Larry Mollicone (ENGINE BUILDER)

As a former USAF supplies and logistics specialist, Larry came out of the military and went to work in the automotive world in Southern California. He quickly noticed he had a talent for building large-displacement, high-horsepower engines used in race boats, so the drag racers took advantage of his skill and talent. Since the late ’60s, Larry’s shop, Auto Dynamics, a stone’s throw away from the Pomona Drag Strip, has built engines for more legendary drag racers, boats, NASCAR and road racers than anyone can imagine. He truly is a legend in his field of engine building. It was Dan Gottlieb who, in 1987, saw that there was only one man who would build the engines for Big Red, and Larry has been doing that ever since.

The unrelenting attention to building an engine is technically obsessive for Larry. At any race Big Red is in attendance, Larry is no farther than a couple feet from the engine bay, tapping two wrenches together to burn off some anxiety. He is constantly listening to the harmonics, looking into the engine bay for any sign of a leak or heat displacement, or taking air-density measurements. When RJ completes a race or sets a new record for Big Red, it’s Larry who RJ gives the first big hug. Now Larry oversees the engine program for Big Red, and, at the behest of RJ, has developed not one but four distinctly different engines with horsepower ranging from 850 to a mind-numbing 1,900-plus. All this in the pursuit of more records at a wider variety of events than possibly any other car that is active in motorsports today.

The Big Red's Crew