One of our favorite local cars shows in Southern California is Edelbrock’s annual springtime get-together, held this past Saturday (May 3, 2014). And while there are certainly many great car shows we can travel to on any given spring weekend in SoCal, the Edelbrock show stands out as our favorite because it’s actually held at Edelbrock’s Torrance, CA location—better known as “Vic’s Garage.” Participants and spectators actually get to tour Edelbrock’s beautiful facility, which is packed full of historical machinery and other memorabilia. It’s literally a trip down memory lane, and hosted by the man himself—Vic Edelbrock Jr.
Another unique high point of the Edelbrock car show is the Hot Rodders Of Tomorrow engine-building competition, which pits high-school shop teams against the clock to build a running small-block Chevy for scholarships to schools like the University Of Northwestern Ohio and the School Of Automotive Machinists. There’s also live music, gourmet food trucks, plenty of speed vendors, a beer garden, and celebrity autograph sessions to make the day fly by.
It is truly a testament to how deep the passion runs among the ranks of Edelbrock employees.
We had a blast as always, and PHR’s own Project Nova was there to help show off Edelbrock’s ground-breaking E-Street EFI and Universal Sump fuel system. It was fun meeting new friends and answering questions about the Nova, but we had a job to do—seek out and photograph our Edelbrock Car Show Top 10 Picks, our favorite muscle machines from the show field, which was a mix of show attendees and Edelbrock employee projects.
You’d expect a company like Edelbrock to be chock full of employees with hot rods, but we never imaged how many of their cars could be so eye-popping and over-the-top! It is truly a testament to how deep the passion runs among the ranks of Edelbrock employees. The next time you get ready to click the buy button on an inferior imported knock-off part, just remember that there are passionate, creative folks engineering and building quality parts at an affordable price right here in the USA, and they use the stuff they make!
1970 AMC AMX
Dennis Allen’s homebuilt AMX is a stunning example of what can be built in a garage. Everything except the satin graphite paint was done by Dennis at home, who is an Edelbrock employee. The Pro Touring / Trans Am themed car abounds with Dennis’s fabrication chops, from the grille to the rear spoiler, and everything in between. Powered by a 416ci AMC with Edelbrock EFI, heads, and cam, it’s a rolling testament to Edelbrock’s support of the small but loyal AMC hobby. And yes, the red AMX behind this one is his too!
1967 Mercury Cougar
TG’s Performance in Gardena, CA has a reputation for building badass engines for badass street cars, and this ’67 Mercury Cougar is their calling card. That pile of white paper sitting on the core support is a stack of 9-second timeslips with the best one being a 9.51 at 146 mph. The street-legal Pro Streeter has a roots-blown 408ci Windsor making 800 hp, which is sent through a Turbo 400 trans and a Ford 9-inch rear with 4.29 gears. It all works good on the street and the track due to a back-half chassis with a four-link and QA1 coilovers.
1961 Ford Fairlane
Greg and Doris Eberhardt own this pristine two-door post sedan, one of the most gorgeous, understated cars at the show. An older repaint is the only thing in the way from deeming it a true survivor car, which also has some well-chosen period-correct Torque Thrust wheels (14s in front, 15s in the rear). Greg and Doris tell us ’61 was the first year for the 390ci FE, and this one is a real-deal Z-code 390 car with a three-speed “three on the tree” manual overdrive trans.
1969 Dodge Dart GT
Purchased by Stephen Ruiz’s grandfather in September of 1968, this ’69 Dodge Dart GT is a family heirloom, and boy does it have a story to tell! You wouldn’t know from the new metallic forest green paint (a 1998 Ford color that closely matches the original), but this slant-six powered A-body still has its original engine, and over 400,000 miles on the odometer! Stephen says his grandparents had retired around the time they got the car, then drove it across the country, Canada, Mexico, and even as far south as Chile in South America.
1964 Dodge Polara
The South Bay Mopars car club was well represented at the Edelbrock Car Show, and we wish we had room for all of them, but Bob Barnes’ classic ’64 Dodge Polara—built in the Super Stock style—was the real scene stealer. It’s got a 505ci cross-ram Wedge that puts out a street-friendly 634 hp through an A727 TorqueFlite trans. If you find yourself spellbound by all the Polara’s quality brightwork, that’s because Bob runs Verne’s Chrome Plating service out of Gardena, CA!
1964 Plymouth Savoy
Until recently, Rick Kyle’s ’64 Savoy was painted white, and raced as an A/FX car at the Nostalgia Drags (it ran 10-ohs), but after a couple of errant passes he decided to repaint it red and retire it to street duty. An all-aluminum 557ci Indy Hemi originally at 12.5:1 compression has given way to lower compression 9.5:1 pistons and a milder solid-roller cam that still manages a healthy 550 hp to the wheels on pump gas.
Sitting right next to Rick Kyle’s ’64 Savoy was a blown ’70 Chevelle belonging to his friend, Steve Dahlmeier. We’re suckers for blown Pro Street machinery, and the B&M supercharged 502ci Chevy big-block crate engine does not disappoint. (It makes a claimed 728 hp on the engine dyno and about 550 hp to the tire.) A built Turbo 400 feeds a GM 12-bolt with 3.73 gears, and Steve says what makes this car really special is that it was originally an LS-6—equipped car.
1963 Ford Galaxie 500
Try as we might, we were unable to locate Paul Leone, the owner of this sweet ’63 Ford Galaxie 500. He must’ve been out finding his own top 10 cars to drool over! Fortunately, he left us a notebook full of info. According to Paul, he saved it from the crusher. Originally a white two-barrel 352 FE Cruise-O-Matic car, Paul restored it with red paint, a 420hp 390 FE with a tri-power carb set-up and factory cast-iron long-tube headers, and a C-6 three-speed automatic.
1968 Chevy Camaro
Anybody who’s called Edelbrock’s tech line with questions on fuel injection has likely spoken with Clayton West. They are indeed lucky to have someone with so much real-world experience! Much of that knowledge has come from building and maintaining this fuel-injected, intercooled, twin-turbo 500ci big-block ’68 Camaro. A true street car—complete with a Lenco 4-speed manual trans and Jerry Bickel four-link back half—Clayton says he’s never “officially” put the Camaro’s 1080 rear-wheel horsepower to the test on a real race track. Wink, wink.
1972 Malibu Wagon
We waited until the end of the show to call this one. The owner was nowhere in sight; rumor had it this is either owned by Edlebrock or an Edelbrock employee, which explains why they were hard at work somewhere else! Our investigation revealed this to be one of Edelbrock’s test mules for their new line of Enforcer supercharger kits for rectangular-port LS engines. That’s right, this ’72 ’bu wagon features an LS of unknown displacement with a blower and dual-quad Performer Series carbs. We spotted a Turbo 400 trans with a grandma column shifter, and a GM 12-bolt out back. That’s one wicked grocery getter!