They’re back with the two videos in this post, which show off a pair of small-block Mopar engines. One for Lee Bektash, and one for Nino Cavallo. Last season at the Aussie Winternationals, Bektash shocked the world with the quickest small-block naturally-aspirated pass ever by a door car at that same event, with a 6.877 at over 200 mph, then went on to win over Cavallo in the final round.
“We hold a nice performance advantage right now, and I want to keep that advantage as long as I can,” says engine builder Bob Book. “Nino and Lee were in the final round last season together, and Nino sent his engine to be updated like Lee’s engine had been previously. These engines have the best horsepower per cubic inch we’ve ever built.”
Both engines are 400 cubic-inch small-block Mopar engines centered around an R4 block from Mopar – the same one you can buy from a Chrysler dealer’s parts department. On top. a set of billet cylinder heads built on the Mopar P4 architecture by Tom Slawko at Slawko Racing Heads. The billet cylinder head is permitted in Aussie Pro Stock, so these are Slawko’s take on the design and are the best of the best, according to Book.
Hours and hours of research and development has been done on the valve spring, valve and rocker design on these heads to keep the valvetrain stable at high rpm.
“To be the guy to build the first-ever small-block that’s ever run over 200 mph [in the quarter-mile] is the biggest achievement of my career, but it actually forced a couple of guys over there to put their stuff up for sale because we raised the bar so high,” says Book.
Cavallo, for one, is very pleased with the performance of his BRE-built bullet so far, and thinks there’s plenty more on tap.
“We have only done four or five race meets with Book power to date, so there is still a bit of fine tuning to do in terms of transmission ratios, rear gears and clutch set up, but with the help of crew chief Adam Drzayich from Illinois we will be up to speed real soon. Adam worked with Warren Johnson for seven years, so I think he knows his way around a Pro Stock car,” says Cavallo.
Of course, no naturally-aspirated engine would make big power without an intake manifold designed for the specific combination and flow requirements.
“Dave at HRE Induction Specialties has been the very best manifold guy for naturally-aspirated big horsepower, and of course the engines have my carburetors on them,” Book explains.
The engines also include a full complement of valvetrain gear from Jesel – Book says “the engine has everything they make.” Oil pans are handled by components from Stef’s and the dry sump systems are from Dailey Engineering – and that’s about all of the information that Book would disclose to us.
He also notes that the engines are not just one particular part that outperforms the competition, but in fact are the sum of all of the parts that have been carefully selected to work in conjunction with one another.
“Tom Slawko, Dave Hughes at HRE, Walt Donovan and Steve Kutch at Jesel, Bill Dailey at Dailey Engineering – all of these people work so hard to help us. All the people I use that help us make the product as good as it is deserve to share in the accolades,” says Book. “When I put one of these things together – especially an engine like Lee’s that performs so well – all of the hard work from a whole buttload of people made that happen. It’s not like I just pulled it all off on my own. These guys do a great job in their respective fields.”
“History was made in ANDRA drag racing last November at Sydney Nationals with two Mopar Pro Stock cars running in the final – the first time ever in Australian drag racing. With Bob’s update to the engine we’re hoping to better that,” Cavallo explains.
The videos are not shot in high-definition, and we suspect it’s so we can’t see the power numbers on the monitor, nor see exactly how many RPM the engines turn at full song.
One thing’s for certain – they sound bad to the bone. Check out both videos and enjoy some honkin’ Mopar power!