Performance Engines In Detail


Crate engines spawned out of “spec engines” which came from some track and race series engine rules, called “claim rules”. A claim rule is most frequently used in particular circle track racing classes. Claim rules enable a competitor to buy a competitive engine out of a race car for a predetermined low price, as part of the rules. The intent is to minimize rule cheating, cost, and level the playing field. These claim rules grew in use and eventually evolved into having only one engine supplier to offer the only legal powerplant for some specific series of racing. Strangely enough cost and technology were now controlled for the purpose of making a class of racing affordable, controllable and provide close competition. By limiting ingenuity and customization, spec engine class racing in effect outlawed custom engine building.


Crate Engines in 2009 are for the most part common. They are usually pre-built and stored as long blocks on the shelf in a warehouse. It is this commonality of crate engines that is probably at the heart of why our “Anticrate™ engines by JBA, is big news. The reason they are called “crate engines” is due to their creator’s principally and because they are shipped in a wooden crate. Because they are produced in large enough quantities it allows them to be sold for a reduced cost. Pre-assembled engines can also improve availability because they are inventoried on the shelf after they are built.

Inheritably there is no problem with crate engines except that they are now so common. Consequently crate engines pre-built on the shelf are compromises and thereby may not meet the expectations of the individual customer. Production type machining processes along with speed and assembly volume also drive down the costs; all associated with mass production. Quantity is usually not consistent with quality because mass production usually decreases in attention to detail. Therefore quality assurance can be another negative by-product of the crate engine.


Specialty Engines as termed by JBA in 2009 are typically turnkey engines and are also built to specific pre-determined specifications usually for very specific uses or performance applications. It is the similar volume to crate engines that allows these specialty engines to again be built with cost effective repetitive processes. It is not uncommon to have builders specialize in very specific “Specialty engines” that they are known for. It is when a consumer wants something unique or different, they typically have to settle for what the Specialty Engine manufacturer has to offer in its inventory.

The concept of not having to take what an engine builder always builds is at the heart of the JBA Anticrate popularity. Both “specialty engine” building along with “crate engine” building forces you to take what they have in stock. Would you go to a restaurant that doesn’t allow you to order food the way you want it?


Custom engines have been at the heart of hot rodding since pre-war ingenuity drove creation of the four-stroke gasoline internal combustion engine. Since then and following WWII, the enthusiasts driving the world of performance hot rodding innovated and grew modern competition through engine development. Engine customization developed at the dry lakes and circle tracks across America and the spirit of competition in every driveway and backyard or pit paddock area embraced all aspects of creative engine dynamics. Performance was still synonymous with hot rodding and included the improvement by innovation that competitors looking for that unique advantage would develop to separate them selves from the pack.

At JBA Performance Engines we embrace that same “spirit of competition” and strive to provide each customer with the exact unique package requested. These packages are engineered and designed to meet personal expectations, including budget, using both classic and/or state of the art engine components and classic or the newest engine dynamics as dictated.