Would you believe this engine is actually headed down under? Michael Konstandinou from ICE Ignition has bought George Haddad’s old VN Commodore and with this engine up front he plans to have a crack at the APSA True Street bracket with help from sponsors TCE Torque Convertors and Engine Master Australia.
Tony Bischoff from BES Racing Engines in St Leon, Indiana is well known for his engine building exploits after winning the vaunted Engine Masters several times and he’s the magician behind this mad motor. Working for Michael from ICE Ignitions and John from CID Heads USA, Tony came up with this 457ci combo which produces 1104hp and 738lb/ft naturally aspirated. That’s right; there are no superchargers, turbos or nitrous oxide here, they’re just moving air the old fashioned way.
“The heads are CID AU LS7 castings,” John says, “But that’s where the similarity ends. The heads were supplied by Nathan Higgins from CID semi-finished (no valve guides or rocker stud holes machined), so Tony could develop the best inline LS head layout on the market today. These heads flow 460cfm through a 2.275in intake valve and have all new valve angles and locations, pushrod locations and custom T&D rocker arms – all courtesy of BES Racing.”
According to John, Tony also had a fair amount of input into design of the CID BE-LS7 intake manifold, which is topped by a massive Dominator carburettor. Down in the guts of that Dart block there’s a Bryant crank, Oliver steel rods, custom Ross pistons and Comp roller cam. An all new ICE Ignition front drive distributor system was also developed for the engine along with a new 20Amp twin-coil system that they tested side-by-side with a standard single coil 10Amp ICE unit. Apparently they both made the same power, but the twin-coil 20Amp system did it with less total timing.
Initial testing with a set of COPO Camaro 2in headers showed that the pipes were too small, so the guys from BES built a new set with 2.125in primaries stepped to 2.25in, allowing the engine to reach its full potential. We can’t wait to see the engine down under and fitted to the VN Commodore. Can it beat Tony O’Connor’s current record of 8.53@158mph? Only time will tell.