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This month we conclude our interview with one of Mopar's seminal figures. Ken Black is the son of Keith Black, iconic manufacturer of blocks, heads, and valvetrain components for Mopar's Hemi-head and wedge motors. After the death of Keith Black, there was some talk in the industry that the KB business was going to be sold to another party. But, as often is the case, there was a lot of talk but the cash didn't change hands. Ken Black and the family retain and continue to operate the business, and are still making, under the Mopar brand, parts for Chrysler’s Hemi and Wedge motors that can be bought through the Mopar parts catalog.
We decided to send our in-house West Coast Mopar freak, Darr Hawthorne (Project Fighting Fish 'Cuda), to interview Mr. Black and bring our readers up to speed with what is and isn't happening at the KB shops.
: How do you like nostalgia racing, specifically funny cars? Have you been to any of the Heritage Series events?
Ken Black: I haven’t been to enough of the events. I need to go to more, but it’s a matter of finding the time to do that. I usually stay here until eight or nine at night every day working on stuff,a nd then when the weekend comes, I try to do a little something with the family.
: Well, you’ve got the California Hot Rod Reunion coming up in the middle of October at Bakersfield.
KB: Yeah, I’d like to get to go to that.
: Probably be good for your business.
KB: Oh yeah, sure wouldn’t hurt any now that we’re kind of getting back into more steam going with more blocks going through. So it would certainly be a time to get out there and tell everybody, “Yeah, we’re still here. Give us an order.” We’re not the fastest ones out there, but when we get your product in, we feel that we’re the best.
: What’s your personal favorite motorsport?
KB: My personal favorite? It’s hard not to say drag racing because I grew up around it… My wife likes NASCAR. Probably shouldn’t say that though! I used to like watching sprint cars but now… I don’t know. It’s tough. I like going to the boat races; I like watching those too. I don’t know that I have a favorite per se. I guess I’d have to go with my roots which is drag racing. It’s nice.