Hilborn Inducted Into Speed Parts Hall Of Fame

Author: Hilborn | 01/01/2008 < Back to Motor Life Home

Article in Hot Rod Magazine written by Jerry Pitt on December 1, 2007…

Hot Rod Magazine has spotted a void within the aftermarket: the lack of a formal, permanent Hall of Fame that recognizes the impact that specific car parts have had on our industry’s success, on its culture, and on its hobbyists. Therefore, in conjunction with the magazine’s 60th anniversary year, the Hot Rod Speed Parts Hall of Fame was created.

The Hot Rod staff compiled a list of 30 products that they felt have had significant roles in shaping the aftermarket, then they sent it out to every SEMA member and industry insider and asked them to vote on the top 10 products that they believe are most worthy of the Hall of Fame. They were also allowed to write in their own candidates. The response was overwhelming, and the Hilborn Fuel Injector was chosen as one of the inaugural ten! The Hot Rod Speed Parts Hall of Fame will be an annual deal, with five more speed parts added to the Hall every year, again as voted by the industry. Hot Rod Magazine’s caption reads:

“Brilliant in its simplicity, the Hilborn Fuel Injector was the first practical fuel injection engineered for racing use. A constant-flow system that did away with the need for a complex and usually troublesome metering unit, the setup was first conceived by a young hot rodder named Stuart Hilborn while he was serving in the Army Air Corps in WWII. After the war Stu returned to Southern California, where he perfected his fuel-injection system on the dry lakes, running his flathead Ford-powered Class B streamliner over 150 mph at El Mirage in 1948. It was the first hot rod ever to run 150 mph, a feat that instantly gave credibility to Stu’s fuel injection. In fact, Ford’s in-house magazine, Ford Times, described the run as the equivalent of Chuck Yeager’s airplane breaking the sound barrier. Hilborns seem almost too simple to work: The basic fuel-delivery system consists of an engine-driven, constant-displacement fuel pump, a throttle-operated barrel valve, a fixed nozzle for each cylinder, and a metered bypass circuit. That’s it. But work they do, and without the airflow-restricting venturi boosters of traditional carburetors. If top-end power was the goal, Hilborns soon became known as the way to get there. Hilborn injection swept through the midget and Champ car worlds, winning the Indy 500 for the first time in 1952. Hilborn-injected cars would win the Indy 500 34 times in all, and quickly dominated drag racing and Sprint cars as well. To this day, nothing says you are truly serious like a set of Hilborn stacks poking through the hood”. -Bill McGuire

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