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Racing Industry Loses Fuel Injector Pioneer with Passing of Stuart Hilborn

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ALISO VIEJO, CA  – Stuart Hilborn, a pioneer of fuel injection in automobiles and racing applications, died at 96 Dec.16, 2013.

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Family said Hilborn died of natural causes and congestive heart failure.

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Stuart Hilborn at the salt flats. Photo courtesy Hilborn Fuel Injection.

 

He lived in Monarch Beach and had a manufacturing facility in Aliso Viejo.

Hilborn became interested in amateur racing on dry lake beds before World War II. After the war, he began experimenting with ideas for mechanical fuel injection, and tested them on his own race cars.

According to the post on the company’s Facebook page, “Stuart’s passion for racing and speed led him to invent the constant flow mechanical fuel injector. Shunned by his peers, he refined the design to be the first to propel a race car over the magical 150 mph mark at the dry lakes” in 1948.

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Eventually, Hilborn founded Hilborn Fuel Injection and began selling his injection systems to the public, which became popular with the hot rodders of the 1950s and 1960s.

Hilborn-designed fuel injectors also went on to dominate the Indianapolis 500 throughout the 1950s and ‘60s, and then any racing venue that required maximum speed with an internal combustion engine.

A classic mechanical Hilborn injection system is recognizable by its distinctive flared velocity stack intake pipes, rising straight up from each cylinder, flared at the open top, and usually polished or plated for a bright, shiny finish.

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Stuart Hilborn with his invention, the first constant-flow fuel injector. Photo courtesy of Hilborn Fuel Injection.

 

Hilborn was inducted into the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Hall of Fame, as well as the HOT ROD Magazine Speed Parts Hall of Fame.

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Stuart is survived by his wife Ginny of 60 years, along with his daughter Edris and his son Duane, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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