I first met Vic Edelbrock Jr., almost 19 years ago when I visited him at his Torrance, California, facility to do a shop tour for National DRAGSTER magazine.  The perception I had of the man before shaking his hand was of an icon, who headed up one of the most important companies in the history of the performance aftermarket industry.  When I left four hours later, after spending the afternoon walking around the plant by his side as he described every aspect of his burgeoning business, Mr. Edelbrock’s stature was firmly branded in my brain as one of the most important and influential men I would ever have the pleasure of knowing.  Little did I realize then that our paths would cross many times in the years to come, and in doing so, my respect and admiration for him as a decision maker, visionary and friend to performance enthusiasts everywhere would grow to epic proportions. 

When I left word for Vic that I was starting an online magazine, he personally called to offer his support and wisdom on moving forward with the project.  At that point I asked him if he could afford me the time to interview him so that all of the readers could get a glimpse of what this legendary All-American businessman was all about.  He graciously obliged and following is Part 1 of our conversation. -- Terry Cole

 

MC: How old are you?

VE: 69.  I'll be 70 in August.

MC: And you've been in the business for…

VE: Well, I've been around (the business) since I was 10 or 11 years old.  But then when I was at USC, in my off hours I would work at places like the shop on Jefferson, like I did in high school.  Then, when I graduated in '59, I went to work for my dad full-time.  I was in ROTC -- Air Force -- and I was going to fly and was going to be gone for three years.  I asked my dad and he said, you know, do what you want to do.  And I said, dad, well, as long as it's only three years, I'd like to do it and come back.  After we got back from summer camp in Laredo, Texas, we passed all our physicals and I was waiting to fly. Then they made it five years instead of three and I bailed out and went to work with my dad.

MC: So, did you fly at all?

VE: Not in the military.  I was in the National Guard after that.  After you drop out of ROTC and you're a student, you're a prime draft consideration, so I joined the National Guard and they got activated in 1960-61 when they had the Berlin thing going on.

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