Cole Quinnell, author of Chevelle Performance Projects 1964-1972, competed in the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational held at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada, on November 3, 2012. Driving his 1966 Chevelle that’s profiled in the book, Quinnell entered all segments of the competition, which included road rally, autocross, speed and stop challenge, performance design and hot-lap challenge on the road course. Unlike some competitors that trailered cars to the event, Quinnell drove his Chevelle from his home in the Detroit, Michigan area to the track in Pahrump. In fact, Quinnell wrote a blog about his 3,200-mile odyssey to theInvitational, which is affectionately called the Numb Butt Tour 2012.
Before posting his run for the hot-lap challenge, Quinnell said, “I watched the [Mark] Stielow videos [on car footage] to figure out the best way around the track for a muscle car. I think I have most of it [the track] figured out, but there’s a few corners I still haven’t figured out.” Quinnell’s Chevelle experienced some fuel delivery problems, and he wasn’t able to get the best performance out of the car. Yet the accomplished editor of several car and truck magazines finished 34th overall in the competition. At the conclusion of the event, Quinnell won the RideTech Renegade award and a $1,000 gift certificate for RideTech product. RideTech owner Bret Voelkel said, “This award goes out to the guy that builds a car in his own garage.”