Ed Iskenderian Named 2012 Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree

Oct 26, 2011

Ed Iskenderian, founder of Isky Racing Cams, will be honored with the Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grand Opening Breakfast for the 2012 Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show, to be held March 23, 2012 at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

“Since reading my first Hot Rodmagazine in the ’50s I remember Isky Cams being synonymous with high performance and quality,” said Buddy Pepp, executive director of the Petersen Automotive Museum and co-presenter of the award.

“Ed Iskenderian is the true ‘Camfather.’  I am very pleased that Ed will be honored in Indianapolis in March and I’m certain Bob Petersen would be thrilled knowing that Ed was selected as the 2012 Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.”

Iskenderian began working on cars in high school, with his pet project being a Model T Ford roadster.

After graduating, he worked as an apprentice tool and die maker, then enlisted in the Army Air Corps, serving with the Air Transport Command flying supplier to the islands of the Pacific during World War II.

After the end of the war, Iskenderian returned to working on his hot rod. The hot rod hobby was gaining traction so it was harder to get parts from the few camshaft manufacturers on the West Coast. While waiting for delivery of a special-order camshaft, Iskenderian bought a used conventional cylindrical grinder that he converted to a universal cam grinding machine and entered the cam grinding business.

Throughout his career, Iskenderian used the latest technology to develop his camshafts. Isky Racing Cams lists him as the first person in the industry to employ computers in camshaft design. This helped him to develop performance and economy camshafts and components for racers and stock/street enthusiasts.

“Isky played one of the most critical roles in the very creation of hot rodding,” said Barry Meguiar, president and CEO of Meguiar’s Inc., who will once again serve as master of ceremonies for the Grand Opening Breakfast. “To hear him relive his firsthand experiences will be a moment in time for all of us.”

Iskenderian was one the founders of the Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association, the organization that became SEMA. He served as the organization’s first president in 1963 and 1964, and was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame in 1985.

He was also named one of Chevrolet’s Legends of Performance that same year.

“It is great to be able to honor Ed Iskenderian with the 2012 Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Travis Weeks, producer of the Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show and publisher of Hotrod & Restoration magazine. “The award is about the heritage of our industry, and Ed has been there from the beginning.”

The 14th Annual Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show takes place March 22-24, 2012 at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. For more information on the show, including how to register and get your tickets for the Grand Opening Breakfast, click here.