I used to think the Performance Racing Industry's annual tradeshow was more or less a gathering of old men. Old men passionate about things like 800-cfm four-barrel carburetors, vacuum advance distributors, and huge displacement OHV engines. Either that or a somewhat successful attempt at filling a big convention center with engines, race bits and pieces, and machinery-almost none of which have anything to do with anything other than eight-cylinder pedigree and weren't intended for anything bolted together outside of Motown.It is.
But wait. There's nothing wrong with old men. Or four-barrel carburetors. Or pushrod engines. The gobs of backbreaking, low-end torque a 454-cid LS6 makes is enough to make even the burliest STi owner pee his pants at the stoplight. We can appreciate that.
If you own, are building, or are thinking about one day building a race car-any kind of race car-you want to go to PRI next year. If you're into tools-tools so large they won't fit in your garage or expensive tools like lathes, mills, drill presses, honing and balancing equipment, fabrication tooling, and precision measuring instruments-you want to go to PRI next year. And if you have anything at all to do with the high-performance auto racing industry-it should go without saying this excludes those interested in high-luster-polished dub deuces; body kits that look like they belong on something orbiting Earth; mudders big enough to lose a Mini in a fenderwell; and anything to do with undercarriage lights and stickers-you want to go to PRI next year. You won't be disappointed.
There was no shortage of good ol' boy V-8 muscle at Orlando's Orange County Convention Center, where PRI's 19th annual show was held. And that's OK. We can still admire, even occasionally lust after, and incidentally tell you about, the legions of hardcore race parts, gear and equipment we saw there-those destined for Detroit iron or otherwise. There were still tons of parts and equipment there that we want ... that you'll want, and many of these parts make no qualms when it comes to what type of engine bay they're destined for.
Mustang Dynamometers oversaw...
Mustang Dynamometers oversaw a few dyno drag races. The 350Z got the hammer dropped on it by this late-model Corvette (there's that OHV technology again.)
Badass, but commonplace at...
Badass, but commonplace at PRI: the centrifugal supercharged small-block.
Snuck between the aisles of...
Snuck between the aisles of blown small-blocks and displays of carbs, we came across treats like this: Rob Morrison's Racer Xtreme NSX.