Starting just over seven years ago, Edelbrock LLC embarked on a path of giving back to the community through education. It began innocently enough when Christi Edelbrock, a single working mother, recognized that educational institutions were struggling with providing for their pupils in an environment where the budgets were shrinking. Her own son’s after-school tutoring facility was no different.
Upon entering the Edelbrock building on Madrid Avenue, the first display you encounter is Vic Edelbrock's first tool bench, tools and tool box.
After meeting with the Center For Learning Unlimited’s director, Virginia Mathews, Christi decided to help with the Center’s fundraising. Their first attempt to raise funds was through T-shirt sales. “I’ve never worked as hard in my life for a thousand bucks,” said Edelbrock. “I knew there was a better way, and there was a whole automotive industry and culture of car enthusiasts that supported education,” she added.
Ever the showman, Vic Edelbrock Jr arrives to Vic's garage after a full day of factory tours. He carefully backs into his reserved parking spot, gets out and opens the hood asking where the car show is.
Thus began the Edelbrock Revved Up For Kids Charity car show. We should have known that the folks at Edelbrock were not going to stop with a local community fundraiser, but things became clearly evident when the company put their talents behind Jim Bingham’s Hot Rodders of Tomorrow program.
The Ohio Technical College trailer made the trip out to showcase the new Edelbrock Performance Academy program.
The Evolution of Edelbrock’s Formal Automotive Education
When high school’s budgets were being tightened nationwide, several programs were cut from the school’s programs. One of the hardest hit programs in the these schools was in industrial arts and shop classes. The Edelbrock corporation realized that kids would not be exposed to the auto industry and auto maintenance without some outside support. A natural partnership between Edelbrock and the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow was formed.
The Edelbrock Corporation has always placed a high priority on the future of automotive from the youngest enthusiast to the oldest. Vic Edelbrock continues to support family involvement in the hobby. During the car show, he signs autographs and poses for pictures with families all day.
Unwilling to ignore higher education, the Edelbrock corporation put the wheels into motion for an Edelbrock Performance Academy and found a willing partner in the Ohio Technical College. Launched just a few short weeks ago, the Edelbrock Academy program is up and running with students already on their way to a career in the automotive industry.
The Edelbrock Performance Academy and Ohio Technical College showed kids how to airbrush using stencils during Sunday's car show..
All three of these programs were on-hand at the Edelbrock’s Revved Up For Charity Weekend with all proceeds benefiting the Center For Learning Unlimited. We asked Christy Edelbrock, one of the driving forces behind Edelbrock’s push for bring automotive technology back into the schools, what is next. “We have big plans, oh boy… we have some really big plans and as soon as we get the details finalized, we’ll let everyone know.”
Preparing for the Future by Recognizing the Past
The seventh annual Revved Up for Kids charity event formally got underway with factory tours at the Edelbrock manufacturing facility on Saturday, May 5th. Guests were invited to witness the latest manufacturing technology at the facility by Vic Edelbrock Jr. With the company’s solid push in formal education, Vic Edelbrock could easily be tagged with the moniker, “the Professor of Power” or “the Dean of Dominance .”
Front row and center of the legends table was host Vic Edelbrock Jr. A member of countless Halls of Fame, Vic has served as President of the SEMA organization and served on the Board of Directors. Among the numerous awards, he was given the Petersen lifetime achievement award in 2005.
At 92 years young, Lou Senter is still a much loved and respected part of the Southern California car scene. From the dirt tracks of California to dry lake racing, Senter made his way to campaigning in the Indianapolis 500. Working for Eddie Meyer, Senter learned about aftermarket parts and went on to open his own speed shop. Ansen Automotive specialized in selling Edelbrock parts and doing their own engine building and machine work. One of the first to bring aluminum wheels to all racers, Ansen Automotive owes it's success to Senter.
Shortly after the facility tours were completed, the festivities moved to Vic’s Garage on Madrid Avenue in Torrance, where the “Legendary Party” and twelve of automotive performance biggest legends, officially kicked the charity weekend into high gear. This gala fundraiser also launched Edelbrock’s 75th anniversary year in a way that only Hot Rod legends could… by telling stories and secrets from the past.
Parnelli Jones is one of the most recognizable names in auto racing... any type of auto racing. He is a member of over 20 Halls of Fame, and still counting, including the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, International Motorsports Hall of Fame, National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame, National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, and the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. Jones etched his name in history books after winning the Indianapolis 500 in 1963 with a car that developed a substantial oil leak late in the race.
George Follmer is one of the most versatile drivers the racing world has ever seen, having competed in, and won in every form of automobile racing. This one time team mate of Parnelli Jones counts many accomplishments including SCCA Road Racing Championship in 1965, Trans-Am Championships in 1972 and 1976, and the 1972 Can-Am Championship. Follmer was so successful in these series that people often referred to him as George-Am.
Vic’s garage houses some of the most amazing artifacts from the company, along with a collection of cars that is simply out of this world. Historic Edelbrock manifolds line the walls, one of a kind engines sit on engine stands, and trophies of every shape and size occupy shelves and stands. The walls are covered with pictures of Edelbrock’s past. From Vic Edelbrock Sr’s day at the helm and on the track to racers and Edelbrock employees that contributed to legendary feats in shaping how the automotive performance industry did business. A visit to Vic’s garage is well worth the time. Every year during the Revved Up For Kids charity car show, Edelbrock opens up the museum to the public, free of charge.
Featuring racing legends Parnelli Jones and George Follmer, customizers George Barris, Sam Foose and Gene Winfield, engine masters Ed Pink and Ed Iskenderian, merchants of speed Louie Senter and Alex Xydias, inventor Andy Brizio, the voice of speed Dave McClelland with the host Vic Edelbrock Jr rounding out the legendary “dirty dozen.”
Ed Iskenderian (the Cam Doctor) took his business from cam grinding for NASCAR's early stars and Southern bootleggers to today's market where everyone wants to be a winner. As Ed reminded everyone, "Winners use Isky Cams."
Ed Pink (The Old Master), has built winning engines for Formula 5000, Indy Cars, Midgets, Sprint Cars and Silver Crown cars. If it was an engine, Pink could build it and build it well. From Fords and Pontiacs to Nissans and Toyotas, Pink has done it. Awarded the NHRA Lifetime achievement award in 1995, Ed Pink is a member of several motorsports Halls of Fame.
Emcee Alan Taylor had his hands full as the legends started the bench racing session in high gear and continued pressing the throttle to the floorboard for the full event. Tall tales, fish stories and denials blended in with a sincere respect among the men at the head tables. Each of the legends paid respect to the others in a seemingly common understanding that they had their careers intertwined by divine intervention.
“We all got so good because we had the same guys teaching us,” said Ed Pink. “When I was having trouble with a particular engine problem, I’d call Bobby Meeks.” Alex Xydias concurred with Pink’s conclusion. “We’d call Edelbrock’s shop and talk with Meeks or Edelbrock Sr,” he said, adding “I’ve got a long list of heroes that influenced me in this business, which includes all the men up here tonight.”
Gene Winfield (King of Kustoms) has over 60 years experience in car building and custom painting. At 85 years old, Gene still puts in a full day's work everyday and looks to be in better shape than most 40-year old men today. We asked him what the secret to staying fit was. "Eat lots of red meat and put salt on everything," he responded.
Alex Xydias, the mastermind behind So-Cal Speed Shop and the So-Cal Streamliner, explained what made them all legends. "We all were calling the same guys and getting the same help. We were all calling Bobby Meeks and Vic Edelbrock Sr. That's what made us great."
We managed to round up Parnelli Jones and George Follmer for a quick chat. The normally reserved and quiet Jones is legendary for doing his talking on the track, was mingling with the crowd and his old team mate Follmer. The tandem made up one of the most feared one-two punch in sports car and Can Am racing that the sport has ever seen. “Parnelli and I were team mates, so it made it tough on the other guys. If they got by one of us, they’d still have to beat the other one,” said Follmer. Looking into the eyes of these racers, there was still a bright light of competition that still burns deep in their soul. The piercing blue eyes of Parnelli Jones still shows the intensity that has driven these legends into the pages of history.
The cars in Vic’s garage are incredibly awesome, and we’ve covered them on several occasions, but it seems to take extremely nice cars to bring out other exquisite custom and show cars. Such was the case on Sunday, May 6th, when the Revved Up For Kids car show began. In the Edelbrock parking lot on Madrid avenue, some of the most historic and unusual hot rods were placed in spots of honor. A special area was roped off for the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow and their Engine Challenge contest.
The avenue in front of the Edelbrock building featured a spectacular array of vintage cars blended with American muscle cars from the heyday of big power in boxy American nameplates. Streets around the facility were filled with sections for specific car types, like the Mustang corral, Mopar alley and Hot Rod heaven. Birds of a feather tended to flock together.
We took our time and walked through every side street, every alley and all of the surrounding parking lots. There were as many rare and unusual cars in the spectator parking lots as there were in the car show itself.
With 1960’s surf music pumping from the local radio station’s remote on-site trailer, the mood surrounding the event was typically Southern California hot rod laid back. The laid back attitude permeated the entire show except the area where the Hot Rodder’s of Tomorrow were conducting three rounds of the engine building competition, fighting for the best time, a winner’s trophy and scholarship prize money.
The Hot Rodder’s of Tomorrow engine building competition is contested between high school teams that properly disassemble and reassemble a small block Chevy engine. Using correct assembly procedures, the students rebuild the engine with proper torque specs in front of judges and an audience. The team completing the rebuild in the fastest time with the fewest mistakes wins.
Vic Edelbrock Jr. addresses the crowd before the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Builder's Challenge gets underway.
Engine Builder’s Challenge
The Hot Rodder’s of Tomorrow Engine Builder got underway just after the car show’s opening ceremony ended. Round one began with teams from Katella High School (Team PRW), Southern California Regional Occupational Center (Team Moroso), Loara High School #2 (Team Magnaflow), Millikan High School #1 (Team K&N) and Calaveras High School #2 (Team DART).
Christi Edelbrock wishing the competitors good luck before their round.
The all girls team from Loara High School representing Team Magnaflow set a fast time in round one, which really surprised no one. The Loara High School teams have been a part of the program for a long time and have consistently performed very well in the challenges. Clocking in at 31:52:00, the all girls team found a large cheering section in the crowd and converted a lot of spectators into fans.
The all-girl team from Loara High School representing Team Magnaflow won the first round with an amazingly fast time.
Katella High School’s Team PRW followed next with a 41:26:00 time with Team DART’s Calaveras High School right on their heels at 59:52:00. Southern California Regional Occupational Center’s Team Moroso and Team K&N from Millikan High School rounded out the field.
Loara High School team 1, representing Team Motive Gear, finished their rebuild with a blistering fast round, winning round 2.
Round two started just prior to lunchtime, around 11:00, which seemed fitting because these kids were hungry for a challenge. The very experienced Loara High School team 1, representing Team Motive Gear, finished their rebuild and dropped spectator’s jaws with a blistering 19:11:00 time.
Calabasas High School’s Team Airaid posted a very respectable 60:13:00 with Calaveras High School Team #1 representing Team Royal Purple finishing just a couple minutes behind. Team Accel’s Rancho Alamitas High School Team #2 and Millikan High School #2 team, Team Edelbrock, rounded out the field for this round.
Team Aeroquip's North Orange County ROP Team #1 won round 3 by clocking in at 38:09:00.
The third and final round kicked off slightly after 1:00 p.m. with North Orange County ROP Team #1 (Team Aeroquip) clocking in at 38:09:00. Team Howard’s Cam from Rancho Alamitas High School took the runner up position for the round with a 74:28:00. Team Comp Cams of Crawford High School and Team Flowmaster from Valley View High School battled the heat and each other to round out the final round.
When the scores were totalled, Loara High School Team #1 representing Team Motive Gear and the all girls team, Loara High School Team #2 representing Team Magnaflow finished first and second respectively.
After the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow’s award ceremony, the sun was creeping deeper into the west and the crowd of spectators started to dwindle. We wandered over to the Edelbrock trailer to see what was going on. Christi Edelbrock was already talking about next year’s Revved Up For Kids Charity car show. “This was a great show and we had such a great turnout. Every year it gets better and better. Next year… it’s going to be even bigger and better than this year,” said a beaming Edelbrock. “You just wait and see. I have big plans.”
According to Christi Edelbrock, "We have big plans. Wait and see, we have some really big plans."
Did we mention that all the proceeds from the weekend, and we do mean ALL of the proceeds, go to benefit the Center for Learning Unlimited? There is no doubt that Edelbrock LLC is committed to education. From the Revved Up For Kids Charity Events to hosting and sponsoring the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow events, the Edelbrock team has the primary education covered. When it comes time to prepare for a career and higher learning is warranted, Edelbrock’s Performance Academy has you covered there too. We can’t wait to hear what Edelbrock has planned for continuing education in the automotive performance industry.
Photo gallery from the 7th Annual Revved Up 4 Kids Charity Weekend (Click on image to enlarge):