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That AMC V-8!

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#1 Bob Riebe

Bob Riebe
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Posted 12 September 2022 - 03:38






...Opening the doors of Valley Head Service on May 1, 1965, Ofria quickly made a name for himself as a premier head flow guy. In 1968, he got a call from AMC, and in 1970 the dogleg head would become the only head available for the new larger-displacement (with a taller deck height) AMC V-8.

Larry tells us, "The AMC was the ugliest motor at the track, but don't ever mess with it, because if it was built right it'd eat you alive! And it was a good competitor. What killed AMCs in racing was having a two-bolt main instead of a four-bolt. The AMCs would lead the first half of the race, and either burn up the rear or drop the crank out during the second half.


Larry continues, "I got the call from AMC in '68 because of all the work I was doing for Holman & Moody, Shelby, Stroppe, Bud Moore, and Dan Gurney. Back then, we were doing just about everyone's head work except for Penske and the Chrysler Black Shadow Group guys. In 1968, a gentleman by the name of Ronnie Kaplan, outta Chicago, contacted me, and after we hung up, they started to make the arrangements. Their head flow guy had retired and moved to Mexico, so they found him, pulled him out of retirement, and sent him to spend three weeks with me on the flow bench. Back then, there were only about five real good flow benches across the country. We started testing and we simply found out where the air wanted to be—so we moved the port offset. The old AMC heads would just flow air straight in, not swirl it, and it would bounce back out. We moved the port to make a more drastic turn to swirl the air."


The dogleg port would be AMC's edge they were looking for in racing, and it brought even more notoriety to Ofria's genius. He continued to be a head specialist until around 1974, when he expanded and started building complete engines. Today, Ofria continues to man the helm at Valley Head Service in Northridge, California, still pumping out some of the best custom-built engines in the automotive world....



#2 Magoo

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 19:03

Larry Ofria is quite the character. Been doing it forever.