A.C. Nutter founded Nutter Racing Engines (NRE), and built that company into one of the most respected engine shops in the Northwest.

A.C. began bulding racing engines in 1968 after being discharged from service in the U.S. Army. A friend from A.C.'s college days was racing in the NHRA top alcohol dragster class. A.C. began innovating immediately, trying such new concepts as powering a dragster with a pair of Big-Block Chevy 427 CID engines coupled in tandem.

In 1971, A.C. began competing as a driver / builder, and began winning almost immediately. He built a 1957 Chevy NHRA Super Stock Eliminator with a 220 HP engine and a Powerglide transmission. It was very competitive right out of the box. The next drag car was a 1956 Chevy two door station wagon, with a 225 HP 265 CID smallblock, two four barrels and a Powerglide transmission, which was also very fast immediately.

His third car, a 1966 Chevy SS Nova, had a 220 HP 283 CID engine and Powerglide transmission. In its second race, that car set an NHRA SS National class record with a 12.02 ET. Before the final race, he had made some low 11.90 runs that day, making that car the first one in that class to break into the 11 second bracket. That car was so fast that NHRA altered the rules for that class to take away some of the advantage it had.

Later on, A.C. built a 1961 Impala race car with a 170 HP 283 CID two-barrel engine and Powerglide transmission to run in NHRA stock eliminator. That car was so fast that on its very first pass, it ran three tenths of a second under the national record.

The next day, he made more runs more than three tenths under the existing record. That infuriated the NHRA officials to the point that, using a profoundly-crude measurement method (measurements of crank rotation using a cloth ruler between pencil marks on masking tape), they declared the perfectly-legal camshaft to be illegal and disqualified the record runs. To avoid that method of discrimination in the future, A.C. bought a new camshaft of the same innovative design from the same manufacturer, but had the lobe centers moved so that even the crude NHRA checking method would declare it within spec.

The next race with that car, A.C. set the new national record from 15.86 down to 15.57, and subsequently qualified in number one position with a 15.11. Being a master of rules interpretation, A.C. decided not to back up the 15.11 in order to allow himself several more opportunitues to gain points by setting sequentially lower national records.

All in all, that car had the rest of the class covered by about six tenths. From then on, the car was the topic of conversation in the Stock pits nationwide, with the frequent accusation that A.C was cheating and getting away with it (the typical reaction from people getting soundly beaten). Shortly after he sold the car, the new owners won Stock Eliminator at an NHRA national event in Seattle, WA.

After several other successful ventures, Nutter Racing Engines (NRE) got a phone call from a local Comp Eliminator racer who wanted help getting his car to run the numbers he needed to be competitive. A.C agreed to help him as his crew chief. The car needed to run 10.20s but could only run 10.60s. On the first pass with A.C as crew chief, the car was in the mid 10.60s. By the end of that day, the car ran a 10.17. It was the only Comp Eliminator car from the Northwest to qualify at the NHRA National event held in Seattle that year. That was the end of A.C's hands-on involvement in drag racing, since the engine-building business was occupying an ever-greater portion of his time.

In 1985, Nutter Racing Engines (NRE) got involved in NASCAR circle track racing, and became highly successful (and still is) in that field of competition. Greg Biffle, who now drives for Jack Roush and finished number two in Cup points in 2005 and number 3 in Cup points in 2008, got his first NASCAR ride in a car that NRE built.

Greg and A.C. teamed up when A.C. was developing the Ford Cleveland engine into a competitive powerplant. At that time, NASCAR gave the Fords an engine location advantage in order to help make them competitive. The first NASCAR race at which they ran the new car, the officials asked them to leave after the second practice session because the car was more than six-tenths of a second faster (on a ¼ mile track) than the next closest car.

Later, Greg and A.C. teamed up to run a car with the new Ford SVO Windsor “N” engine at Tucson in the NASCAR winter heat series. In that race, Greg dominated the race by such a margin that NASCAR took the Ford advantage out of their rule book. For several years running, Greg so dominated the Winter Heat series (using NRE engines) that Benny Parsons went to Jack Roush and recommended that Roush hire Greg.

In 2001, NRE built engines for two local Comp Eliminator racers. Between the two of them, they set ten NHRA national ET and Speed records. NRE also did engine work and provided engine and chassis advice to Chuck Smithfield, who set numerous NHRA national records and won Comp Eliminator at the NHRA World Finals in his BB/A Beretta.

Kevin Hamlin, who is a now test driver for Chip Ganassi, is a two time NASCAR Northwest Tour champion, using NRE engines. Gary Lewis who is also a two time NASCAR Northwest Tour champion and a ARCA West Late Model champion, won convincingly with NRE engines.

In one recent year, NRE engines won seven local track championships. In one of those series, NRE's winning engine ( on dirt) was a Chevy V6. All the other competitors were powered by open V8's. The six other championships consisted of one Ford V8 engine, one 340-Mopar V8, and the remaining four were SBC V8's.

At one point, NRE engines held all the six liter APBA Hydro Class World Records as well as the High Points National Championship several years in a row, with Terry Troxel at the wheel of Bob Shultz’s “Stinger”.

NRE engines have also dominated in the Sprint Boat racing series, winning the Unlimited National Champions races, with Jeff Strong as the navigator and Keith Richards at the wheel.

Check out this page for pictures and more details about these and other winning engines from NRE.

Always leading NRE in the development of winning race engines, a superb product line of race engine oil pumps and dry sump systems, and now, the flexible, affordable line of Engine Control Units, A.C. Nutter remains available to help both new and established racers make their mark on the racing world.