When it comes to American racing and performance, one name has stood out for nearly 67 years: Edelbrock. The story of this remarkable family and company, which helped shape the hot rod car culture and launch an industry, began in 1938 with Vic Edelbrock Sr. working in a small garage in Los Angeles. It continues today with Vic Edelbrock Jr. at the helm of the $115 million-plus Edelbrock Corporation. Now this story of ingenuity and automotive performance will be told through a special exhibit at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California.
The exhibit, titled "Edelbrock: A Performance Legacy," will run from Oct. 16, 2004 through Feb. 14, 2005. Historic cars and never before seen photos and artifacts from Vic Edelbrock Jr.'s personal collection will be featured. Several special events will highlight the exhibit's 4-month run, including an opening-day panel discussion featuring Vic Edelbrock Jr. on Sat., Oct. 16; an Edelbrock Night of Champions on Fri., Nov. 12 (in conjunction with the Auto Club NHRA Finals); and a gala Museum fundraiser and tribute to the Edelbrock Corporation on Thurs., Dec. 2. The exhibit is set to close after the 2005 K&N Filters NHRA Winternationals.
"I've known the Edelbrock family for more than 50 years," said NHRA Founder Wally Parks, who is also the Museum's Chairman of the Board. "The contributions they have made to racing and performance are unmatched. The public will really enjoy this exciting exhibit and the fascinating story it tells."
"This is quite an honor for my family and everyone at Edelbrock," said Vic Edelbrock Jr. "My dad would be proud to see his life's work displayed in a place like the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum. I'd like to thank Wally Parks and the folks at the Museum for this great tribute." According to Greg Sharp, curator of the Parks Museum, the Edelbrock exhibit will feature famous race cars, hot rods and other vehicles, including:
* The #27 Kurtis Kraft Midget: the first V8-60-powered midget to win a main event at Gilmore and the first to use nitromethane. It beat the Offy-powered cars and became a legend. The exhibit will also showcase a restored 1946 Ford Woody wagon towing the historic midget.
* The Original Vic Edelbrock Sr. 1932 Ford Roadster:M the very one Vic Edelbrock Sr. raced on the dry lake beds in Southern California and developed his reputation as a racer and a builder of performance components.. The Roadster was the company's original test vehicle and one of the first cars used to develop aftermarket performance products. The Roadster (with the Edelbrock "Slingshot" manifold) burned up the dry lake beds in the early 1940s. Among its best runs was a 121.42 miles per hour blast on Nov. 16, 1941, at Rosamond Dry Lake, just three weeks before the attack at Pearl Harbor.
*TLC "Rides" 1932 Ford Roadster: Built by famed street rodder Roy Brizio for The Learning Channel's popular Rides TV show. The flamed roadster is the latest addition to the Edelbrock vehicle collection. ? 1967 Hot Rod Magazine Camaro: A one-off SS 350 experimental drag car engineered by GM's Herb Fishel. Edelbrock used it to develop new products.
"Vic has a lot of rare cars in his collection, so we plan on rotating some of them during the exhibit," Sharp said. "And there are other privately owned historic cars out there that tell the Edelbrock story as well, so some of them may be included, too. This will keep the exhibit fresh with new things to see."
Sharp also said that Edelbrock artifacts such as trophies, engines, old company catalogs, prototype products and even Vic Sr.'s original toolbox will be on display.
The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, houses the very roots of hot rodding. Scores of famous vehicles spanning American motorsports history are on display, including winning cars representing 50 years of drag racing, dry lakes and salt-flat racers, oval track challengers and exhibits describing their colorful backgrounds. The Parks Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., PST, with extended hours during NHRA national events. Current NHRA members are admitted free. Admission for non-members is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors 60 and older, $3 for juniors six through 15, and free for children under the age of five.