Engine Builder Hall of Fame 2024 Inductee: Vic Edelbrock, Sr.

Last month, we brought you the story of Ed Iskendarian, one of two Engine Builder Hall of Fame inaugural inductees from the “Post-WWII” era members. This month, we bring you the second of that class, and that is a name I guarantee almost everyone reading this will recognize. He’s the founder of one of the most recognizable brands in the automotive aftermarket, and of course, we’re talking about Vic Edelbrock, Sr.

Born in August of 1913, Otis Victor Edelbrock, Sr. grew up in the Midwest, Edelbrock found himself quite adept at automotive repair work in his teens and became a mechanic early on. In 1931, with the Great Depression in full swing, the Edelbrock brothers made the journey west to Southern California. Soon after, Edelbrock hung his own shingle, opening a garage in Beverly Hills. It was only a few short years later that the Edelbrock Corporation was officially born with the development of the Slingshot intake manifold for the Ford Flathead V8.

Vic Edelbrock Sr. first garage

Using his revolutionary manifold, Edelbrock set a land speed record at Bonneville less than a month before the U.S. joined World War II. That put a pause on Edelbrock’s performance parts, but saw him put his skills to use helping manufacture parts for the war effort in southern California. He was also in a prime position once hostilities ceased and the US got back to enjoying pastimes, as the hot rod craze absolutely exploded.

Besides manufacturing great components, Edelbrock was using them on tracks across the country himself, not only gaining recognition that way, but picking up some of the biggest names in racing along the way. The Edelbrock Corporation continued to grow, eventually incorporating his son, Vic, Jr., into the fold. Unfortunately, the senior Edelbrock only saw his company flourish until 1962, when he lost his battle with cancer at 49 years old.

Fortunately, he had built a strong company and a capable family, allowing Vic, Jr. to take over in his father’s place and continue to expand the legacy bearing the family name. Because of his extensive contributions to the industry, both technologically and business-wise, The Edelbrock name is one recognized by anyone with even a passing interest in the automotive industry. And that is why he was named to the inaugural Post-WWII class of the Engine Builder Hall of Fame, adding to his membership in several other halls of fame.

Vic Edelbrock Sr. and Vic Edelbrock Jr

Vic Edelbrock, Sr. (left) and Vic Edelbrock, Jr. (right).

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Greg Acosta

Greg has spent nineteen years and counting in automotive publishing, with most of his work having a very technical focus. Always interested in how things work, he enjoys sharing his passion for automotive technology with the reader.
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