If you have a classic Ford in your garage, there’s a pretty big chance there’s at least one part on it marked with the name Edelbrock. The company, whose name is etched into the history of American muscle cars, manufactures carburetors, camshafts, cylinder heads, superchargers, and more. Since its founding by Vic Edelbrock Sr. in 1938, Edelbrock has operated out of Torrance, California, but we’ve received word today that its headquarters will soon have a new home in Olive Branch, Mississippi.
Industrial Opportunity Partners (IOP) acquired Edelbrock in 2010, and recently made headlines by also acquiring the COMP Performance Group (CPG) – including COMP Cams, TCI Automotive, FAST, ZEX, Inglese, and others. Edelbrock is moving to merge its operations with CPG. The transition has been in planning since October but began in earnest on January 15th and will continue through March 31st. The Torrance location housed sales, advertising, research and development, testing, and some manufacturing departments.
“We have a 300,000 square-foot facility in Olive Branch that will be the headquarters for five power brands – Edelbrock, COMP Cams, TCI, FAST, and Russell,” stated Chris Douglas, Chief Commercial Officer at the Edelbrock Group. “Today it is the central distribution center for all our products. A portion of that facility, which is currently vacant, will be utilized for manufacturing Edelbrock intake manifolds. We only occupy about a third of the front side of the office complex, which will be fully occupied with the transition.”
COMP’s current front-office at Democrat Road in Memphis, TN will also be part of the move to Olive Branch following the migration of Torrance employees and equipment.
“It is bittersweet to be leaving the home of Edelbrock – no one is applauding or reveling in the decision,” Douglas continued. “It is a sensible business strategy to provide for future growth. LA County is a very difficult place to have a manufacturing business – local competition, the wages are high, it is hard to get help, and expansion property is very expensive. This was something we had to do to remain competitive and manufacture American-made products. It was the right move to keep Edelbrock healthy and moving into the future.”
Douglas assured us that Torrance employees were notified of the transition in October to give them as much time as possible to consider relocating. They were offered to relocate to a location depending upon their role in the company, and Edelbrock has been pleased that many employees have chosen to relocate with the company. Despite coronavirus challenges in LA County, Edelbrock is still on track to meet its self-imposed March 31st deadline – deemed necessary to stay on top of delivering products to customers.
Edelbrock lost some of its notoriety as a hardcore racing brand. It’s time we got our racing stripes back. –Chris Douglas, Edelbrock Group
The Torrance facility is one of several Edelbrock locations, including two in San Jacinto, California, about 95 miles east. Douglas assured us that not only is the foundry in San Jacinto staying put, but manufacturing of certain items like cylinder heads, superchargers, and water pumps will be relocating there (where they are also cast – to increase efficiency). Edelbrock is in the process of establishing a tech center in Cerritos, CA to maintain its Southern California connections (particularly in emissions compliance), which will house engineering and calibration. When combined with the Bronson, MI and Sanford, NC facilities, the Edelbrock Group is transitioning to a modern, multi-campus company spanning coast to coast.
It appears some of the early reports that Edelbrock may be in some financial trouble, may have been grossly misleading. In fact, Douglas even hinted that we could see some acquisitions here in the next one to two years and [they] are very much in a growth mindset.
“Edelbrock is not going anywhere. We are closer to modernized than ever before. We really want to be a performance brand that a consumer doesn’t think of as just their grandfather’s or father’s brand. Late model performance will be a focus as will the racing side – Edelbrock lost some of its notoriety as a hardcore racing brand. It’s time we got our racing stripes back.”
Edelbrock began with Vic Edelbrock Sr.’s deep love for hot rod culture and his own 1932 Ford Roadster. After moving from his native Kansas to California in the early 1930s, Edelbrock was bit by the bug. In an effort to extract every ounce of power possible from the Ford’s factory Flathead V8 engine, Edelbrock tried to hunt down the products he knew he needed to meet the goals he set for the ’32, but he was unsuccessful. Instead, the ever-determined gearhead fabricated his own intake manifold, complete with the Edelbrock name. He would go on to open his performance shop in 1938, and the rest is history.