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Where It All Started—BES Racing Engines

Posted By: Steve Baur
Written by Ainsley Jacobs
Photography by the Race Pages Staff and courtesy of BES Racing Engines

Tony Bischoff grew a successful business by building engines. His renowned shop, BES Racing Engines, has been powering its customers to success for nearly three decades.
Just a few years out of high school, young Bischoff worked as a diesel mechanic but wasn’t entirely satisfied with the career path.
“One day, I was driving home and went by a pretty popular engine builder’s shop and decided that was what I wanted to do,” said the man of the epiphany he had in 1985. 

With his new future firmly decided upon, Bischoff bought out the machine shop equipment from a NAPA Auto Parts store that was going out of business with the little bit of cash that he had on hand. Next, he purchased an old gas station in West Harrison, Indiana, and started rebuilding engines while also providing general repair work.
“I honed blocks by hand. It was crude, but it got the job done,” he recalled of his early days.
As the years progressed, so did Bischoff’s service and skill. The shop soon became self-sufficient, providing virtually all machine shop services and delivering short- and long-blocks for street or strip. In 1993, Bischoff started racing four-wheel-drive sand dragsters and the experience further bolstered the products he delivered for his clients. 

In 1997, BES was blessed with its first (of more to come) dyno and Bischoff began drag racing with the NMCA. In the early 2000s, he picked up his first season championship title. His accolades, coupled with newer equipment in-house, enabled his program to progress further, and the BES reputation for building top-notch performance engines grew.
By 2007, even with additions having been built, the original gas station location was no longer able to house BES’s operations; Bischoff moved the shop to a 15,000 square-foot facility in Guilford, Indiana.

Now, with 18 employees who help keep BES running as smooth as its engines, Bischoff certainly has a lot to be proud of—and a lot to manage. Boasting a full-service machine shop and engine-building capabilities suitable for everything from street cars to Pro Stock, BES has two SuperFlow dynos, three Rottler CNC machines and hones, seat and guide machines, and tons of other top-dollar equipment.
“I’m a very competitive person, so with everything we build, we try to make as much power as possible within the customers’ budgets,” noted Bischoff, who loves seeing his clients succeed and is constantly on call for tech support to help give them every edge that he can. “We also try to build in as much durability as possible, because they won’t win the race if their engine blows.”
His commitment to customer service is just one of the many reasons why Bischoff and BES are as successful as they are, and why both have such a stellar reputation amongst NMRA and NMCA’s racers.
“I don’t have an engineering degree like some other builders do, but I try hard and put the customers first and have a mechanical aptitude. I also have great employees who have the same passion as I do and that’s our secret for success,” said the humble owner.
Having won the Amsoil Engine Masters Challenges an incredible six times, and having successfully campaigned the Pro Mod C7 Corvette that he co-owns with Jim Widener, Bischoff has certainly come a long way from his grassroots beginnings all by building engines, and his future, at BES Racing Engines.

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