: But not geared toward performance at all.

EI: That’s right. They were after the average performance.

: Do you have a favorite nitro racer that you worked with?

EI: Well I guess Chris Karamesines and Dave Zeuchel. Oh, and the Ridge Route Terrors; Warren Coburn & Miller. There was always a fascination with a roller, you know? Because it looks like a hotter cam, but the flat tappet action gives you action right away, whereas the roller takes that little wedge between the roller and the flat tappet, so you have to have a hotter cam. But it looks like a hotter cam with a roller, to equal the flat tappet.
I remember one time at Lions Dragstrip, they had to change cams. They pulled an old rusty hard face Isky cam out of the back and put it in. The guys were amazed he wasn’t running a roller. We were lucky to get that hard face started. Chet Herbert made the first roller cams, you know? We weren’t ready to do that yet, but we thought the cam was okay, it was just too soft on the lobes. Why not try hard facing those lobes? That worked out pretty good and we were able to compete with the roller cams for quite a while.

: So there was a lot of trial and error in what you did.

EI: Yeah, that’s what it takes.

: You didn’t necessarily know that this would work. You would try it and, if it didn’t work, you’d go back to the drawing board.

EI: Yeah, that’s right. In fact, I can’t think of any completely bad cam we ever made. It’s always good for something. I guess that’s what it takes today too: someone who will get out there and try something. Like the other day, I saw in a magazine that a guy took two leaf blowers and they had the two cycle engines in there. They started them up and pressurized the carburetor and got some extra power. I like things like that.

: How would you like to be remembered in this industry?

EI: Well, as an innovator maybe. You’ve got to realize, where do you get your ideas? Some guys, they’re like, “Look at that old junk, the way they built that engine.” Like my friend says, “Look at that Model T engine… a piece of junk.” But it was made to sell for a few hundred dollars for the whole car. It wasn’t made for speed. But we made pretty good speed with ‘em. But it does pay to look at old stuff, the beginnings and how stuff evolved. You learn stuff off those old cars and engines.

: Still today?

EI: Yeah. And I think there’s a lot of inventors that came up with a good idea and never made any money. Their ideas might have gotten stolen for all I know. The automobile engine’s been around a long time. There have been so many designs; some have got some good ideas in them.