One name that has been synonymous with performance is Edelbrock, and every year for the past nine years they’ve held a car show to showcase some of the coolest rides in town. We paid a visit to the show this year, held at Vic’s Garage in Torrance, California, and spent the day taking in everything that the show had to offer for young and old alike. Edelbrock has once again pulled off another successful show that kept the crowd – and the hundreds of cars – hanging around until late afternoon.
Tours were held on Friday afternoon to see the inner workings of Edelbrock: how performance parts are designed and engineered, manufactured, and then sent out to enthusiasts. Part of the tour included Vic’s Garage, a collection of cars that Vic Jr. has amassed over the decades, with cars that were around when it all began, and cars that the Edelbrock’s have raced at historic events.
On Saturday, the car show took center stage and a few streets were blocked off for show participants. The show was open to the public, with plenty of activities to keep the young and old occupied for the entire day. Cars began pulling in early in the morning and they kept coming for about three hours, filling in the cross-streets adjacent to Vic’s Garage.
The show, as always, has a single theme: show off your vehicle and have loads of fun.There were cars from the early 1900s up through modern muscle, and just about everything in between. From engine swaps in custom builds to full on restorations, if you couldn’t find a car or truck that appealed to you at this show, then you weren’t looking very hard.
A Show For Everyone, Young And Old(er)
We had the opportunity to park amongst the past and present Edelbrock employees in the employee parking area, and you can tell that Edelbrock has plenty of enthusiasts working there. Knowing that gearheads are making, designing, selling and using the equipment that we use on our own cars makes it that much better.
There’s nothing like seeing a company produce a product and then finding out that the people behind it don’t know much about cars. This is one of the reasons Edelbrock doesn’t make day-glo windshield wipers or psychedelic strobe lights for your interior.
Walking about the lot, we saw our share of domestics and imports, classics and modern, and restoration to full-on race cars. Seeing these rides makes it clear to us where the inspiration comes from when it’s time to develop performance parts.
There was a food court for food and beverages, which kept pretty packed nearly all day long from the first hint of polish sausage cooking on the grill, and a stage for the awards later in the day.
Before any awards were handed out, the crowd was entertained by Elvis impersonator Scot Bruce, who swaggered and crooned all afternoon in his leather outfit in high 80-degree temperatures. Off to the side was an area especially for kids where they could participate in carnival-style games all day. There was also a puppy pen for anyone looking to get that warm fuzzy feeling.
Just outside the food court, the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge took place all day, pitting young gearheads against one another to tear down an engine and rebuild it in under 35 minutes to advance. These young kids did this without the help of the internet or a smart phone–they’re doing it the old school way.
Hot Rodders of Tomorrow began in 2008 with five teams of students competing at the Race & Performance Expo in St. Charles, Illinois. After seeing what these kids were doing, Vic Edelbrock wanted to get involved and help out with the competition. Rodney Bingham said, “We had a disconnect with our generation, it was a cultural thing for us, almost a way of life. We wanted to do something to engage the youth and to get them excited about hot rodding.”
The next year, there were 36 teams that competed at three events: Race & Performance Expo in Illinois, Motrostate Distributing’s Lane Car Show in Michigan, and Edelbrock’s Rev’ved Up 4 Kids Car Show in California. This year, there are 130 teams, and ten events throughout the year, with the finals being split between SEMA and PRI. The top two teams from SEMA will fly out to PRI and compete with the top two teams there to crown a winning team.
Bingham reminds us, the kids are all winners and with 50 sponsors helping to fund the events, and raising over $8 million for scholarships for the kids, they’re all winners. This event is a way to get kids interested in the hobby that fuels the rest of us.
The object of the competition is to completely tear down and rebuild an SBC, and they are judged at two intervals. Once the engine is torn down, the four kids head back to the bench and the judging of the tear down takes place. The engine is torn down to the cam and crank, and no shop rags or tools can be left behind. All bolts need to be removed from the cylinder head, and once the team is cleared, the rebuild begins. This rebuild means torquing bolts down properly, applying thread sealer and anti-seize where needed, and only one torque wrench can be used at a time. The one team member back at the bench sets the tools and helps to coordinate the build.
You have to hand it to these kids who are doing something many of us haven’t done and they’re enjoying it. When was the last time you tore down a small block and put it back together in under 35 minutes? Some of these teams are doing it in under 25 minutes, the top team came in with a time of 19:10!
On the midway, we had a few vendors who shared their products and expertise with us, from boosted performance to performance suspension–every booth was busy all day long. Of course, the main attraction was the car show itself. We began our trek through the hundreds of custom cars in the Edelbrock employee parking area, where we saw lots of custom rides from current and former Edelbrock employees. Now what kind of performance company would Edelbrock be if they didn’t have employees with awesome musclecars?
It was nice to see the variety in styles, we’re used to seeing a lot of red when it comes to an Edelbrock vehicle, for obvious reasons, but that color trend didn’t fill the parking lot, as we saw a variety of vehicles from the 1950s through the current crop of modern musclecars. We also saw a few specialty vehicles that were cool to check out, including a couple of black-and-whites that probably don’t spend much time pursuing since they look like they spend much of their time being pursued.
As with many car shows, there was a lot of judging going on and plenty of “Best Of” winners in several classes. We went out and picked a few cars ourselves, and believe us – the judging was the hardest part of the day. There were so many incredible cars there that it’s difficult to give an award to one car when there was another beauty a few cars down. But, this is what it’s all about, and the competition at most any car show is going to be like this: lots of winners, but only one gets the plaque.
You Want Wagons? We’ve Got Wagons
The wagons were there in force, and the car pictured above deservedly won for Best Upholstery, but if we had our way it would have won Best Chevy, Best Wagon, Best Cruiser… yeah, it was that nice. More pics of this beauty in the gallery below. The other wagons were varied, and very cool in their own right. Check out the two-door Malibu wagon, you don’t see too many of those around.
Bow Ties Classing It Up
From restoration to full custom, the Chevys made for an impressive display. It was hard to decide which one we liked the most, they were well represented, but that black ’61 Impala really stood out.
Blue Ovals Rounding Up The Pack
From the Galaxies to the Mustangs, most of the Fords at the show reminded us of our youth when we had these cars in our Hot Wheels collector’s case. We wanted one of each.
Pentastars Shaping Things Up
We loved the Barracuda with the modern Hemi, quite a contrast to the 64 Savoy with the old school Hemi. The Club Participation for this event went to South Bay Mopars, who just about filled a lot by themselves.
Orphans And Their Cousins
Some GM cars no longer have a home, but we still love them anyway. Classic Buicks made a showing, too, and though there were few, they were just as cool as their better known siblings.
Trucks Picking Up The Pace
From classic to modern, the trucks were scattered about and truck pride was showing. The crew cab was a former railway rig, only about six were built, according to the owner. We dig some of these older ones, how can you resist a keg for a fuel tank?
The Cab Over Engine – Yes Please!
We’ve always loved the COEs and this show had a pair of them that made us drool. Elvin Scalise’s COE, pictured at the bottom, was highly modified, converted to a mid-engine with a big-block Ford, and outfitted with a pair of zoomies!
Blowing Us Away
These weren’t the only blown musclecars at the show, but they were awesome just the same. The yellow 210 was a very clean ride sporting an Edelbrock e-Force blower tucked under the hood.
Street Rods Rockin’ the Roads
We didn’t see any true Rat Rods, which was kind of disappointing, but there were plenty of rods to go around and none of them were less than stunning and simply bad ass.
Cool Things Happening On a Warm Day
If you wanted a personalized full-color chalk drawing of your car, a young man made his way around and sat right there and drew it up. He had a lot of compliments, he did a great job. We also liked some of the other displays we saw here and there. Very cool show!