21 sweet racing engines from Monterey Car Week

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The track is where the action is at Laguna Seca, no question about it. However, in the early morning and during the track’s brief lunch break, there’s no racing to be seen. Rather than sit down and eat like civilized folk, we grabbed our lunch on the run and poked around the pits in between race sessions to peer under the hoods of our favorite vintage racers that were preparing for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

We found some of our favorite intake manifolds of all time and learned a few tips for prepping a no-nonsense engine bay as well. Take a look and see if you can spot some ideas to tidy up your engine, even if it is a humble street car. We’ve highlighted our top favorites in the brief list below, but the full roster of internal-combustion glory is in the gallery at the bottom of this page. Enjoy!

Lister tri-power Chevy small-block

Lister tri-power Chevy small-block
Lister tri-power Chevy small-block Brandan Gillogly

A trio of Rochester carbs on a Fenton intake made a wonderful sound as this small-block-Chevy-powered Lister warmed up prior to Saturday morning’s qualifying session.

Buick V-6 race engine

Buick V-6 race engine
Buick V-6 race engine Brandan Gillogly

Just behind the driver in this 1988 Spice GTPL was a Buick V-6 with individual throttle body injection. If you’re surprised to see one of these engines pulling race duty, don’t be. Buick has a long history of racing its V-6 and, with help from Kenny Duttweiler, brought turbocharging back from obscurity in the 1980s.

GT 350 trans am racer

GT 350 trans am racer
GT 350 trans am racer Brandan Gillogly

This photo was shot in color, we swear. The engine bay of this GT 350 held a clean and monotone 289 V-8 that was nicely detailed in shades of black, silver, and bare aluminum.

Corvette Big-block cross-ram throttle bodies

Corvette Big-block cross-ram throttle bodies
Corvette Big-block cross-ram throttle bodies Brandan Gillogly

The “Spirit of America” Greenwood Corvette hides a monster, 730-horsepower all-aluminum 502-cubic-inch big-block under its hood. It inhales its giant breaths through two staggered velocity stacks that feed the cross-ram Kinsler mechanical fuel injection manifold.

Riley-Pontiac LS V-8

Riley-Pontiac LS V-8
Riley-Pontiac LS V-8 Brandan Gillogly

Jan Magnusson and Max Angelelli drove the Sun Trust Riley-Pontiac to the win at the Road & Track 250 right here at Laguna Seca in 2006 as part of the Rolex Sports Car Series. It’s powered by a GM LS V-8 topped by a FAST LSXR intake and 102-mm throttle body.

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