Speed-O-Motive, West Covina, CAIn the engine building business for decades, Speed-O-Motive is quite adept at providing powerful, reliable engines to their customers. Their entry in this year's challenge was no exception; it fired immediately and needed no real tuning to perform flawlessly during the dyno pulls. Changing things up a bit, Speed-O-Motive adapted a set of race-bred B-1 cylinder heads to their street engine, demonstrating the diversity of their engine building techniques. While this combination was only good for a sixth place finish, we were impressed with the power and reliability of this engine.
Promax, Indianapolis, INPromax is known for their Six-Pack induction systems, so we were eager to see how their entry performed in our challenge. Their engine fired up and sounded strong on the dyno, but during the first qualifying pull made an unhealthy noise from the upper valvetrain and was shut down. Pulling the valve covers revealed that the bolts holding the rocker arm shafts down were too short and pulled the threads from the cylinder heads, preventing an expeditious repair. Fortunately, the guys at Comp pitched in and found the parts necessary to repair their engine, though not in time for the judged portion of the challenge. Even so, repairs were made, and we made several dyno pulls on this engine for reference.
MRL Performance, Jackson, MIKnowing that cost was factored into the power of each engine in our challenge, Mike Liston of MRL Performance concentrated on keeping costs down. His engine was by far the most economically built in the contest and had it made the required pulls, at the required rpm, we estimate he would have won this year's contest hands down. Unfortunately, this entry was just 200-rpm shy of the 7,000 rpm required by the contest rules and didn't qualify for the judged portion of the contest. As an interesting aside, Mike's wife videoed several of the pulls, and it was later found that the vacuum secondaries weren't opening on his carb. A blocked vacuum port was the culprit and had it been found sooner, Mike would have certainly placed higher in our contest.