Modifying or customizing a vehicle is one of the longest standing traditions in American automotive culture. Since the early days of the hot rod, folks have been trying to find ways to make their car quicker than their neighbors. And when it comes to supplying parts for these endeavors, there is perhaps no aftermarket company more respected than Edelbrock Performance. In fact, the company’s motto is even “the most respected name in performance.” Despite the massive amount of cache that the Edelbrock name has commanded over the years, things aren’t exactly looking up for the muscle car speed suppliers. According to a recent report from Daily Breeze, Edelbrock Performance is closing their headquarters in Torrance, California.
Edelbrock Performance has maintained their headquarters in Torrance ever since Vic Edelbrock Sr. started slinging intake manifolds from the shop in 1938. In the years since, the company has become the go-to brand for many folks in need of carburetors, cylinder heads, and camshafts among many other go-fast parts. Unfortunately, the aftermarket supplier reached out to the California Employment Development Department to signify the end of this era. The move to close the facility will affect some 270 employees, though no official count related to layoffs has been announced at this time. No specific reason for closure was cited in the filing.
Although, considering offices and other commercial real estate spaces have been largely vacant for the past year, due to disruptions stemming from COVID-19, it could just been in the company’s interest to figure out leaner ways to work.
Edelbrock Performance headquarters is home to the brand’s sales and advertising staff, as well others in the R&D, testing, and manufacturing teams. A number of these employees could be transferred to the company’s other facilities across the country. Edelbrock currently operates two foundry locations in San Jacinto, California, as well as a distribution center in Mississippi. The company’s carburetor division and their race division are both housed at a North Carolina facility.
While this decision is heartbreaking in its own right, the aftermarket parts industry has been hit with disruptor after disruptor as of late. As automakers move to limit tuner access to their ECUs, companies known for adding power have run into a brick wall when it comes to keeping up with the latest in enhancing OEM performance products. Despite an ongoing effort within the industry to maintain support for the aftermarket, how this looks moving forwards remains unclear. The C8 Corvette is a great example of a current muscle car that cannot be tuned properly, due to its GM Global B Architecture and encrypted ECU. As more and more new cars come out, this trend is only going to continue. The 2021 Ford Bronco is likely going to be the next vehicle to break hearts.
We are sure that more than a few of our readers own a muscle car or hot rod that is loaded up with Edelbrock Performance parts. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if some of those parts are generations old at this point. While this closure doesn’t spell the end of Edelbrock as a company, it does force us to face some unfortunate truths. Chief among those is the fact that our little corner of the automotive industry is hurting. And that really stinks.