Stuart Hilborn raced on the California dry lakes in the early '40s before serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II. It was in the service that he had the idea to put fuel injection on cars. His first injection setup was used to fuel his postwar streamliner (a car we'd most recognize as a Lakester today), which became the first car to break 150 mph on the lakes. By 1948, Hilborn Fuel Injection was in business, and Stu appeared with his car in his parents' driveway on the April, 1948 cover of HOT ROD.
Stuart Hilborn seen here with an intake manifold fit with an injection system that bares h
Hilborn injection soon became the standard for many different racing pursuits, and the tall ram stacks became iconic for the drag racing gassers and later Factory Experimental cars of the '60s, and of course the two-port and four-port setups were used on supercharged cars everywhere.
However, his greater claim to fame came earlier on Midget and Indy racers. Hilborn's website claims that it was the company's development of injection for turbocharged engines that led to the widespread use of turbos at Indy, and when this magazine inducted Hilborn injection into the HOT ROD Speed Parts Hall of Fame in 2007, it was reported that Hilborn-equipped cars won the Indy 500 34 times starting in 1952.
This black-and-white photo from 1955 depicts Stu with a GMC blower and a two-port injector in what appears to be the Kurtis Kraft shop in Glendale, California, as photographed by Eric Rickman while covering the Indy race cars being built there. The more recent photo, courtesy of Hilborn Fuel Injection, is of Stu in 2007.
Stuart Hilborn is survived by his wife Ginny, his daughter Edris, and his son Duane, four grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.