PRI 2019: Sonny Leonard And Sunnen Team-Up Again For Charity

Once again this year, Sonny’s World Class Racing, led by Sonny Leonard, teamed up with Sunnen Machine to build one of Leonard’s insane pump-gas big-block engines. The mill will be raffled-off in a benefit for Victory Junction, a charity for children with chronic medical conditions and serious illnesses. If you’re at the PRI Show, tickets are still available at the Sunnen Engine Charity Sweepstakes booth (number 852, machinery row).

This year’s engine is even larger than last year’s, measuring out to a whopping 762 cubic inches. The engine foundation started with Brodix block with 5.00-inch bore-spacing, an 11.650-inch deck-height, and a 1.00-inch raised camshaft. The bores are hogged out to a whopping 4.750 inches.

To get the massive 5.375-inch stroke required, a billet Bryant crankshaft is used along with 7.700-inch Carillo billet-steel connecting rods and custom 4.750-inch Diamond Racing pistons with Total Seal rings. Trend H-13 tool-steel wrist pins hold the pistons to the rods at the 7,000 rpm the engine is capable of turning.

Sonny’s World Class Racing “Next Generation” fully CNC-ported hemispherical cylinder heads top off the short block. They are fitted with a set of Manley titanium intake and exhaust valves and T&D Machine shaft-mounted rocker arms. A 60mm camshaft is used, along with 1.062-inch-diameter Jesel keyed-lifters and absolutely massive Trend 9/16 inch pushrods to handle the over 1-inch of lift at the valve.

A SAR billet single-plane carburetor manifold holds the Braswell 2100cfm spread-port carburetor, while an MSD crank trigger and plug wires, as well as a Jesel belt-driven distributor keep the fires lit on this beast. A Jesel belt-drive timing set keeps the cam and crank in sync, and an external Moroso wet-sump oil pump provides lubrication to the beast.

The best part of this monster engine is that it’s designed with a compression ratio that makes it able to run on premium pump gas. On 92 octane, the engine is rated at 1,450 horsepower, with the ability to make 1,250 horsepower in a cross-country endurance setup. With a retail price similar to that of a new C8 Corvette, whoever wins this behemoth will be very happy, and a great cause will be helped out once again.

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About the author

Greg Acosta

Greg has spent fifteen years and counting in automotive publishing, with most of his work having a very technical focus. Always interested in how things work, he enjoys sharing his passion for automotive technology with the reader.
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