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Kaase: Yeah, pretty much. You know, the Chrysler Pro Stock Hemi is kind of an all-new motor that Chrysler and some other guys came up with, but it’s not a real Hemi like you’d ordinarily think of one; it’s kind of like a Chevy wedge that’s twisted so many degrees. But the Ford is pretty much a duplicate of that. So I’d say the Ford Pro Stock motor that they’re running now is pretty much a copy of the Dodge.

: Do you think Ford will start producing and promoting something of their own design?

Kaase: Well, the wedge that they’re working on is kind of a copy of the GM wedge, but really when you get right down to it, all of them are a variation of  Ford’s Cleveland (engine). I mean, everything that’s out there is pretty much a grown-up Ford Cleveland. If you want to go back far enough, you’re going to come home to roost on a 351 Ford Cleveland. The bore and stroke and all that stuff’s different, but pretty much the way the Cleveland was laid out: the way the (combustion) chamber looked, and the angle of the valves, that’s about what those (Pro Stock)  motors look like now.

: Would you be interested in building a true Ford 500-cubic-inch Pro Stock engine?

Kaase: Oh yeah, I’d love to do that, but those are very expensive projects. There’s so much R&D that goes into it, but I’d love to do one of them. It’s just not a quick or inexpensive project.

: The big-block Ford stuff is obviously your shop’s bread-and-butter, but would you consider getting into building another manufacturer’s engine if the opportunity came up?

Kaase: Well, I don’t really see it happening, but we’ll always listen to anyone. I can tell you, though, the one thing we wouldn’t do is close our shop down to the point where we couldn’t do work for the guys that we’re already working with now. Like, if someone very well funded came in and said we want to buy all of your time and have you build Pro Mod motors for millions of dollars a year and all that, the only way it would happen would be if we hired more people to to that project. Those guys that have been with us for 20 or 30 years, you can’t just say to them, ‘Sorry, but we can’t do any work for you now,’ because they’ll still be with you five years from now and big-money guy won’t. We would never abandon any of our guys, no matter what their funding level is; I’m kind of over that and would never stab those guys in the back that have been with us forever. But those big-money projects, they never work out in the long run anyway. Maybe a year or two—maybe—but they won’t be there in five or 10 years, so you really have to be careful about stuff like that. If you’re going to do it, you have to make sure you can still maintain whatever you were already doing, too. 

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