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Street Race Truck More... The Toolbox

Edelbrock Flathead Intake Manifold

6/18/2019

In this article we are going to talk about one of my favorite intake manifolds made for the Flathead Ford V8 Engine. These manifolds are being reproduced today for guys like me that can’t find a rare vintage piece of racing history, or anything prewar for that matter. Let’s face it, if we could find a nice and true rare vintage flathead manifold for a decent price most of us would scoop them right up!

What do you do when you have been searching for something unique AND vintage, but nothing is popping up for sale? What do you do when you just don’t know the right people? Internet searches as well as conversations with friends and networking turn up nothing? If you want to start a project and turn up empty handed, its pieces like Speedway Motors Edelbrock Slingshot Intake Manifold, part #325-1103, that can get you going and really bring a new life to a dead or slow going project.

I love history as you know, so buying a vintage intake manifold would always be my first choice but it isn’t always possible. I feel that the reproduction of history making manifolds like the Slingshot are necessary in the world of hot rodding to keep the spirits and old stories alive and well. Intake manifolds like this one sure bring a smile to your face with the carbs sitting up quite high on the manifold resulting in a different look. This is a bit of something that can really grab your attention and be a conversation piece.

The best part of this slingshot manifold is that it has history dating way back to the 1930’s! This manifold was designed by the well-known Vic Edelbrock Sr. If you don’t know much about Mr. Vic then his story is worth a look. It would be a great idea to dive into the history of this man and the company he helped build. Vic Edelbrock Sr. was born in a farm community near Wichita, Kansas in 1913. He was born into a family where his dad paid the bills by owning a grocery store.

Vic’s life like most of us had ups and downs. The Edelbrock grocery store burned down in 1927. Vic had to leave school at age 14 to help support his family. He found a job in an auto repair shop and developed his mechanical skills as an auto mechanic. I believe this is where his love for the automobile really flourished.

Of course life wasn’t easy in those times and the Great Depression would eventually hit. As this happened Vic looked to move west for a new start. West you say? How about California! California seems to be where all the good prewar racing stories started. In 1931 Vic moved in with his brother Carl. Vic was apparently a hard worker. Not only was he a mechanic, but he also worked a second job parking cars at an apartment complex to earn more money.

Vic was working two jobs and his goal was to open his own repair shop. He probably had no idea that his second job parking cars would allow him to meet his soon to be wife, Katherine. I am sure there is more history to this part of the story as they married in just eight weeks! I enjoy love stories like this, but no time for mushy stuff, we are talking about vintage speed parts here!

He earned his own repair shop and due to growth the shop had relocated three different times. There are many other stories to tell in this time, including the hiring of a lifetime coworker and the birth of his children. In 1938, Vic was able to purchase a 1932 Ford Roadster hot rod. With this car he designed and manufactured the first product to feature the Edelbrock name.

This information alone is enough to make me love this intake manifold, but wait there’s more! Vic designed this manifold and used it to race on the Bonneville Salt Flats. He went 121.42 miles in a 1932 Ford!

Story has it that he would drive his roadster to the dry lakes. He would then remove the fenders and the windshield, and beat the crap out of his hot rod on the dry lake beds. Then Vic would re install the fenders and windshield and drive home. I’m sorry but 112 mph on early Ford suspension seems a bit wild. I don’t think I want to go that fast in my 2007 Tahoe! He raced to this 112 MPH speed and did this right before America joined World War II.

Prior to the war Vic produced 100 or so of these Flathead “slingshot” intake manifolds. In my eyes that is a huge feat for the time! Working a full time job, having a family AND producing speed equipment? I can barely work my day job and take care of myself let alone do the things he did prior to all the technology we have today!

During the war Vic was able to develop and fine tune his welding skills as well as hand fabricating air plane parts. His jobs were categorized as critical to the war effort and kept Vic from being drafted for the remainder or the war.

These feats and accomplishments are what helped Vic Sr. to be named to the SEMA Hall of Fame in 1977, inducted in the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 1994 and the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2005.

I absolutely love the look of Edelbrock equipment and feel this manifold would look good on your shelf as a conversation starter, but better placed on top of a hopped up Flattie that’s race ready!

Speedway Motors offers the 9 Super 7 Slingshot Intake Manifold in a ready to go kit, part #925-1250. The Edelbrock Manifold alone is part #325-1103. There are a few other items that look really nice on this manifold, 9 Super 7 Carburetors, part #915-116552 as well as a Finned Rear Breather, part #910-6826.

This manifold belongs on your Flathead V8 and looks great no matter what kind of build you are going for. I plan to put this on the next flathead I build with a set of Edelbrock Heads, part #325-1125.

Happy Hot Rodding!!

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