|40 years of service from AMS, Automotive Machine Shop
AMS, Inc. was founded in 1966 by Max Kittler, Jr. as a small machine shop and engine rebuilder. It was housed in a small, but efficient 3,600 sq. ft. building. From this start, a broad base of racers and diversified machine work was founded.
Raymond Kittler, who graduated from Louisiana Tech University in chemistry in 1970, began building race engines in college. He elected to become a partner with his dad in 1971 and started the AMS Racing Engines end of the business.
In 1972, the business moved to its present location and began to add to its machine shop base. Advanced technology machines were added to provide more accuracy and dependability. The current AMS location, just 2 blocks off I-20, is in proximity of three states -- Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.
Road racing experience
He also worked with a Formula Ford program that qualified at the Texas Raceway at College Station on the Pole and won the southwest division. In 1980, Raymond was enlisted as the crew chief of the GTO Corvette, STEAK AND ALE, an entry that would go to 12HR Sebring and 24HRs of Daytona. Although they did not finish the 24 HR race, Raymond with an AMS 355 was able to finish 8th, as the first American made entry, at Sebring that year.
Raymond was also involved in drag racing. In the early days, he had a Vega panel van that he bought from Don Hardy, who was a famous pioneer of Pro Stock Chassis. He installed a 350 Chevy and Ford 9-inch rear end. The Vega ran in the Street Modified class at Hallsville Dragway. Raymond then stepped up to a 1965 Corvette and began running in the Modified Production category in the NHRA. He first ran F/G and finally ran G/G when he set the record in IHRA at Prescott raceway.
After some years, Raymond formed a partnership with a customer from Tyler, Texas, named Tommy Weakley from the Counts-Weakley Corvette venture. From 1984-1992, the team was one of the most competitive in NHRA Competition Eliminator -- winning the Inaugural 1988 Fram Supernationals at Houston, Texas.
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