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Words and photos by Jeff Burk
There have probably been more drag racing championships won with engines built in the Ft. Worth, Texas, shop of Reher-Morrison than anyone can possibly document. For decades David Reher, the late Buddy Morrison and their driver Lee Shepherd were a dominant force in both the NHRA and IHRA Pro Stock divisions. After the untimely death of Shepherd in a testing accident, head-porter extraordinaire Bruce Allen got behind the wheel of the Reher-Morrison Pro Stocker and the team continued to be a serious player in both the NHRA and IHRA until an accident at the Texas Motorplex at an NHRA National event put an end to the Reher-Morrison Pro Stock team permanently.
These days the legendary shop continues to build a variety
of engines with a majority of them being of the big-block Chevy variety,
although, like all engine builders these days, almost none of the parts
used to build one of their “Chevy” engines have the famous “bowtie” logo
stamped on them or a GM part number.
Despite that, the lineage of all of the engines that are built at the Reher-Morrison shop is solid GM and Chevrolet.
In recent years David Reher has become very involved in designing and building 800+ inch nitrous oxide-injected Pro Modified powerplants for competition on the ADRL, IHRA, and the NHRA circuits. A couple of years ago Shannon Jenkins and Mike Castellana asked Reher to start an R&D engine program for them. It took Reher-Morrison a couple of years of work, but their efforts are starting to deliver some performance dividends and recently Castellana became the second racer to drive a non-supercharged Pro Mod on a five-second lap.
With all that history in mind I figured DRO readers might have some interest in a peek inside Reher-Morrison’s shop. A phone call to Mr. Reher got the surprising answer,“ Sure come on down and have a look around.”
Since I was already going to be in Dallas to cover the ADRL World Finals for DRO, I decided to make a side trip to Ft. Worth and do the shop tour. As you can see from the photos, there are no big signs identifying the shop. In fact there isn’t even a sign. You have to know it’s there or you could drive right by it. I was saved by the fact that I could hear an engine being dyno-tuned so I knew I was close.David Reher was a gracious host and there wasn’t anyplace we weren’t allowed to look at or take pictures of. So here ya go -- a tour of one of the most famous engine shops in the racing world.