Ross Racing Engines is definitely an engine builder to source when assembling an “early” (’49-’64) Oldsmobile engine, as the company offers a number of products specific to these engines that can’t be purchased anywhere else. Started by Ross Lombardi in the early 70’s, the shop continues its engine-building tradition under the leadership of son Tony Lombardi.
In this video, the company put together a 371ci engine with internals that include forged H-beam connecting rods and forged pistons along with a 4-71 supercharger using a Cragar-style V-Drive to achieve 480 horsepower and 530 foot-pounds of torque. Atop the supercharger are four Ford 94 carburetors for a completely unique look and feel.
“The engine is destined for use in a traditional hot rod – the car is supposed to look like it was built in the late ’50’s. I make a bellhousing for it, and to be user-friendly this particular car will be using a T-5 five-speed transmission,” says engine builder Lombardi.
The engine features Ross Racing Engines’ own Rocket-style aluminum cylinder heads and its rocker arm assemblies along with a host of other hand-selected parts that Ross has designed over the years. A flat-tappet camshaft was used in this build.
He continues, “We do a lot of these early-style engines here. We manufacture a ton of pieces for these engines, and I have them to the point where you can build a brand-new vintage powerplant and not use a single piece that actually came from Oldsmobile. This particular engine does have a block, timing case cover, and oil pan that came from Oldsmobile, but the rest of it has aftermarket parts.”
His Olds-powered dragster runs 7.0 at 197 MPH, with vintage-style parts and pieces. Although the company builds all brands of racing engines, including circle track and drag racing along with vintage engines from restorations to all-out builds, Lombardi prefers to stick with the uncommon powerplant for his own combination. His company website is filled with all manner of old-school Oldsmobile parts from lifters to magnetos – a true walk back in time if the Olds platform is of interest.