Obiturary: Vic Edelbrock Junior, August 23, 1936 – June 9, 2017

Obiturary: Vic Edelbrock Junior, August 23, 1936 – June 9, 2017

By Victor Moore   The American performance and racing industry has lost one of its most distinguished entrepreneurs. Eighty years of age, Vic Edelbrock Jr. reportedly died from complications arising from a cold. He passed away at his home in Rolling Hills, California on Friday, June 9, 2017. I first met him around the turn of the Millennium when he came to consider the possible purchase of the carburetor manufacturing operation where I was employed. Mired in debt, it was probably the best investment he never made. During that afternoon, we talked of his racing recreations and how he’d recently competed against Stirling Moss, an experience he related without affection. Apparently, some argy-bargy had occurred on track that had tainted the adventure. Surprisingly, the name Edelbrock is not so easy for some to get their tongue around. Recently, I overheard a seminar that began with the stern warning: “First and foremost” the speaker bridled, “it is not Ed-le-brock it is Ed-el-brock. Say it correctly before we go further,” he insisted. Edelbrock Jr. was an American performance parts producer mainly for automobiles and through his creativity led many to recognize him as one of the industry’s statesmen. He was preeminent during the second half of the twentieth century and maintained a strong presence into the first decade of this millennium. The son of Otis Victor Edelbrock, Sr., Vic Junior inherited the business when aged twenty-six. The operation was known for its engine-building prowess and competition intake manifold designs particularly for racing on California’s dry lake beds. His father died of cancer, aged forty-nine in 1962. Unlike his father, however, his...
World Products all-new Merlin IV Block for Chevrolets

World Products all-new Merlin IV Block for Chevrolets

World Products has completely redesigned and re-tooled their famed Merlin big-block to achieve new heights in performance and ease of use for engine builders and racers. Starting with all-new foundry tooling and machining fixtures, World has made improvements to virtually every area of the new Merlin IV with the goal of producing the most technologically advanced and best performing cast-iron BBC block available today. New features include thicker main webs for increased strength and thicker cylinder walls, which are nominally 0.310in @ 4.600in bore. In addition to the standard BBC 9.800in and 10.200in deck heights, further new deck heights have been introduced. These measure 9.500in, 9.850in and 10.250in. Their objectives? To allow greater versatility for specific engine combinations. Furthermore, head bolt holes are blind on all available deck heights and deck thickness is nominally 0.600in. The Merlin IV is available with a 2.120in journal for standard BBC cam and standard 0.842in lifter bores, or with a 2.283in journal for a 55mm Babbitt cam and 0.904in lifter bores. Cam journals up to 2.480in or 60mm Babbitt and 1.060in lifter bores can be accommodated, but are not stocked by World Products. World also has increased the volume of the priority-main oiling system and added a front oil feed for dry-sump oiling systems. Other key upgrades include lifter oil feeds and restrictor provisions, which have been relocated to the front of the block. The new block features siamese cylinder bores in 4.245in, 4.495in or 4.595in., which are finished at 4.250in, 4.500in and 4.600in respectively. Water jackets have been further enlarged for greater cooling capacity. Nodular iron or 1045 billet steel four-bolt main...
Hammerhead Hemi peaks 928hp: 427ci SB Ford

Hammerhead Hemi peaks 928hp: 427ci SB Ford

By Freddie Heaney: The sound of the dyno approaching 8,000rpm was almost ear splitting. It was the first Friday of June and sitting in an open wooden-framed space at Charlie Pepper’s engine shop in Auburn, near Atlanta, Greg Brown’s innovative Hemi heads on a Man O’ War 427ci small-block Ford peaked at 928hp at 7,700rpm and generated a maximum torque figure of 674.0lb ft at 6,000rpm. Watch the video. When first tested in mild street form with around 9.5:1 compression ratio the combination yielded 602hp. Quite the accomplishment for unique and previously untested cylinder head designs. But it was not the main event nor might this be. Now, around six months later and using ported heads and intake manifold, higher compression ratio and bigger carburetor, but still employing the same stock-size valves (2.200-inch intake and 1.650-inch exhaust) the engine began the afternoon tests by generating peak power figures in the 850hp range. But with incremental timing and carburetion adjustments it eventually made its way up to a mighty 928 horsepower. Inevitable, I asked? “No, not at all, replied Brown. “Though we increased the flow in the ports from 382cfm / 260cfm to 435cfm / 290 (inlet and exhaust respectively), I would have been happy with peak horsepower numbers of around 850. Remember, ninety percent of all high performance wedge-style cylinder heads rarely exceed 800hp.” Of even greater significance, perhaps the 1250cfm Dominator-style carburetor had proved to be too small during the tests and will be replaced by another that’s capable of generating air flow of around 1450cfm. Was the 1250 carb an ill-advised choice perhaps? “No,” said Brown, “this...