Larry Sheppard of Hemis Only is probably one of the most experienced Hemi engine builders in the country. In addition to his engine building expertise, Larry serves time as a Top Fuel mechanic and clutch man. The 701 hp that his engine made was impressive, but we were more impressed with the contest-leading 639 lb-ft of torque that his entry made. This was definitely a solid engine and made these numbers after a dyno malfunction caused the engine to backfire, detonate, and collapse two piston domes, pinching the rings in the process. Even with a damaged engine, Larry's numbers, factored into the cost of his entry, would have certainly placed him higher than seventh in our challenge, but during the post-test inspection, Larry was found to be using parts that were outside the rules of the competition. Unfortunately, it seems the copy of the challenge rules that Larry received was missing the page that dictated legal crankshafts and lifters. While we will not be officially disqualifying Larry because the mistake seems to be inadvertent, we do not feel it would be fair to the other competitors to rank Larry's entry where it would have placed had he used legal parts. Nevertheless, we were impressed with the power and torque the Hemis Only entry made and wish we could have seen its true potential.
Mopar Muscle tech editors...
Mopar Muscle tech editors Steve Dulcich and Dave Young handled the tech inspections as each engine was removed from the dyno; checking that all contestants played by the rules. None of the motors were above the 500-inch limit, but the Lofgren's winning entry checked in at 485 cubes, the smallest of the contest. What could these guys have done with a 500-inch entry?
In addition to three drums...
In addition to three drums of 93-octane fuel, Rockett Brand sent Vice President of engineering Tim Wusz, who served as a consultant during the competition. Several competitors utilized Tim's knowledge prior to making jetting changes to their engines.
We at Mopar Muscle were very impressed with all the engines entered in this year's challenge and would like to thank all the participants and sponsors of our competition. We encourage you to contact any of these professional builders regarding your next engine project. We found all our competitors to be true Mopar guys with experience building small-blocks, big-blocks, and Hemi engines. All our competitors have full-service machine shops and can help meet your needs, whether you want a turnkey crate engine or just need machine shop services. We congratulate all our competitors for bringing solid combinations to our challenge, as well as for their professionalism. We can only hope that next year's competition is as fun and exciting as this one.