My grandmother used to tell me, “It ain’t bragging if you can back it up.” In the competitive world of performance engine building, our readers prove every day how much they’re not bragging.
This issue contains some valuable information that comes to us directly from our readers themselves. Through two separate research projects this year, Engine Builder subscribers – many of whom have participated in the same study for upwards of 30 years – have shared detailed information about their business operations (in the Machine Shop Market Profile on page 32) and their employee relationships (in the Salary and Benefits Study on page 38).
It’s interesting to look at regional and national averages to see how many engines the average shop builds in a month, or how many average shops offer significant benefits to their employees, or what the average shop is planning to purchase this year in the way of equipment. And if nothing else, we encourage all of our readers to use this data to consider the numbers in their own shops. After all, the closer you are to your numbers the closer you are to success.
But frankly, “average” doesn’t tell the whole story. The true Engine Builder story is told in the individual efforts of each of our readers. We’ve said this before: even though we talk about the average engine builder, there really is NO average engine builder.
Guys like Ray Barton who builds a lot of HEMI race engines at his shop in Robesonia, PA are proof that exceptional is more the norm than average. He helped Managing Editor Greg Jones out with an article on head and block surface requirements. Humble in his expertise, he’s willing to share his experience and knowledge with the next generation of engine builders.
Or guys like Jay Foley, of Worcester, MA. Now in its 100th year, Foley Engines has become one of the country’s leading suppliers of industrial engines and diesel powerplants. Sure, he COULD keep his understanding of the industrial engine market to himself, but on page 62, he points out the profit potential in historic and modern engines for this expanding market.
Katech Engines, a high performance engine builder in Clinton Twp., MI, is recognized for wins in IROC, Trans Am, IRL, SCCA, ALMS and NASCAR competition, but they offer manufacturing services to other engine builders who don’t have the capability or expertise to fabricate their own custom parts. Learn more about how they got into the supply side of the equation to complement their engine building business on page 48.
All of these engine builders have gone above and beyond this month to help Engine Builder readers in many ways, and we thank them for their contributions. There’s really no prize attached, other than knowing that the words they’ve offered to our subscribers may, in fact, help others down the road.
Speaking of prizes, though, we ARE pleased to present our Vintage Engine Builder of the Year Winner for 2016 in this issue as well. On page 12, you can learn about Victory Engines from Cleveland, OH. “Vintage engine builders building vintage engines,” is how owner Ray Banyas describes the work he and long-time shop partner Phil Hartsel produce.
The 2017 Engine Builders of the Year program is open now – visit
www.topenginebuilders.com to learn about the competition rules, about Federal-Mogul Motorparts (our sponsoring partner) and the great prizes you could win by entering the contest this year.
Number one prize if you win? Some might call it bragging rights. But like Grandma said, if it’s true, there’s no shame in singing your own praises.