By Bill Holland
The criteria for selecting Engine Builder magazine’s inaugural “Performance Engine Builder of the Year” included much more than the ability to put together race-winning engines. Things like community involvement and the support of training and education were part of the mix. To be sure, our 2012 award winner, Ed Pink Racing Engines of Van Nuys, CA, scored high marks in these areas – most notably through their support of the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund (SMSF), which has, over the years, provided close to $2 million in aid to students seeking careers in the automotive industry.
An important means for raising scholarship funds has been the annual auctioning of an engine on eBay. This engine is built entirely of aftermarket components manufactured by SEMA member companies. And it’s been configured, built and dyno tested by the personnel of Ed Pink Racing Engines.
In addition to being responsible for engines that have won the Indy 500, plus captured numerous championships in drag racing, off-road, sprint car, midget and road racing competition, the folks at EPRE also know what it takes to build a top-shelf street motor.
Rather than have a complete, pre-packaged dyno-tested engine for sale, a unique twist to the 2012-’13 program was to tailor the build to the needs of the buyer. The winning bidder, Rod Johnson, met with Ed Pink and Frank Honsowetz of EPRE at the PRI Show and they chose a course of action.
After all the normal break-in procedures were completed the engine was put through its paces on the dyno, with adjustments to ignition timing and fuel mapping made to optimize performance. The engine cranked out an impressive
475 ft.lbs. of peak torque at 4,500 rpm, and exhibited a very wide torque band that showed in excess of 400 ft lbs. for about 2,500 rpm. Peak power was a steady 453 horsepower, which it held between 5,500 and 5,800 rpm. Needless to say, with its broad power band the SEMA/Ed Pink small block will make for an excellent “driver.”
Thanks to the efforts of almost two-dozen SEMA member manufacturers and the considerable skills of Ed Pink Racing Engines, a potent, good-looking engine was built to benefit young people wishing a career in the automotive aftermarket. These scholarships are available to university, 2-year college or trade school students, with a percentage dedicated to children of SEMA member employees. A “loan forgiveness” program for paying off student loans for employees of SEMA member companies is also available.