Of course, an elaborate EFI induction system such as the unit developed by Smithberg would need equally elaborate tuning and control capabilities. This is where Scott Clark fits into the puzzle. Clark has earned a reputation as a highly skilled tuner and calibration man, but his ability goes beyond simply keying the laptop. Clark’s skills in electronics and knowledge of engine management led him to build the custom Mega Squirt ECU controlling the timing of the pack ignition and fuel delivery. Trading knowledge for a wide-open checkbook, Clark employed salvaged and OEM components, from GM coil packs and Ford trigger wheel, to the cam synchronization created from a modified Chrysler distributor.

To the Challenge

With so many people involved and a short time frame to work with, it was an achievement for the team to simply make a showing at the AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge. As Holmes put it: “I’d like to say we had a grand plan, but it was such a scramble to put this together.” The engine’s exotic induction system certainly captivated the interest of all at the event, making the running of this engine a “must see” affair. The Hemi didn’t disappoint, willfully loading the dyno to deliver a peak of 689 hp and 572 lb-ft of torque. The electronics package and tuning action alone was worth the price of admission. In the control room, Clark worked the tune in a virtual Vulcan mind meld with the electronics, as he fixed his attention to the onrush of data coming in via eight display channels carrying data individually from each cylinder. In attendance was Dan’s widow, Elaine, who took a leap of faith in agreeing to see the engine project completed, and was rewarded by a heartfelt kinship to the individuals who made it happen.

388ci Chrysler Gen I Hemi
Bore: 4.015 inches
Stroke: 3.825 inches
Displacement: 388 ci
Compression ratio: 15:1
Camshaft: COMP Cams solid roller
Camshaft duration: 280 degrees at .050-inch tappet rise
Valve lift: .950-/.750-inch
Rocker ratio: Rocker Arm Specialists; 1.9:1 ratio
Piston rings: Total Seal
Piston: Ross
Block: ’56 Chrysler Production Hemi
Crankshaft: Bryant
Rods: Pauter
Cylinder head: Hot Heads
Intake valve diameter: 2.20 inches
Exhaust valve diameter: 1.75 inches
Intake manifold Hot Heads
EFI: Hilborn
Header: Hot Heads
Engine Management: Mega Squirt, EMS Pro
Damper: Fluidampr
Fuel: VP Q16

388ci Chrysler Gen I Hemi

3,500 414.8 276.4
3,700 432.1 304.4
3,900 448.1 332.7
4,100 462.1 360.7
4,300 482.8 395.3
4,500 509.2 436.3
4,700 531.7 475.8
4,900 547.6 510.9
5,100 556.3 540.2
5,300 565.5 570.7
5,500 571.7 598.7
5,700 569.8 618.4
5,900 564 633.6
6,100 556.6 646.5
6,300 547.8 657.1
6,500 540.6 669
6,700 532.4 679.2
6,900 521.4 685.1
7,100 509.5 688.7
7,300 494.6 687.5
7,200 502.9 689.4
7,500 467.9 668.1

Hot Heads Research & Racing, Inc.
276 Walker's Hollow Trail
NC  27024
John Beck Pro Machine
Nick Smithberg