A “HORSEPOWER HEAD” dedicated to the racing engine industry.
Hi, I’m Kevin Ban, founder of Horsepower Heads. Below is a small insight into my journey in the industry so far.
Early in my career, cylinder heads and engines that I built helped NZ racers to a lot of race wins, and some national championships in many forms of motorsport: Super Saloon, Super Stock, Pre 65, Rally, Touring Car, Hydroplane, Classic and F3 motorcycles, and more. Lately that success has expanded to my customers – setting world records, and winning races and championships across a vast range of motor racing classes around the globe.
As a teenager during the mid-eighties, a lot of my weekends were spent at the nearby Baypark motor racing facility. Days were spent at the circuit, watching the legends of NZ motorsport competing in classes such as Sports Sedans, and Formula Atlantic. Evenings were spent at the Speedway (which was on the infield of the circuit), watching the dirt oval action.
Fresh out of school in 1985, I began working for Tauranga Motor Reconditioners, who were one of the best engine machining shops in New Zealand at the time. The dream job for someone fascinated by race engines!
In 1988 I started club racing a Ford Escort with great results. I didn’t have any money to go and buy the go-fast bits, but I had use of a great machine shop so learned to make and modify things myself. I quickly learned that port flow and camshafts were the “power parts” so nights and weekends were spent porting heads, grinding cams and trying new engine combinations to make my car faster. Over the next few years I completed the NZQA Automotive Machining trade certificate, and kept working away grinding heads and cams for myself and friends race cars.
In 1996 I started my own shop – “Advanced Engine Developments”. I purchased a Flowlab 520 flow bench from Oz Anderson (the inventor of Cam Doctor), and began understanding head flow and port velocity mapping much more. Although all the hard work was delivering winning results for customers, it wasn’t paying off for me and my family. Baypark had closed and there wasn’t enough work in the local scene to grow the business. So, in 2000 the decision was made to move to Auckland and work for a company I regard as the best in the NZ engine building business.
The legendary Britten V Twin 1000 cylinder head on my flowbench
Two years later, I was given the opportunity to buy a well known camshaft company that I knew well, as I’d used their cams for about 10 years. So from 2002 to 2013 I built that company into the international market leader it is today. Winning the Air New Zealand export award in 2010 was a highlight and great reward for the efforts of our team at the time.
On 1 March 2016, “Horsepower Heads” officially launched! Horsepower heads is a small company dedicated to delivering high end workmanship and world class results in most forms of motorsport. Continual innovation, not following the pack and a never say it cant be done attitude is what you will find at Horsepower Heads.