SEMA eNews Vol. 13, No. 34, August 26, 2010

Industry Mourns the Loss of Icon Earl Fouts, Founder of Earl's Plumbing

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  Earl Fouts (right) and his son Bob.

Earl Fouts, credited with starting the AN plumbing industry, and also founder of Earl's Performance Products—best known for the high-performance plumbing found on most Indy cars and high-performance vehicles—passed away August 23, 2010, in Cardiff, California, at the age of 88.

Fouts was born November 5, 1921, in Belpre, Kansas, and had been a former longtime resident of Rancho Palos Verdes, California. He founded Earl's Performance Products nearly 50 years ago in Lawndale, California.

The mission was to supply high-quality military aircraft specification surplus plumbing components directly to the racing industry from a small retail outlet. As the military surplus market dried up, Fouts recognized the need for supply continuity to the racing market and pioneered the Earl's brand range of hoses and fittings that are still used today. As a result, he is credited with creating the racing aftermarket plumbing industry.

Fouts' plumbing has been featured on the majority of Indy 500 winners and still powers top teams, including John Force Racing, each weekend. The company was sold to Holley in the late ’90s.

Fouts is survived by his sons Robert E. (Maureen) Fouts, Craig A. (Susan) Fouts, Gary A. (Karen) Fouts; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; sister Joanne Corey; and brother Clyde Fouts.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 5900 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 1710, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

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