“It’s with deep sadness that we announce the untimely death of our visionary and leader Vic Edelbrock Jr.,” the company website read. “Vic passed away this evening from complications following a recent cold. His passing was peaceful and in the company of his closest friends and family.
Vic Edelbrock Jr. took over the aftermarket performance parts company that bears his name after the untimely passing of his father, Vic Edelbrock Sr. Vic Jr. was just 26 when his father died in 1962. With a small but dedicated band of 10 employees, Vic Jr. not only kept the company growing but made it into one of the largest performance parts entities in the world.
It’s a long story that starts in 1933 when Vic Sr. opened an automotive repair shop on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Soon after, Edelbrock cars were racing on the circle tracks and dry lakes of Southern California during the golden age of hot rodding. In 1938, Vic Sr. bought a ’32 Ford and used it to test new speed parts, more or less inventing the marketing tool that would later be known as “the project car.” The first big seller from an Edelbrock project car was the Slingshot manifold, used by Vic Sr. on the dry lakes to clock a prewar time of 121.42 mph in the ’32.
Business wasn’t the only thing growing for the Edelbrock name. Vic Jr. was born in 1936 and started working summers in his dad’s shop at age 12.
“I was making $2 a day and I thought I was really living,” he told us when we spoke to him for a 2002 story.