An engineer by the name of Jerod Shelby, with a history and passion for cars and racing, founded a supercar company with one goal; design and manufacture an American supercar that would stand up against the European dominated industry of high performance production cars. The dream was clear, but the road to success was grueling. The complexity of designing a supercar is a process vastly underestimated by many people, requiring an unimaginable amount of time, labor, and money. Jerod and his team at Shelby SuperCars overcame these barriers and have since become the first great American supercar company.
After breaking into the world automotive spotlight, the company was renamed SSC North America to identify as a separate entity from Carroll Shelby International, an unrelated automotive firm, and to distinguish itself as a supercar company based in North America, a unique stature in the supercar industry. The early years of SSC North America are paramount to the success of the company and what it will achieve far into the future.
From the beginning, Jerod Shelby and his team knew that breaking into the industry of high performance production cars would require a feat of engineering and automotive marvel that was yet to be seen in the world of supercars. Slowly, under a blanket of silence, a small company in West Richland, WA formulated the plans for a supercar that they were confident would take the world by storm. Years of design and development led to what the world would soon know as the Ultimate Aero.
The first prototypes of the Ultimate Aero are completed in West Richland, Washington at the company's headquarters. The vision had finally taken physical form and it was now time to prove the engineering and performance behind this one-of-a-kind American supercar. In 2006, the Ultimate Aero completes Road & Track magazine's testing on the slalom course, breaking the previous record held by Enzo Ferrari. This achievement may have brought the Ultimate Aero out of the shadows and into the public's eye, but one more hurdle had to be jumped before the car's record breaking performance could truly be legitimized.
On September 13, 2007, on a rural paved road in Eastern Washington State, the SSC Ultimate Aero became the fastest production car in the world, dethroning the Bugatti Veyron's 253.81 mph title. With Guinness World Records present to witness and validate the event, the Ultimate Aero conducted two opposite direction passes and achieved an average top speed of 256.14 mph.
With the Ultimate Aero holding the world record for nearly three years, it maintained it's spot as an automotive marvel far after the title was taken. In the years after the record, drivers began taking ownership of their very own Ultimate Aeros, realizing that there was much more to the car than just its top speed. The design of the supercar made it a driver's car, with no driver aids such as ABS or traction control. Owners, industry experts, and enthusiasts alike were in awe of the elite handling, ride quality, and performance that the Ultimate Aero had to offer.
"I have to say as an American, I’m proud of this car...it’s the fastest car in the world. We’ve now taken that from the Europeans…it’s like we’ve won the World Series...they said they were going to do something and they did it and now they have the world record...I like cars that are one man’s vision, Ettore Bugatti, Gorgon Murray and now my new best friend, Jerod Shelby, nice job!"
- Jay Leno (Burbank, CA)
In preparation for the next generation of hypercars, SSC North America releases plans for the limited special edition and final production run of the Ultimate Aero, called the XT, or Extreme Tuatara. With SSC turning its sights to the Ultimate Aero's successor, the Tuatara, the XT served as a platform for testing the subassemblies of the future project.
After the announcement of SSC North America's Tuatara hypercar, the company undertook the process of conducting market acceptance studies around the world. The United States, China, and United Arab Emirates market reaction prove the undeniable success of the Tuatara's concept and acquiescence of SSC's legacy hypercar project.
The end of an era closes as the final Ultimate Aero is produced and delivered. The Tuatara promises to be far superior not only to the Ultimate Aero, but all other hypercars in the industry as well. Once again the meticulous engineering and testing process begins towards creating a high performance car worthy of becoming an American legacy.
SSC North America is currently in the final stages of releasing its next generation hypercar, the Tuatara. The same vision and resolve that produced the record breaking Ultimate Aero continues with this exciting project, the details of which will be revealed in the near future. This meticulously engineered hypercar will reflect the passion and ingenuity that Jerod and his team have applied to the design and production process. Inspired by fighter jet aerodynamics found in American aerospace designs, the distinctive body of the Tuatara exhibits a striking appearance while providing an unmatched coefficient of drag. Years of testing and calibrating key components of the car have resulted in verified performance and aerodynamic specifications superior to any other hypercar on the market. Both innovative and timeless, the Tuatara will prove to be SSC's legacy hypercar. Named after a reptilian lizard found in New Zealand that possess the fasting evolving molecular structure of any animal, the same can be said about SSC North America and its next generation Tuatara, evolving to new extraordinary standards in the world of hypercars.
A Washington native, Jerod Shelby was born and raised in the city of Richland, Washington. Throughout his childhood and young adult life, Jerod was heavily involved in automotive racing and mechanics. His passion for cars turned into a competitive sport as he traveled the country on the national go kart circuit. The adventure of racing helped form a bond with his family and taught him important lessons, particularly that the attention to small details are what help you succeed. He has since applied this concept of fine details in his venture in hypercars at SSC North America.
Before founding SSC, Jerod was the co-founder of a much different company. After he graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle, he helped start Advanced Imaging Technologies, Inc., a medical device company based in Richland. Jerod 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. Jerod 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.
When Jerod entered the supercar market in the early 2000's, he endured years of demanding development on the Ultimate Aero. Overcoming the time, labor, and financial burdens associated with building high performance cars was no small feat. After SSC established itself as a prominent automotive maker in the world market, Jerod recognizes the years of hard work as a crucial and worthwhile part of his life. From testing the Ultimate Aero in NASA's Langley wind tunnel, to witnessing the world record breaking pass in Eastern Washington, to developing the next generation hypercar, Jerod has many fond memories of the last two decades of SSC North America and looks forward to the many more to come.
As the first American supercar company to manufacture and prosperously compete in the world market, SSC takes pride in representing the United States and the ingenuity that our country is known for.
Located in the city of West Richland, Washington, our home is in the greater metropolitan area known as the Tri-Cities in Southeastern Washington State. Boasting over 300 days of sunshine per year, the Tri-Cities is the heart of Washington wine country, producing world renowned wines, as well as other agricultural produce such as wheat, potatoes, hops, and fruits. Based on the mighty Columbia River, our region has a rich history, dating back to the days of various Native American tribes and the journey of Lewis and Clark. The Hanford site near Tri-Cities was a key location in the Manhattan Project during World War II, the top secret operation that the United States conducted to produce the first atomic bomb. Today, the Tri-Cities is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States, is home to more scientists and engineers per capita than anywhere in the country, and is one of Washington State's top tourist destinations. SSC North America strives to be one of the many unique aspects of this thriving region, and is proud to call it our home.
For more information on visiting the Tri-Cities, please visit
In the journey of becoming an automotive company known around the world for our quality cars, SSC North America is in the process of constructing a new World Headquarters in West Richland, Washington. This 40,000 square foot world-class facility will allow for greater design and production capabilities, as well as showroom and museum areas to provide public access to experience the legacy of SSC and our cars in person.