When we launched the Performance Engine Builder of the Year competition in 2012, we looked at it as a chance to celebrate the unsung heroes of the racing world. Since then, we’ve celebrated with some of the industry’s top engine building teams from around the world.
Last year, to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the contest, our program sponsor, Federal-Mogul Motorparts and its Fel-Pro, Sealed Power and Speed-Pro brands, suggested we expand the competition. We at Engine Builder thought that was a great idea, and so we awarded THREE first prize trophies, one each to the Performance, Vintage and Diesel Engine Builder of the Year.
(In all honesty, as excited as we were to implement Federal-Mogul’s great idea to award three first place awards and three SECOND place prizes to these fine candidates, I’m disappointed we didn’t come up with that plan ourselves. Still, we’ve been able to celebrate with Performance Engine Builders Larry Pritchett and Ian Landies, Jr., at Mid-South Racing Engines in Clarkrange, TN; with Ray Banyas and Phil Hartsel from Victory Engines (Vintage Engine Builder) in Cleveland, OH; and with Charlie and Jason Miller (Diesel Engine Builder of the Year), Miller’s Machine Shop in Lincoln University, PA.
This year, we’re upping the ante and taking the party public. The Engine Builders of the Year contest is currently underway, as you know from following our Facebook page, Twitter account, visiting EngineBuilderMag.com or TopEngineBuilders.com or from reading this magazine (pages 42 and 43 in this issue). We’re again looking for great examples of creativity and innovation, training and education, merchandising and promotion, professional standards and conduct, appearance, solid business management, community involvement, business growth, achievement and general overall excellence.
Three categories of competition mean you can nominate your shop or another worthy candidate for the Race Engine (for engine builders whose primary business focus is building race or highly modified street performance engines), Vintage Engine (for engine builders whose primary business focus is rebuilding vintage and/or classic stock engine for vehicles built prior to 1980) or Diesel Engine (for engine builders whose primary business focus is rebuilding commercial or personal light-duty diesel truck engines) Builder of the year award.
Engine builders can nominate their own businesses; you can nominate your friend across town; your customers can nominate you; your suppliers can nominate you. All it takes to get started is to answer a few simple questions online, and be prepared to go into more detail if you’re selected as a finalist.
Here’s what’s really cool: we’ll announce all three winners at a special reception on Wednesday, December 6, in Indianapolis. The free party will be held at the Rock Bottom Brewery on the evening before the 30th PRI Show opens and will include all of the pagentry of your major Hollywood award shows. Well, that may be a stretch, but we will have food, drinks, music from industry veterans (yours truly included), and other surprises. Just RSVP to attend.
Invitations will be going out soon to all of our past prize winners as well as other leading industry participants. If you haven’t yet nominated your shop or another potential winner, be sure to do it soon.
To make the party even more exciting, we’re holding nominations open for an extra few weeks this year – Deadline for entry is November 4, 2017. Complete contest rules and entry forms can be found at TopEngineBuilders.com.
The highlights of the past five years for me have been to announce the winners of the Performance Engine Builder of the Year at special press conferences in Indianapolis. To have the chance to announce all of our winners at once and to celebrate with them at the Rock Bottom will be even better. Check out page 41 of this issue to RSVP for the party or enter the contest today. Either way, I hope to see you in Indy!