SSC Founder & President - Jerod Shelby
Jerod O. Shelby (March 11, 1968) is the founder of the American supercar automobile manufacturer SSC. Below is biography for Jerod Shelby, Founder of SSC.
SSC founder, Jerod Shelby, got an early start with his enthusiasm for performance vehicles.
When Jerod Shelby was just seven years old, his dad came home with a Sears Fun Kart. He and his brother found themselves in trouble several times for driving their Kart on the streets of Richland, Washington, where they lived. Soon enough they began frequenting a local go kart track on Saturdays when it was closed. They would hop the fence with their kart and, when their dad got off of work, he'd join them. One day they went to the karting place and to their surprise the parking lot was full with cars and trailers. His dad still remembers the jaw-drop look on his sons' faces as they witnessed their first big race. The next week they joined the circuit, and Jerod's success on the track was remarkable.
They began traveling at a young age, competing on the national go kart circuit from March through October. Karting was their family time, and Jerod attributes his closeness with his family to times spent on the road together. He notes that he may have missed out on some school sports but has no regrets.
Jerod credits his competitive mentality to kart racing. He soon learned the key in winning is honing in on the smaller details. Much of the success now seen in SSC comes from giving attention to smaller factors that aid in the creation of the larger picture. His parents selflessly gave a lot of time and money to their sons' go karting dreams, pushing them encouragingly. However, the passion in Jerod to succeed and to constantly raise the bar for himself has been there since the beginning.
A Nissan 240Z was his first car. Taking his knowledge of go karts, and scaling it up to cars, Jerod produced a car with 450-500 hp by adding a small block Chevy. He also designed a whole new suspension system including coilover shocks. A fan of exotic cars, especially Italian and European, the dream to build his version of the perfect car started when he was about 14 years old. Until the S7, domestic exotic cars were few and far between, and Jerod wanted to be one of the first to not only participate in the market, but excel and redefine it as well. SSC stemmed from this very dream.
Work Before SSC
1991-2001 Advanced Imaging Technologies, Inc., Richland, WA. Jerod Shelby was a co-founder of a new start up medical device company, AIT, and was a founding stockholder. Jerod Shelby was the lead Product Design Engineer, managing all aspects of the mechanical and ergonomics design, component fabrication and testing, as well as coordinating final assembly and regulatory compliance. Mr. Shelby introduced revolutionary new design concepts that necessitated the authoring of 7 U.S. patents and made the early Optical SonographyTM imaging systems a viable diagnostic tool. Mr. Shelby has been key to designing the operating characteristics of the holographic recording and reconstruction apparatus, documentation, and the authoring of patents. Jerod Shelby's experience also includes: 3D Solid Modeling and functional CAD design and analysis, conceptual design configuration and testing, and manufacturing process management. Mr. Shelby was responsible for the installation and coordination of the patient/ clinical trials at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, Virginia Mason Clinic in Seattle, Washington, and at Seoul University in Seoul, South Korea.
Design of the Ultimate Aero
Standard auto companies design a concept and 3D renderings/sketches, and then try to raise money to finance the production. Next, they make a claim on power and performance and try to match the development of the car to meet those claims. SSC's philosophy differs completely from most companies. Jerod is adamant about creating a finished product before announcing it to the public. He wanted to do his best to produce the ultimate supercar, and in his eyes that is done by pushing current technology to its limits while pioneering complementing technology. An added bonus of reversing the process is that SSC avoids issues that arise due to chasing claims.
Even though it was a grueling process, Jerod describes starting the company as rewarding and completely worth all the effort. The average person cannot even begin to conceive the complexity of designing a car. If he knew ahead of time, how much money, time, and labor went into the process, he doubts he would have gone through with it. In hindsight though, designing a car turned out to be the most rewarding experience of his life.
Testing the Ultimate Aero in NASA's, full-scale wind tunnel ranks high on his list of SSC memories. Jerod said it was an amazing experience not just because of the history of the Langley wind tunnel, but because he was also able to work with six NASA scientists, and was able to test the design he had labored over for so long. This was the first time that his design had been tested in full scale form. Since Jerod stays at the starting point during testing, another memorable moment was his only time watching from the middle of the course as the Ultimate Aero drive by at 240 mph during one of their durability tests. Suddenly the Ultimate Aero was not just a dream, but a reality. All his engineering, hard work, and sacrifice finally paid off.
In the near future, SSC has plans for a next generation supercar that will up the ante on all levels. And of course SSC won't stop at cars. There is always the dream of tackling boats next...