Edelbrock – Made In USA: The Edelbrock Chrysler Manifold

An Excerpt from Tom Madigan’s Book on the History of Edelbrock

Edelbrock – Made In USA book

Edelbrock – Made In The USA is one of the most fascinating and comprehensive writings on the history of the Edelbrock company as well as the birth and evolution of the hot rod industry. Vic Edelbrock Sr. was at the center of this industry back when it all began. The following is an excerpt from Chapter Six.

The Edelbrock Chrysler Six Pack intake manifold
Chrysler’s Bob Cahill offered Vic Edelbrock the opportunity to provide a manifold for the awesome 440 “Six Pack” engine that would be available on the Dodge Super Bee, Dodge Challenger, Plymouth Road Runner and Super Bird. The three-two-barrel manifold for the Chrysler “Six Pack” was the first Edelbrock OE manifold made to be assembled on new cars.

It was the pinnacle of the muscle car era. Detroit was pumping out high-performance cars at an absurd rate, and automakers were building on their performance image. At the time, Bob Cahill was Chrysler’s marketing/public relations expert. He had developed a working relationship with Vic Edelbrock Jr. during a sponsorship program for their Super Stock and Pro Stock racing teams. Sox & Martin, Herb McCandless and Dick Landy ran Edelbrock decals on their cars in exchange for sponsorship money.

Edelbrock Chrysler manifold from the musclecar era
The Pro Stock racing team of Sox & Martin, shown running the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, CA, with an Edelbrock Manifolds decal on the fenders. They began making a name in the mid-1960s running in the FX class with the AHRA. The Factory Experimental cars were illegal in the NHRA competition.

When Chrysler decided to bring their racing image to the street, Cahill offered Vic something even better, and he jumped at the chance. Edelbrock would provide the manifold for the awesome “Six Pack” 440 engine that would be available on the Dodge Super Bee, Dodge Challenger, Plymouth Road Runner and Super Bird. Even better, the manifold would carry the Edelbrock name. Up to this point, the only other aftermarket part used by the factory and allowed to retain its original nameplate was George Hurst’s four-speed shifter.

See the 1934 Edelbrock shop and some California board tracks in “Racing in the Early 1900s”

Vic had been given unprecedented opportunity; one that would help change the course of the company. Chrysler Corporation purchased between 1,500 and 2,000 manifolds with the Edelbrock name in the casting. It was the largest single order in Edelbrock history. Cost factors with the decline of muscle cars forced Chrysler to go back to factory cast iron after two years, but what a ride it had been.

Edelbrock – Made In USA is a 324-page hardbound book that is still available from many retailers including JEGS, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT and AMAZON.

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