Volume III, Issue 2, Page 22

By Ro McGonegal
Photos by Tom Tilford

he 540 cubic inch big-block has become a staple in the crate-engine business--much like the 454 once was--and for a little bit of extra jing, it can magically become a 582. Yes, bigger and so therefore better than a 540, in perception, at least. More, after all, seems to supersede everything else these days. But there’s more to it than that. There’s the strong notion of success, even dominance, via the hallowed name of the builder. Scott Shafiroff Racing Engines (SSRE) has the rep and the savvy to build closely-monitored, high-powered pump-gas combinations based on vast experience and a repertoire of strong, elegant components.

To the lay customer (that’s us) this business is just about having fun, overindulging, bragging, and smoking the tires. To SSRE, it means providing the strongest package for the least amount of money, as dictated by experience with scores of previous combinations. Bluntly, the 582 HHR (hot hydraulic roller) coalesces into a strong, satisfying, economical package that at once yields infinitely reliable power and never fails to excite the driver’s reptilian instincts, even without evoking the SpeedTech nitrous fogger. Better bring bail money.

Dart Big M cylinder case is a high-nickel content casting with superior strength, optimum oiling characteristics, thick deck surfaces, and is CNC-machined at the point of origin. It boasts three splayed main caps for extra strength.

The platform for this enterprise is a Dart Big M cylinder block and matching Pro 1 355 fully CNC-machined cylinder heads. Output from the basic HHR is 765hp at 6,000rpm and 695lb-ft of torque at 4,500rpm. This engine particular engine is going to Ted Tsakiris (Teddy’s Bigger Burgers) in Honolulu, and was amended by the Nitrous Package, a $1,665 all-inclusive combination that provides a Callies Dragonslayer crankshaft, Manley H-beam rods with ARP 2000 bolts, Hellfire ® rings, Calico coated bearings, Cometic MLS head gaskets, and severe-duty Crane Hi-Rev hydraulic roller lifters.

Note that the 950cfm carb/manifold package makes about 20 fewer horsepower than the 1050 Dominator/manifold combination, but torque is up approximately 20lb-ft and street drivability is vastly improved. A good choice if you’re really going to put some miles on this bad boy. With more than 740hp do you think that you’ll miss those 20 ponies? Not hardly, cowboy!