 10 Very plain-Jane
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