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Jay Leno drives SSC's Ultimate Aero - Becomes Huge Fan

Sep 6, 2008
Jay Leno, of Tonite Show fame, is known throughout the entertainment industry as a comedian and auto enthusiast. He is also an avid car collector, mechanic, student of auto industry knowledge and restorer of cars and motorcycles. He is very passionate about all cars - classic and new - and even actively drives from his extensive collection. Although skeptical of the Ultimate Aero and a company as new as Shelby SuperCars, Leno was intrigued and asked to test drive the car himself.

"I was skeptical, you know. But it is the Fastest Car in the World. The coolest thing about this car is they said they were going to do something and then they did it and now they have the World Record," says Leno. "I have to say as an American I'm proud of this car."

The Ultimate Aero and Jerod Shelby himself arrived at The Big Dog Garage to give Leno a taste (and a test drive) of the Guinness World Record Car. Leno had only seen the Ultimate Aero in magazines but three hours later, Leno was a huge fan.

No American carmaker has taken the title from the Europeans since the 1960's. Having bested Koenigsegg's official record and Bugatti's unofficial record, Shelby SuperCars Ultimate Aero captured the title in September 2007. "We've now taken that away from the Europeans. It's like we've won the World Series...we've won the World Cup. This is definitely very, very cool," says Leno.

As perhaps one of the world's foremost car enthusiasts, Leno referred to the Ultimate Aero as a true sportscar. "Unlike the Veyron which is a sort of luxury fast car, it's really a driver's car. There are no aids at all - no power steering or power brakes. The Aero is fun. They deliberately don't have the pop-off valves so you can hear the waste gates and boy when they come on you hear them. It's a fast car. I love that sound!"

"The more I drive this car the more comfortable it gets. The Bugatti Veyron just felt big and cumbersome. This car is very, very impressive. It's got the brute horsepower, not twelve cylinders and overhead cams."
SSC's flagship is third the price of the Bugatti Veyron and weighs half of the Veyron and is what Leno calls "more my kind of car." Shelby designed the Ultimate Aero with a passenger compartment able to handle a 95th percentile male. The passenger compartment ergonomics testing was completed using a 6'6" tall, 245-pound subject. "This car seems to kind of shrink around you," mentioned Leno.

The American carmaker claims to have enough horsepower to retain the title for a while. It's made in America with American components, American suppliers and classic American ingenuity. Shelby SuperCars will only produce 50 of the Ultimate Aero and will transform the model into a 100% electric vehicle in 2009 - the Ultimate Aero EV. The green supercar will be unveiled in the Spring and SSC expects to deliver four models by the end of next year. Again setting the bar higher the car will capture the title of "World's Fastest Electric Car."

In SSC's July 12th news release, the supercar manufacturer announced that the Ultimate Aero EV's drive train under development will feature a revolutionary power source allowing for extended time between charging intervals with the possibility of several years between charging. Shelby SuperCars is exploring the potential of a twin 500 horsepower electric power plant producing 1000hp in a two to four wheel drive configuration. Many in the auto industry have been baffled at SSC's accomplishments. With only private funding, the car company has achieved the World's Record for the "Fastest Production Car" and claims to be on track to capture two more world records.

The future of the company includes the development of its four-door, super luxury sedan, the Luxor, which the Company also claims will break the world speed record for a four-door sedan. The next milestone soon to be achieved will be the opening of its Middle East Showroom in Dubai, UAE, in October. And, currently, SSC is raising $5,000,000 of private capital through Investor Relations Firm, Sheffield International Finance Corporation to fund future green efforts and to build a state-of-the art manufacturing facility.

The Ultimate Aero is a "fascinating piece of automotive history," remarked Leno.

Determined to break the World Record, Jerod Shelby set out on the quest over seven years ago. "I like cars that are one man's vision - Ettore Bugatti, Gordon Murray, and now my new best friend, Jerod Shelby," said Leno.

"I'm so used to people in show business telling me they were going to do something and then not doing it, so it's nice to see someone that did something and then see what they did afterwards. I think you did a wonderful job."

The current model has bragging rights of the "most emissions legal horsepower" at 1183 and became the Fastest Production Car on the planet with an average Guinness-verified speed of 256.19mph. Its 1094ft-lbs. is said to have enough torque to climb a vertical wall and still achieve 200mph speeds.
About the Author
Deniz Kumral is an independent writer who specializes in investment, finance and new technologies. For more information about Shelby Supercars and investment opportunities please visit Shelby Supercars.
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