In the late 1930s, Vic Edelbrock Senior started up his automotive business in a small way, in a small garage on Los Angeles’ 3rd and La Brea. He did tune-ups and general auto repair, and on the side, he raced various cars at the dry lakebeds just east of Los Angeles. He was intrigued with learning how to make the Ford flathead V-8 run and in 1941 was the points leader in his 1932 Ford roadster against such luminaries of the hot rod world as Wally Parks and Ak Miller. Post-World War II, Edelbrock ran midgets until his business of making speed equipment began to dominate his life. Because he was conservative in his outlook, he did not incorporate Edelbrock Speed Equipment until 1958 when an accountant showed him how much in taxes he would save! Sadly, Vic, Sr. passed away just four years later at age 49, which is when his son Vic, Jr. took over the company. Vic entered the business when American V-8 muscle was at its height, and since then, the company has weathered various storms including the Clean Air Act and increasing government regulation over automobiles. Nevertheless, the company has not only adapted to changing conditions and fashions in the automotive aftermarket industry, but it has also prospered.
Although Vic Edelbrock has undertaken many business tasks – among them the presidency of SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association – he now has found time to engage in one of the pursuits he enjoys most, vintage racing. He maintains an interesting stable of vintage racecars with a pristine Lister Chevrolet at the top of the list. He also owns one of the most beautiful historic racing Corvettes, the ex-Bob Bondurant Z0-6 which debuted at a certain spring race at Riverside in 1963, the same weekend that a driver named Ken Miles showed up in a Ford-powered Cobra. Edelbrock also owns a 1969 Bud Moore Boss Mustang, a Junior Johnson-built 1966 Galaxie (created as an antidote to the Smokey Yunick Chevelle driven by Curtis Turner) and the Smokey Yunick Camaro which was tossed out by the SCCA for obvious and not so obvious modifications to its body. VRJ’s John Wright recently sat down with Edelbrock to learn more about his history and his passion for historic racing.
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