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Engines and Prices

Please read through our changes in designations for our engines. We have restructured our engine platform based on the varying levels that we now offer. Because I give out very few specs on my engines, I’ve tried to make it easier to decide what product you need to succeed. All engines are fired, tested, timed and tuned in our shop before delivery.

Stage I

Non roller, used rotating assembly, torn down to rotating assembly and full inspected and approved by me. Formerly our EL series engine. Very dependable, very high win record. Great engine for the novice derby driver who wants to eliminate the engine being a issue for reliability. Other than the rotating assembly, all other parts are new/rebuilt. Comes with our famous carb and distributor combo. Usually these engines will be in the $3000 range.

Stage II

Same as Stage I, only with with full hydraulic roller valvetrain. Usually in the $3500 range.

Stage III

Complete rebuild. Block is bored/honed as needed, crank polished, new pistons/rings, etc. Considered a fresh engine, with carb and distributor, but has no roller equipment, usually in the $4000 range.

Stage IV

Same as Stage III, only with full hydraulic roller valvetrain. These engines are generally in the $4900 price range.

Grunt Series

If you want to throw caution to the wind and make brute power, we can do that as well. Please understand that there are no free lunches in this world, and if you go this route, you simply will not get the reliability or endurance of the Signature Series engines. We can still use our tips to make it run better/longer/cooler than the same engine built by someone other than us, but it will not outlast the Signature Series. Sounds great and breaks things - and if that is what you are looking for - this may be the engine for you.

Signature Series Engines

When you hear about the hundreds of wins we have, most come from our Signature Series Engines. They are a great combination of parts that are proven to work together to get you into the Winner’s Circle, and not put you in the poor house. Easy to maintain, easy to operate on the track. They start right up, and rarely die - even under the worst circumstances. My Signature Series engines are based on years of research and development, and continue to be the foundation for any serious derby driver. These engines have won most all of the large shows in the U.S. They have wins from coast to coast, and from Texas to Canada.

355 Signature Series

Same specs as the 355 SSE Roller listed below, but without the roller valvetrain. $4000 base price.

355 Roller Signature Series

This is the engine combination that may have more wins than any other setup in derby history. This platform has won the big derbies time and time again. Excellent throttle response, great durability, little maintenance needed. $4995 base price. The most popular selling engine in our shop. Hydraulic roller valvetrain. Camshaft design is upgraded as research dictates, subject to change without notice.

Ice Cube Signature Series

This is the ultimate derby engine, except for our Black Magic or Super Cube Engines. It is the coolest running gas-powered engine we have ever built or used. I disclose no specs about this engine other than the fact that it is full roller and balanced. Awesome power and response, and is legendary when it comes to insanely cool running temperatures, as well as ability to run without water and sometimes low on oil (though never recommended). Very economical on fuel also, so if you are looking at it for a big show that will last for hours, this engine gets the job done. Winner of Metal Mayhem, among many other large show wins. $5995.

Signature Series Hybrid
Due to the need for builds with cages, cradles, and all of the other junk, many customers wanted a super dependable engine like the signature series, with accessory holes and aftermarket heads.  So we’ve been testing this engine for  years.  Starting to offer it to the general public.  Full roller, dependable, great power, tested by Jimmy Johnson, Bob Whittaker, Mike Mowery and others. $7000-$8000 depending on options.


When we say most successful derby engines ever built, we mean it!

Our engines have powered drivers to thousands of derby wins in the U.S. and Canada.  This claim isn't that impressive if they were all at derbies with three cars and no real challenges.  Our success isn't measured by that standard.

When the big stage presents itself, our engines dominate!!

A short list of Big Show wins and awards:

(many shows have multiple wins at that event, some up to six times



Metal Mayhem
Spring Explosion
Fall Brawl
Border Wars
Razorback Rumble
Drive For Five
Blizzard Bash
Greeley Independence Stampede
Hot Rockin’ Fourth
Mayhem Icon Instigator
Night of Destruction

$30,000, $20,000, $10,000 to win derbies?  Yep, our engines have won them.

Our work


I founded Gropp Automotive Specialties in 1999 to expand my products and services offered for demolition derbies.  I have built this business with low overhead to keep costs down but build engines with unmatched success.  I don't need to hype up, mislead, or "sell" you on something to cover my shop expenses and stay afloat.

During the day, I am a practicing attorney and active member of the Nebraska Bar Association. I completed undergraduate studies at Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1996, and graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1999. During my time in school, I spent my summers competing at various derbies in Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas. I am a licensed Nebraska Automotive Dealer and am bonded in the State of Nebraska for automobiles parts and sales. I am a notary public, and am bonded for that as well. As you can see, I am not some fly-by-night operator who can simple screw people. I value my status as a member of the Nebraska Bar, and have no desire to have any of my bonds revoked.

In the automotive field, I have been involved primarily with the sport of demolition derby. I also have worked on championship-level IMCA stock car and modified teams. Within the derby world, I was one of the founding members of Derby Icons, later selling my interest in that business venture to David Gard and Tory Schutte in 2009. During that time, I was involved in promoting Metal Mayhem, the largest derby in the country, as well as numerous other shows. I have promoted Figure 8 races in Nebraska, and have advised many promoters on derbies around the country. I attend derbies to support my customers, even if it means hopping on a plane to go to a derby and tune their engines. I travel all over the U.S. and regularly vend at major shows. I know every facet of the sport of demolition derbies, and have been successfully involved in its growth for the past 20 years. You will not find a builder who has more knowledge and experience around the country. My network of information spans from coast to coast and from Texas to Canada, and at any time I can find customers who know the behind-the-scenes happenings of the local derbies. If there is something new in the sport, I’ll know about it. From a builder’s standpoint, I fabricated and drove my own derby cars to two Nebraska State Championships and numerous other wins. I’m not just some engine guy who thought marketing to derby people would help my business. It IS my business, and it is based on everything I know about the sport from driver to builder to promoter




11605 SW 72nd Street

Martell, NE 68404

Tel: 402-450-6351 (Lincoln, NE)

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