If we had an unlimited budget it would be easy to build powerful engines for each of our Mopars. We'd choose the best of everything, then pay an experienced engine builder top dollars to put it all together, and we'd certainly end up with a very fast, though very expensive, car. In the real world, however, we have budgets. When building an engine, we worry as much about the cost as we do the power and reliability. Sure, we might make sacrifices to one to achieve the other, but when it comes down to it, we want a powerful, reliable engine for our car, and we don't want to pay an exorbitant amount of money to get it.
The rules of the Amsoil/Mopar Muscle Engine Challenge were designed with this concept in mind. The dyno portion of our contest not only factors horsepower and torque, but the required multiple dyno pulls test the durability of each engine as well. By factoring the retail cost of the major parts of each engine into the power it makes, engines are scored by a power-per-dollar formula to determine the contest winner. This scoring method requires engine builders to pay as much attention to their finances as they do horsepower numbers, and gives our readers examples of real-world engine combinations that are available on a reasonable budget.
This month, we'll outline the combination each of our builders entered in the challenge, and get their thoughts on what it will take to win this year's Engine Challenge.