July 19, 2006

Memphis, Tennessee, has long been the cradle of the aftermarket performance industry, second only to Los Angeles. So, it should come as no surprise a legendary name like Racing Head Service (RHS) would have come of that Memphis racing spirit some 39 years ago.

RHS was the brainchild of our good friend, the late Ivars Smiltnieks, who founded the company with Bob Woodward and John McWhirter, and later, Scooter Brothers, to serve fellow racers. When the company began in 1967, it was a manufacturer of racing cylinder heads at a time when few others were in the business of making them. What's more, it began in Smiltnieks' garage in suburban Memphis. Through the years, RHS became a respected builder of everything from racing engines to turnkey race cars.

We like the crisp, clean, CNC machine work, which eliminates the potential for exhaust leaks. These exhaust ports are set up for two types of header flanges, which makes these heads versatile for different applications.

As RHS grew, it became a name successful NHRA and roundy-round racers came to for solutions-and power. It pioneered the crate engine in the '80s, delivering turnkey engine packages to satisfied customers. Ultimately, Smiltnieks became the sole owner of RHS when Woodward and McWhirter retired. Scooter Brothers moved on to Comp Cams.

Always innovative, RHS produced untold thousands of high-performance crate engines, cylinder heads, and other components for enthusiasts around the world. Smiltnieks passed away from a stroke many years ago, but the spirit he instilled in RHS never died. The same folks who bring us Comp Cams, FAST, TCI, ZEX Nitrous, Powerhouse Products, Pro Racing, and AETC Engine Technology have brought back RHS, along with an exciting crop of new Ford cylinder heads.

You might be tempted to ask what happened to RHS and why it's back today. A change of ownership and short-term change in priorities at the Comp Performance Group put RHS on the back burner beginning in the late '90s. RHS never ceased operations; it just went dormant. The Comp Performance Group in Memphis has been waiting for the right time to bring RHS back. It wasn't going to do it with a cookie-cutter selection of lame cylinder-head castings just to compete in the cylinder-head business. The Comp Performance Group has never done anything that way.

Think of the Comp Cams name and reputation for performance and you'll agree-RHS wasn't going to be anything less than exceptional. It would get back into the cylinder head business with well-thought-out products, and we're here to tell you all about it.

Today's RHS is an international undertaking between the Comp Performance Group in Memphis and Mike Morais of Southern Performance Ltd. (SPL) down under in New Zealand. This is the beauty of a global economy and an ever-shrinking planet. It brings great talent together from around the world, eager to create exceptional products. Morais has extensive casting and machining experience, which brings us an extraordinary lineup of cylinder heads for small-block Fords.

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