When I asked him for advice about the billet stroker 454ci C5R block I wanted to build back in early 2000, an incredulous Nicky Fowler chortled into the phone, "Ro, what're you on crack. Put that pipe down!"  I explained that the collusion was between then GM Special Projects Manager Mark McPhail, Hank the Crank Bechtloff, Hot Rod magazine, and other luminaries, and he listened with interest. That's all I remember about the discourse. Several years later, I saw Nicky at a PRI Show in the Scoggin-Dickey booth. The L92 truck heads had just become available. They flow like mad and aren't very expensive, thus giving them the hands-down nod for an over-400-inch, go-fast LS motor. They would be of special benefit on a large-bore LS engine such as mine. Without hesitation he claimed a 50-75hp increase, all other things being equal. Good enough for me. "I've built just about every LS engine combination imaginable," he said. "You need any help with that please call me." So I really began to think about what a tremendous resource this man is, inside and outside of the business. He's done it all and he loves, really loves cars--and the drama and emotion that they are certain to evoke. You could say that he built his life and livilhood around them, is very grateful for that fact, and avidly gives back whenever he is able. Naturally, he maintains a very close relationship with GM Performance Parts. Here he speaks to the Detroit debacle, early street racing, the LS engine family, the importance of family, and of standiing up for your beliefs.--RM   

: Scoggin-Dickey Performance Center is arguably the largest company within a company of its kind. What trends have developed over the last six months?

Nicky Fowler: Trends depend upon the customer base and we still cover a large demographic of customers. But the most obvious is the interest in the LS engine across the board. From a racing standpoint it makes great power with little effort; for the average consumer it offers the potential of increased gas mileage and power as they weigh the options of engine replacement versus new vehicle purchase. Performance enthusiasts are really paying attention the power output versus engine drivability.

: What is the customer base (drag race, circle track, street)?

NF: We cut our teeth on the racing market. In the 1970’s and 80’s the majority of our business was strictly racing. We expanded our vision in the early 90’s and the racing business has really become a very small part of who we are today. We are still actively involved in the racing business but that is not the majority representation of our inventory.
: Given the Mark-series engines, the traditional small-block, and the LS series, which seems to interest your customers the most?

NF: Everyone has their favorite. I am still overwhelmed how many people long for a big-block Chevrolet between the fenders of their dream car. We field questions all day long on all three engine groups. The small-block Chevrolet is still the most discussed engine we sell and it is certainly the engine of choice from the pure standpoint of statistics. The LS engine is growing every year and will continue to do so ---- and it will grow for the same reason --- STATISTICS! GM has produced millions of these engines now and they will continue to produce them for some time. It is the modern small-block.