AEM Performance Electronics Co-Founder Passes Away

AEM Performance Electronics Co-Founder Passes Away | THE SHOPJohn Concialdi, a co-founder of AEM Performance Electronics, has passed away following a battle with cancer, the company announced on social media.

AEM posted the following statement on its Facebook page:

Today, we learned that John Concialdi, co-founder of AEM, has passed after his battle with leukemia.

John, or “JC,” was an innovator in the Import Performance market and if you were involved in racing in the 90s, you probably knew the name. JC poured his heart and soul into AEM, and for that we are forever grateful.

Godspeed JC.

A friend and colleague of Concialdi also shared the following obituary:

John Peter Concialdi, affectionately known as “JC” by his family and friends, passed away at his home in Murrieta, CA on Sunday, June 18th. He was 67 years old. JC founded Advanced Engine Management (AEM) in 1987.

JC was a juggernaut in the automotive industry. He was an innovator whose product designs set standards for their performance and engineering.

JC founded AEM after his time working at Weber, where he received the first-ever CARB EO for a performance carburetor. In his early days at AEM, JC tuned high-performance carburetors for all types of vehicles including off-road racers Carl Wells, Mickey Thompson, Spencer Lowe, and Rick and Roger Mears. John’s talent has brought some of the biggest names in the industry through AEM’s doors. His customers included Carroll Shelby, Phil Hill, Mickey Thompson, Stephan Papadakis, Bisi Ezeroiha, and many others.

As AEM grew and transitioned into manufacturing, his Cold Air Intakes set the standard for performance and design, making AEM the go-to brand in the import performance market. To solve the potential danger of hydrolock from the increased intake length common with cold air induction piping, JC created the air bypass valve, which received a patent.

JC was instrumental in the co-development of the first plug & play engine management system for racecars, the Series 1 EMS. He designed and developed the first oil-free high-flow air filtration media for the automotive aftermarket (DryFlow). Prior to AEM’s sale of its hard parts division, John co-developed AEM’s OEM engineering and development division, which supplied performance products for several OEM vehicle manufacturers. JC also created and directed the fuel delivery arm of AEM, designing an affordable high-flow fuel pump line that is alcohol-compatible, before they were common in the market.

Lesser known was JC’s passion for philanthropy and helping others. John performed career guidance work for the Wounded Warrior Project, where he regularly met with wounded servicemen to expose them to opportunities in the automotive industry. He also lectured at high schools, colleges, and universities about working in the automotive technology sector. JC was a champion for the industry.

JC’s creativity and passion for creative solutions crossed into all types of motorsports. Many of the innovations that were created at AEM carried over to multiple segments of the industry. He was a true pioneer, and a champion of performance regardless of the application.

To those who knew JC personally, they will tell you that he was one of the most approachable, friendly, magnanimous men our industry has known. His enthusiasm for life was infectious. Through his friendships and mentoring, JC assisted countless racers not just with their racing programs, but with their life’s direction. He touched the lives of countless people.

A Celebration of Life will be held in JC’s honor. Memorial contributions can be made in JC’s honor to the Wounded Warrior Project.

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at

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