Legendary engine builder Ed Pink is this year’s recipient of the prestigious Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award, presented at the recent SEMA trade show in Las Vegas. At the breakfast awards ceremony, Pink was introduced by Meguiars Car Care founder and host of the “Car Crazy” TV show, Barry Meguiar — who inspired the crowd to give the honoree a standing ovation.
Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry Karges presented the award. “The SEMA Show is the most logical and best home for the Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award,” he said. “As a pioneer in the industry, Mr. Petersen was an inspiration and mentor for many.” Accepting the award, Ed Pink humbly recapped his relationship with Robert E. Petersen, dating back to the early days of Hot Rod magazine in the 1940s.
A true industry icon, Ed Pink has spent 60+ years building savagely quick and incredibly strong racing engines for everyone from Don “The Snake” Prudhomme to the Parnelli Jones/Vel Miletich’s Cosworth-based Indy efforts. With an unparalleled breadth and depth of engine-building knowledge, it’s no wonder that Pink picked up the nickname “The Old Master” early in his career.
Pink got his start in 1946, at age 14, racing hot rods on Southern California’s dry lakes. He eventually took an apprenticeship under Lou Baney at Baney’s shop, “Hot Rod Heaven.” Pink also spent time with the Edelbrocks at their shop, learning the ins and outs of running a business. From there, Pink began building fuel dragster engines (first Ford Flatheads, then Chrysler Hemis), and then on to Ford’s monstrous 427 SOHC motor, which had recently been banned by NASCAR. His career became the stuff of legend — one that continues to this day at Ed Pink’s Garage.
From Top Fuel to Midgets to Indy and even air-cooled Porsche IMSA engines, Ed Pink rarely found a branch of motorsports that he was unable to excel in. No matter the challenge, The Old Master rose to meet it, and it is because of that sense of determination, track record of success, and a legendary kind streak that Ed Pink was chosen as this year’s Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award winner.
Ed Pink is the 13th winner of the prestigious Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achieve Award. Previous recipients are Carroll Shelby, George Barris, Andy Granatelli, The Ford Family, Vic Edelbrock, Jack Roush, Ed “Isky” Iskenderian, Jack Chisenhall, Bill “Speedy” Smith, Alex Xydias, Wally Parks and Dave McClelland.