The Hot Heads / Gene Adams Performance / Smithberg Racing EMC team claimed runner-up, Street Division at the 2012 Amsoil Engine Masters Challenge with a 1956 354 Hemi. Displacing 385ci, the engine puts down a broad power curve with 610hp and 566lb-ft peaks. This not-so-easy feat earned the team the coveted Torque Monster award. In addition, they also received an Editor's Choice Special Recognition award for their first appearance with such a unique build. The engine is protect by Fluidampr #720321.
The inspiration and teamwork behind the build is truly remarkable. We caught up with team captain, Bob Holmes, who kindly shared his experience:
[FD] Being invited to the Engine Masters Challenge is a huge accomplishment. Tell us a bit about your team and their experience.
[Bob] The Hot Heads/Gene Adams Performance/Smithberg Racing EMC team is made up of a large group of enthusiasts gathered together by the late Danny Miller. Unlike the normal "shop" entrants that build engines professionally, the team is spread across the United States. At our last count, seven states were represented. The team is organized using facebook and e-mail and parts are worked on by participants and then gathered together in Chico California for dyno sessions several times a year. We've used a specialist system where the engine is broken down into its component parts and the individual that specializes in that part is responsible for it. Nick Smithberg ported,flowed and perfected the inductions system, Scott Clark specified, built the electonics and tuned the engine with Andrew Peterson's help. Machinining and dynoing was done by John Beck of ProMachine; and Gene Adams and Ron Pratt did the assembly. Scott Courtney, Stacy Dalzell and a myriad of additional folks helped with wiring and wrenching. None of it would have been possible without the major sponsorship of Bob and Debra Walker at Hot Heads.
[FD] At Engine Masters Challenge you’re up against the best-of-the-best. How does the team prepare themselves and remain focused under the pressure?
[Bob] We really don't worry about the other guys. Our goal is to engineer and build the best 1956 Hemi that we can. We focus on making sure that the engine has the best chance to produce the most average horsepower and torque over the specified competition range. This year the engine had to perform from 2500 to 6500 rpm. Its a bear to get an engine to perform well over that range. Our tuners, Scott and Andrew, worked the 2500rpm portion of the engine tuning map so that it would sling through the starting range. We gained significant points. In addition the team works very well together on creating solutions. We were in third place going into the finals, that evening we sat down and determined that our collectors could be lengthened by 8" and it would gain us some pointes. As Bob Walker stated as he watched everyone thrashing on their computers and phones "I've never seen a thrash where no one got dirty!" The result of the lengthened collectors was an increase of over 30 points; vaulting us to second place.
[FD] How long has Hot Heads been using Fluidampr products?
[Bob] Hot Heads has sold Fluidampr products for 8 years. [Hot Heads was key in helping Fluidampr create a fitment redesign to our then existing early Hemi damper. Since, Hot Heads has reported zero personal or customer issues.]
[FD] What do you feel is the biggest benefit to installing a Fluidampr on your builds?
[Bob] Fluidampr's ability to deal with the torsional vibration inherent in our highly modified Hemi was essential. Due to the unique attributes of our induction system, one bank of the engine is starved for fuel, while the other is overly rich, until the engine gets to wide open throttle. The damper significantly helps to control those inherently uneven power pulses banging away at the crankshaft and bearings.
The Amsoil Engine Masters Challenge presented by Popular Hot Rodding magazine is an invitational competition that pits 40 of North America’s best engine building teams in a to-spec build off with the winners determined on a dyno. Engine Masters Challenge is regarded as the premiere competition of its kind in the world. The event was hosted at the University of Northwestern Ohio and provided
the opportunity for the next generation of engine builders to work alongside professional teams.