Lofgren Auto Specialties
Our top honors in this year's engine challenge go to Chuck Lofgren and his team for their potent 485ci iron-headed Hemi. This engine made more than 725 hp during its judged dyno pulls and pulled strongly all the way past our 7,000-rpm limit for the competition. Due in part to an aggressive cam profile, this engine had 4.0 inches of manifold vacuum at 1,000 rpm, which probably limits the use of power brakes, but are you really concerned with power brakes when you have some 725 hp on tap? Chuck used a stout bottom end, consisting of an Eagle crank and rods, combined with Mopar Performance pistons, a Melling oil pump, and Milodon oil pan to keep everything lubricated. To keep costs down, Lofgren's utilized a used set of '68 casting, factory Hemi cylinder heads, which were massaged for optimum flow. One of the tricks utilized in this engine was the use of custom nail-head Ferrea intake valves that Chuck says were good for significantly more cylinder head flow on the intake side. Cam Motion provided the bumpstick for this engine that not only made good top-end power, but had very broad torque and power curves. Topping off the combination was an Indy single plane intake with a Barry Grant 1090 King Demon carburetor. Lofgren Auto Specialties did a great job of nursing very respectable power from this economical combination of parts to lead the competition in this year's challenge. Chuck says this combination will retail for $22,900 carb to pan.
Mike Ware of Muscle Motors had some tricks up his sleeve for the engine challenge. After overcoming several difficulties during the dyno pulls, Mike attained a respectable 666.5 hp from his entry in the challenge and a very streetable 5.9 inches of manifold vacuum, but we have a feeling he wasn't going for the peak horsepower lead. Mike's combination of economical parts, combined with respectable horsepower and torque numbers had what it took to earn a very close second place in the contest. Muscle Motors utilized a great combination of off-the-shelf parts, combined with their own Private Label crankshaft and connecting rods, to build the most economically priced engine in the competition. Trading power for cost, Mike utilized Mopar Performance aluminum cylinder heads on his engine. Steel heads would make more power because of their thermal efficiency, but the aluminum units actually retail for less money. Diamond pistons and a Competition Cams solid flat tappet camshaft and matching springs were installed in this engine and topped off with a King Demon 1190 carburetor mounted on an Indy single plane intake. Muscle Motors retail price for this engine is $17,150 complete.