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In Memoriam: Vic Edelbrock, Jr. – Racer, Pilot, Businessman And Friend To The Gearhead

In Memoriam: Vic Edelbrock, Jr. – Racer, Pilot, Businessman And Friend To The Gearhead

Earlier today, I went up into the storage attic of my shop and drug down the intake system that had been on the Raven Imperial’s 323ci engine (and several others before it). I removed the Carter carb off of it and got to work on scrubbing down the old Edelbrock Performer to clean it up, and I got to thinking: when you come up as a car geek, certain names stick with you early. As a young kid, it was the manufacturers and model names of each car…I learned them with an almost magnet-like ability. See car, memorize model, move on. When I started actually spinning wrenches on cars, about the time I was ten or eleven, it became about the names and models of the parts you were putting into the Chevelle, or the Torino, or the Ramcharger. I learned about Holley carburetors, MSD boxes, and most of all, Edelbrock intakes. That was the big one for me, because it was the first in-the-box speed part I had ever seen my stepfather order for any car he wrenched on, and when he opened up the box he was in full-on “kid at Christmas” mode.

Otis Victor Edelbrock, Jr. is largely to thank for scenes like that. He followed in the footsteps of his father, working at the company that Vic Edelbrock, Sr. had created after his “Slingshot” intake manifold became the hot item to have. Edelbrock, Jr. took control of the company in 1962 at the age of 26, after his father passed on, and between that moment and 2010, ran the company as President and CEO. He stepped down as president in 2010, but remained involved with company activities, namely as the chairman of the board of directors. He built the company up from a California speed parts service that mainly dealt with Fords to the name that hot rodders the world over know. Name it, Edelbrock has probably had his hands on it: intakes, heads, suspension kits, dress-up items, contingency sponsorships…anything that would help out a car geek, chances were good that there was something Edelbrock had for it.

Edelbrock, Jr. wasn’t just the businessman, though. He was a pilot, who flew regularly. He was a racer himself, competing in the likes of the Monterey Historical races with mainly Ford products. He knew what to provide to the masses because he was just as afflicted with this hobby as we all are. But we know him best as the friend to the gearhead, a charter member of SEMA, the man who took the business his father started and took it further than we bet either one of them ever expected it to go. We here at BangShift send our condolences to the Edelbrock family.

Godspeed, Vic, and thank you.

Photo: Chevy Hardcore

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13 thoughts on “In Memoriam: Vic Edelbrock, Jr. – Racer, Pilot, Businessman And Friend To The Gearhead

  1. 3rd Generation

    A tremendous loss. A Great Man, if you ever met and talked with him, you will probably never forget it.

    Godspeed, and thank you Mr. Edelbrock, and Cheers !

    Thank you for the nicely written eulogy.

  2. Dan Hartwig Sr.

    Rest in peace Vic. You left your mark in the automobile world and will never be forgotten. Condolences to family and friends.

  3. Bill Wetzel

    We are losing the backbone of the racing world. GodSpeed Mr Edelbrock and Thank You!

  4. Fishbone

    I went to meet Vic at the 2011 SEMA. The line was blocks long so I went and stood in the bathroom line instead. Turned around to talk to the guy in line behind me and saw Vic! He signed an autograph in the bathroom line. RIP Vic

  5. crazy canuck

    RIP Mr Edelbrock . First speed part I ever bought for my dart in highschool an Edelbrock performer .

  6. jerry z

    I wouldn’t doubt maybe 90% of people who have modified there cars used an Edelbrock product me included.

    RIP Vic, jr.

  7. Bob Soucy

    I talked to Vic at the sema show several times,he treated me like a old friend,we have lost a great man.

  8. Mark Swain

    What a remarkable man. We lost a good one folks. My parts shelves are still graced with Edelbrock gear from long ago adventures. The name always meant quality of the highest order. Vic will be missed. RIP.

  9. Garry

    Hold the phone here man…. didn’t RoadKill help you fix some electrical issues? Don’t be trying to pull that rocket scientist crap on us.

  10. LoneWolf 573

    Your passing leaves a huge hole in the Hot-Rod world RIP see your spirit at the salt in Aug. Joe P. Hackers Racing

  11. kenny sutton

    Very Sad he will be missed bought so many Edelbrock parts over the years.RIP Vic

  12. Michael N. Blewett

    I had the pleasure of growing up with Victor. We were in the same homeroom at Audubon Jr High, played football together at Dorsey High and raced his yellow 46 Ford convertible at Saugus Race track and out of the Witchstand hamburger restaurant at Slauson and Overhill. We continued our relationship at USC but he pledged Delta Tau Delta and I went Phi Kappa Psi. We continued our friendship throughout the years seeing him for the last time at a wedding in La Quinta. He was a dear friend and will miss him deeply.
    Without exception, Victor was straight-up honest, and a wonderful leader in the development of Edelbrock Corporation. Laura and I extend our sincere condolences to Nancy and the extended Edelbrock family.

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