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Houston Matters

Houston School Teaches The Craft Of Building Racing Engines

Students at Houston’s SAM Tech, the School of Automotive Machinists and Technology, often go on to work for racing teams in circuits like NASCAR and NHRA.

Award Winning Engine
Michael Hagerty
An engine built by SAM Tech, the School of Automotive Machinists and Technology, that won its class championship at the 2016 Engine Masters Challenge competition.

Car lovers who want to take their obsession with speed to a whole other level have a specific resource at their fingertips here in Greater Houston.

If simply looking at cars, driving cars – or even racing them down at the track – aren't enough for you and you want to get under the hood and actually design and build the engines of race cars, you're in the right city. Northwest Houston is home to a place called SAM Tech – the School of Automotive Machinists and Technology.

It's part machine shop and part school run by members of the Massingill Family. Students learn how to actually bore out the metal and craft and fine tune every piston, valve, and chamber of an engine so that it puts out as much horsepower as possible. Many of the students go on to careers working for teams in NASCAR, NHRA, or Indy Car.

Michael Hagerty takes us on a tour of the school to see how it all works.

  • Members of the Massingill Family own and operate Houston's School of Automotive Machinists and Technology (L-R): Co-founders Jud and Linda, and son Brian. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    Members of the Massingill Family own and operate Houston's School of Automotive Machinists and Technology (L-R): Co-founders Jud and Linda, and son Brian. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • A Camaro used for racing by Houston's School of Automotive Machinists and Technology. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    A Camaro used for racing by Houston's School of Automotive Machinists and Technology. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • A Camaro used for racing by Houston's School of Automotive Machinists and Technology. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    A Camaro used for racing by Houston's School of Automotive Machinists and Technology. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • Engines students are working on sit in storage at Houston's School of Automotive Machinists and Technology. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    Engines students are working on sit in storage at Houston's School of Automotive Machinists and Technology. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • An engine sits on a workbench at Houston's School of Automotive Machinists and Technology. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    An engine sits on a workbench at Houston's School of Automotive Machinists and Technology. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • Pistons on a work bench at Houston's School of Automotive Machinists and Technology. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    Pistons on a work bench at Houston's School of Automotive Machinists and Technology. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • An engine dynamometer, a device used to measure force, torque, or power, at Houston's School of Automotive Machinists and Technology. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    An engine dynamometer, a device used to measure force, torque, or power, at Houston's School of Automotive Machinists and Technology. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • Zachary Nelson of SAM Tech demonstrates how to use an engine dynamometer, a device used to measure force, torque, or power. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    Zachary Nelson of SAM Tech demonstrates how to use an engine dynamometer, a device used to measure force, torque, or power. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • Gauges on an engine dynamometer at Houston's School of Automotive Machinists and Technology. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    Gauges on an engine dynamometer at Houston's School of Automotive Machinists and Technology. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • Aaron Kuhn and Corey Roberson work on an engine at Houston's School of Automotive Machinists and Technology. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    Aaron Kuhn and Corey Roberson work on an engine at Houston's School of Automotive Machinists and Technology. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • An engine built by SAM Tech, the School of Automotive Machinists and Technology, that won its class championship at the 2016 Engine Masters Challenge competition. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    An engine built by SAM Tech, the School of Automotive Machinists and Technology, that won its class championship at the 2016 Engine Masters Challenge competition. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)

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