Celebrating the 75th
Edelbrock at Food Lion AutoFair
Larry Jewett - March 16, 2013 10:00 AM
For 75 years, Edelbrock has been considered one of the premier names in the automotive performance industry. During the April 4-7 Food Lion AutoFair, car enthusiasts will have a chance to view the car that directly led to the creation of the legendary company.
The original 1932 Ford Roadster, owned and raced by Vic Edelbrock Sr. on dry lake beds in California, will be the centerpiece of a special four-car display housed in the Showcase Pavilion at Charlotte Motor Speedway, honoring Edelbrock’s 75th anniversary. The car was his inspiration for designing and manufacturing the first Edelbrock intake manifold.
“That was really the car that was very, very instrumental in starting what we have today,” said Vic Edelbrock Jr., Edelbrock’s chairman of the board.
The Ford Roadster, purchased by Edelbrock Sr. as a daily driver for his family in 1938, ultimately became his test car as well. On the weekends, Edelbrock Sr. would take the fenders off the car and take it for a spin to test his latest manifold creations.
“My dad had that car and it was the only car he and my mother had,” Edelbrock Jr. recalled. “He’d take all the fenders off, the running boards, the headlights and the top and then take it to the dry lake bed. He had to borrow somebody’s truck and tow it. He’d take it up there and race it for two days.
“Then he’d take it back home, put the fenders back on, the running boards, the headlights and the top and it became the daily driver so my mother could go to the grocery store.”
In 1941, Edelbrock Sr. brought the 1932 Ford Roadster to the Harper Dry Lake. With a new Edelbrock manifold and heads on the car, he was clocked at 121.45 mph. Not bad for a daily driver.
Edelbrock Sr. sold the car in the mid-1950s and it disappeared from history for several years. Then in the late 1980s, Edelbrock Jr. was able to track the car down in California. It was radically different than it was when Edelbrock Sr. sold it, but it was still the same 1932 Ford Roadster that helped create the Edelbrock legacy.
After the owner passed away, Edebrock Jr. arranged for the purchase of the Ford Roadster. The car was put through an extensive restoration by Roy Brizio Street Rods, and returned to its race-ready form, featuring many of the same components that made Edelbrock Sr. such an automotive innovator.
“It was almost like homecoming. I almost had a tear in my eye when it rolled in the door,” Edelbrock Jr. said. “The Roadster was the one that started it all and it was my mother and father’s only car up until 1940. That was a very big thing in my life to get that car restored and have it roll in the door.”
The car sports an aluminum Edelbrock intake manifold, Ford 94 carburetors, Edelbrock aluminum cylinder heads, a stock suspension and 1939 Mercury wheels. This beauty looks ready for another run down the dry lake beds in California, but instead the Ford Roadster will be at Food Lion AutoFair, April 4-7, for all to see.
“We just kept it like it was when he ran the dry lake beds, when he ran almost 122 mph,” Edelbrock Jr. said. “I’m very, very proud to be there [at AutoFair] with the car.”
In addition to Edelbrock Sr.’s 1932 Ford Roadster, the display will also include a 1967 Chevy Chevelle SS, the original Hot Rod magazine Bolero Red 1967 Camaro SS 350 test car and a second 1932 Ford Roadster, which was featured on the TLC show, “Rides.”
Edelbrock Jr. will also be attending Food Lion AutoFair and will be available for autographs throughout the weekend. On Friday, April 5, he will sign autographs from 10 a.m. to noon at the Showcase Pavilion and from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Manufacturer’s Midway. On Saturday, April 6, he will be available to sign autographs from 10 a.m. to noon at the Manufacturer’s Midway.
The Food Lion AutoFair annually attracts more than 100,000 visitors, features nearly 50 car club displays and offers a surplus of automotive parts and memorabilia for sale or trade. There’s also a collector car auction conducted by Dealer Auctions Inc. and more than 1,500 collectible vehicles of all makes and models will be available for sale in the car corral that rings the 1.5-mile superspeedway.
Food Lion AutoFair Tickets are $10 for adults and free for children 13 and under. Four-day passes are available for $30. AutoFair is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For tickets or additional information about Food Lion AutoFair or other events at Charlotte Motor Speedway, call 1-800-455-FANS or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.