Vic Edelbrock Sr. in front of his first race shop which later would become Norm's first shop on Highland Ave in Hollywood, CA.
I was a car guy early on. I liked everything about them: Their looks, sound, and everything they could do. I had to wait until I was 12 before my grandfather gave me my first car; a 1951 Ford Flathead. It ran great, but that was no reason not to rebuild the engine and while I was at it, hop it up a bit. They say you learn from your mistakes, so I can say I learned a good deal from hopping up this engine. Things didn't work as well as I'd hoped but all in all it was a good experience. It ultimately ran OK although I was pretty nervous when my dad was testing it out and stood on the gas, but everything stayed together.
As time passed I took every automotive course I could sign up for and worked on all the rich kid's cars just so I could drive them. I got married, opened an auto repair shop, bought a boat, and started drag racing jet boats. I learned a lot in my early days of racing and made a lot of friends. I was fortunate enough to run pretty good and was able to bring in some sponsors which allowed me to continue racing and even campaign a second boat. The boats won a lot of races and championships over the years and ultimately led to me buying the Kurtis Kraft hydro boat molds. This resulted in more racing with even faster boats, more wins and more championships in Pro Gas Hydro, Blown Gas Hydro, and Top Alcohol Hydro. The most rewarding part of building both the boats and engines was learning how to make everything better: both more powerful, but most importantly, more reliable.
I began asphalt racing in the late 1980's working on an A/ Altered with a 500" Pro/Stock engine we had built for the boat. It ran OK but never like I had hoped. In late 1995 I began working with Jack O'Bannon on a Top Alcohol Dragster which would dominate in Federal Mogul Dragster with driver Rick Santos collecting FMD championships for each season in the Federal Mogul Series five year history. Those five years put me in contact with many of the best racers, crew chiefs, automotive machinists, and engine builders in the country. Being around such a knowledge base inspired me to learn and understand what makes power/reliability and how to best apply that power.
Since that time I've had the opportunity to crew chief three more National Championship seasons in NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster. Although I have had the opportunity to work with many types of race cars I most enjoy ones using supercharged alcohol engines for power and the challenge to always make them better, faster, more reliable, and safer. My only hope is to be able to continue to improve in everything we do.