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Son of Thanos—Knieriem Racing Engines creates a 2,500-horsepower small-block Ford super villain


If you are fan of the Marvel film universe, you know the heroes clashed with a seemingly unbeatable super villain named Thanos who was on a mission to destroy half of the universe. Even the combined might of the Avengers, spoiler alert, wasn’t enough to stop him. Tim Knieriem, of Knieriem Racing Engines, learned to love these films through his son, and eventually applied the supervillain’s moniker to a particularly powerful engine build.

“A few years ago a customer brought me a big-block Ford nitrous motor he’d been running and it had all kinds of issues. Plus it had been originally built 20 years ago. It had been blown up, repaired, blown up again, fixed again, etc.,” Knieriem explained. “My job was to fix it again and make it live. I told the guy the stuff I was going do would be experimental, but that’s all I could say. When he picked it up from the shop, I named it ‘Thanos’ because it’s evil and can’t be killed. Three years later it’s still running and going faster than it ever had.”

It runs so well that someone else decided to buy it from the original owner. That crossroads sent the engine’s owner to go with a different style of powerplant. He moved from big- to small-block and once again called on Knieriem to create the new engine.

“When that happened the owner decided to go another direction and build a small-block Ford turbo motor. That’s where ‘Son of Thanos’ comes from. This new motor is a work of art that took so many hours figuring things out. It’s been a year in the making. I described it as the ‘nastiest small-block we’ve built,’ because it truly is. It’s built to make 2,500-plus horsepower and live! As with any new setup, I’m sure there will be a learning curve, but when it’s all sorted, out we think this thing will be in a lot of winners circles! It’ll be between the frame rails of an SN-95 Mustang and was hoping to run the Street Outlaw class with NMCA, as well as Pro Street in OSCA.”

The foundation of this engine is a Dart Iron Eagle Pro block, which Tim filled with a Callies crankshaft, Ross pistons, GRP rods, a Comp Cams camshaft, BAM lifters, and Manton pushrods. He rounded out the combo with a CID intake, a Danny Bee belt drive, a Peterson oil pump, a Billet Fab oil pan, and a Keith Fulp cam sync/pump drive. A Holley Dominator EFI will control the timing and fuel controls, as sprayed by Billet Atomizer injectors.

We can’t wait to see this engine in action, but for now, it certainly looks the part of a world-beater.


Knieriem Racing Engines

(502) 969-3251