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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 .”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.