Marty J. Skok Jr., who helped build his father’s successful engine parts manufacturing business into a global enterprise serving OEMs and replacement parts distributors, died Oct. 4 at his home in Elgin, Illinois. He was 87.
Born and raised in Elgin, Skok assumed control of Elgin Industries after his father, company founder Martin J. Skok Sr., suffered a stroke in the early 1960s. For the next 50 years, Skok directed the growth of the company’s manufacturing, distribution, product lines and portfolio of customers.
Skok also built on his father’s legacy as a pioneer in professional motorsports, according to the company. The Skok family campaigned the iconic Elgin Piston Pin Special in the Indianapolis 500, provided financial backing for the Elgin National Road Race, held in Mexico’s La Carrera Panamerica, and were early partners of Anthony “Andy” Granatelli, who later became one of racing’s best-known engine builders, team owners and promoters.
Skok’s most significant success, however, was in guiding his father’s company, established in 1919, to international prominence, according to the company. Founded as a manufacturer of a single product line (piston pins), Elgin Industries today is a fully integrated, U.S.-based supplier of internal engine and chassis components, as well as push rods and complete valve train packages.
“My dad never lost his love for the Elgin community, and while many other manufacturers have moved their operations to low-cost countries, he passionately believed in the quality and value of products designed and built in the U.S.,” said Bill Skok, son of Skok and president of Elgin Industries.