The motoring world lost a legend.
Anyone who knows cars is familiar with the name Edelbrock. The man who led the company for over 50 years, Vic Edelbrock Jr., passed away last Friday from natural causes. He was 80 years old.
Edelbrock’s father started the business in 1938, growing it from a small auto repair garage to a modest speed shop in Southern California that focused primarily on intake manifolds and cylinder heads. At age 26, Edelbrock Jr. took over the company in 1962 after the untimely death of his father. The company had just 10 employees in a modest 5,000 square-foot shop. Today, Edelbrock has six locations – five in California and one in North Carolina – with over 500,000 square feet of space.
Edelbrock is synonymous with American V8 performance. Anyone who’s ever built up a small-block 350 Chevy engine or a Ford 302 V8 has probably turned to Edelbrock at some point for heads, carburetors, or intake manifolds. High-flow induction systems for old-school horsepower are no doubt the company’s legacy, but Edelbrock Jr. didn’t grow the business by sticking to a few core products for classic muscle. The company’s current portfolio of products includes everything from camshafts and fuel injection kits to gaskets, pumps, chrome engine dress-up kits, superchargers, and even complete crate engines.
It could be said that Vic Edelbrock Jr. was in the right place at the right time. Speed crazy Southern California in the 1960s was essentially the performance car headquarters of the world, and he inherited an established company that already had a good reputation in the racing world. It could’ve been easy for the tides of youth to wash away that foundation, but he instead turned his ambition to building one hell of a company. For anyone who loves cars, we can't think of a better legacy.
Edelbrock the company impacted all aspects of the automotive enthusiast community, thanks in no small part to Edelbrock the man. His name lives on, but he will truly be missed.