As mechanical engineers, Jerry and Derek are obsessed with making things better. As avid auto racing fans, it is only fitting that cars are the focus of this fascination. Jerry spent his childhood tinkering with anything he could get his hands on. His experimentation led to the development of an ongoing philosophy that has stayed with him; the pursuit of maximizing the potential of each vehicle he owned. After spending years being unsatisfied with the limitations of modifying production vehicles, Jerry decided to take a different approach. In 1995, Jerry purchased the rights to the Viking, a low volume custom car loosely based on the iconic Lotus Super 7. His engineering prowess took hold and he immediately began redesigning and re-engineering the car to make it lighter, stronger, and more powerful. He upgraded the small carbureted four cylinder engine with a fuel injected turbocharged Wankel engine. The mild steel of the original frame was upgraded to high strength chromoly and the fiberglass body was replaced with carbon fiber. The result was a ground up, fresh design with the intent of creating the ultimate sports car. Around the same time, Derek became consumed by his own fascination with cars. Assuming the roles of “master” and “apprentice,” Jerry and Derek began spending every spare moment they had in their shop, working to construct Jerry’s vision. After 2 years and 3,000 hours, the Viking SRX-7 was completed. To reward his tireless effort, Jerry invited Derek to compete alongside him in sporting events scattered across the country. Over the next three years they received many accolades, including Jerry’s SCCA Solo II National Championship in 2005, “The Best Engineered” award from Sport Compact Car, and a featured appearance at the 2002 New York Auto Show.
The next chapter of Jerry and Derek’s journey began in 2013. A dream team of engineers, visionaries, and enthusiasts was reassembled, connected by a common purpose; to build a car to set the modified sports car world speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Jerry and Derek’s experience with mechanical engineering gives them a special edge in understanding the challenges of the top speed event. Their knowledge of airflow (aerodynamics), turbochargers (forced air systems), heat transfer (pumping systems and heat exchangers), and engine management systems (computer, controls, and electrical wiring) have already proved to be critical to the success of the project. They are currently in the final stages of assembly. The individual elements are coming together; the 2 liter turbocharged engine has made 747 horsepower on the dyno and the body has achieved a coefficient of drag (CD) of .22 in the A2 wind tunnel in Monroesville, North Carolina. They are in preparations to destroy the current 232 mph record by over 70 mph by the end of this year. Stay tuned for more!