Monday, September 06, 2021

in the "things I didn't know" category - Vic Edelbrock Sr bio


I've admired and appreciated Edelbrock since about the early 90s, when I got my 72 Barracuda, and right away, needed to replace junk with performance parts, like intake, carb, headers, exhaust, etc. 

The best thing going for cost and performance was Edelbrock intake and carb, you know? 

about a decade or so ago, I learned that the Edelbrock corporation had an annual open house, and car show, and when I saw this set of books,

 had to get a set for myself to see what was in it (really inexpensive way to learn from the pioneers of the aftermarket industry). 

I was impressed with the instructions on how design and run a service station garage, which brings my focus to the photo at the top of this post, Vic’s Gilmore Station in 1934. Vic opened his own shop in 1934 at the corner of Venice and Courtland in West Los Angeles. It was a four-stall repair shop and a three-pump Gilmore Service Station

He also had a service station at the corner of Avalon and Hancock, below, one on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, another on the corner of Venice Boulevard and Hoover in Los Angeles. Between 1934 and the start of World War II, the small repair garage relocated three times

Since I can't recall hearing about this before, I looked up Vic on Wikipedia, and learned something very cool about him... 

Vic Sr. was born in 1913 in a small farming community in northeast Kansas.

 After the family grocery store burned down in 1927, Vic left school at the age of 14 to help support the family by ferrying Model T Fords from Wichita to the many outlying farms in the area. The frequent stops to replace parts that shook loose on the region's dirt roads made Vic an expert in impromptu repair work.

Then he found work in a local repair shop, working as an auto mechanic.Vic also picked up extra cash running moonshine for local bootleggers

That's the coolest thing I've learned in a while!

During WW2, Vic's machinist skills were needed in the Long Beach shipyards and hand fabricating aircraft parts

Rodger Ward used Edelbrock's midget car on August 10, 1950 to break the Offenhauser-equipped winning streak at the legendary Gilmore Stadium using his secret blend of nitromethane. Edelbrock and Ward followed up the win by travelling to San Bernardino and winning the following night. This feat was never duplicated in the history of midget racing. (not sure if this refers to racing on nitro, or, back to back wins in a midget

1 comment:

  1. The car was powered by a Ford flathead V8 '60.' The following from the web: "Vic Edelbrock was at the peak of his game when he recognized that the racing grind was taking its toll on him and the crew. The V8-60 Flathead (Ford’s 60-horsepower V8 engine) was the lifeblood of his business, and his shipping department hummed, sending off sets of V8-60 cylinder heads and two-carburetor manifolds in rapid-fire order. They were working every day and racing by night to the point of exhaustion—something had to give. Vic backed off and began to pick the races he wanted to run.