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: Do you still have relationships with a lot of the drag racers?

EI: Yeah, we still do. Some of the new guys, but a lot of the older guys mostly. It’s quite interesting to notice that some of them made it into the big time, like Prudhomme, who’s retired now. And there were a lot of others who just didn’t have the right… I don’t know if they needed publicity, an agent, or something, but they needed big sponsorship. It takes big sponsorship for the top Top Fuel and funny cars.

: have you followed nostalgia racing at all?

EI: Oh yeah. That’s a lot of fun. It’s gotten so expensive for the big time racing that nostalgia’s getting bigger and bigger, ‘cause they can buy old cars and keep running them and running them. Resurrect old cars.

: It’s a really great way for a lot of racers to burn nitro still.

EI: And get started. That’s right. It’s good, and it’s getting bigger and bigger.

: It seems to be getting bigger every year. Do you still advise on cam and lifter design? Do you still have ideas for that?

EI: Yeah. I’ve got some ideas that I haven’t been able to get around to. All the easy stuff I’ve already done. Where do the ideas come from? Well, a lot of them come from old antique engines. There were a lot of good ideas on those old antique engines, that didn’t make too much difference then, but now every little bit helps. A lot of those old ideas I like to resurrect. They seem like new ideas, but they’re really old ideas I’ve picked up from here and there.

: Do you pay attention to things like the LS engines out of General Motors, or Ford modular engines, or the new Hemis from Dodge? What do you think of them as compared to the engines of the ’50 ‘60s and ‘70s?

EI: Yeah I do. Well, the thing I’ve been wondering is I’ve noticed now that the new Corvette LS series engines are pretty highly developed now. I personally own about three of the Northstar Cadillacs with four cam - four valve engines, and I notice that they’re hard to work on. After 100,000 miles, you might expect a little trouble with them, and I notice you can buy a new Cadillac now with the supercharged LS engine, and I’m wondering if Cadillac will drop that four cam Northstar and go strictly with the LS Corvette engine, because it’s a very practical pushrod engine. I’ve got a hunch that it can hardly be beat for racing and general use. It’s easy to work on and practical.

End of part one. In the next installment, Mr. Iskenderian gets technical about the five cycle cam and other innovations and talks about his favorite racers, among other things.

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