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Al Joniec
Al is the very experienced engine builder from whom the original lineage of this original engine configuration was created from in 1995.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA and due to the divorce of his parents and subsequent untimely death of his young mother was on his own at age 15.  He then had to learn how to survive while continuing to go to school and went to work at a gas station pumping gas, waxing cars, etc. and fell in love with cars.  By the time he turned 16 and got his driver’s license, he had bought his first car for $25, but it was broken and he had to learn how to fix it by the school of hard knocks.  This evolved to an unbelievable thirst for automotive
knowledge and he began to read everything about cars that he could get his hands on. He took a job at a new car dealership in the next step of his automotive education and took night courses in mechanical engineering at Temple University.   He then continued his education by soon taking a job at Spring Garden Institute and became a state certified automotive instructor.

However, while at the dealership and as a part of his passion, he successfully raced cars with the new car dealer sponsorship’s support and continued to do so even after leaving.  His winning ways were noticed by Ford Motor Company and he was selected as 1 out of 8 individuals in the nation to become fully sponsored by them. This was a life changing event in many ways, as it provided him invaluable lessons beyond mechanical things that only the high-profile, fast-paced world of competitive racing could do.  He had to learn about staying competitive by doing on-going research and development in the world of proprietary “speed secrets”, and even though he had full sponsorship, he had to learn about resource management, public relations and dealing with the press media and the logistics of having a professionally prepared car at weekly events widely spaced across the US.

The following is a summary of his lifetime of automotive experience:
  • State certified automotive instructor.
  • Selected by Ford Motor Company as 1 of only 8 in the nation to receive full factory backing for his full time professional racing career.
  • Won National Championship titles, and set records for Ford and continued to get full factory support from Ford until when Ford withdrew from racing in 1971. Through these years he gained a wealth of experience by working with the top Ford engineers and innovative aftermarket equipment manufacturers in industry standards and practices of engine development and dynamometer testing.
  • Al built and developed the engine and set up a 427 Ford Cobra, which was recognized at that time as the world’s fastest Cobra and won the coveted 1973 SCCA National Championship. This is the first time a Ford Cobra had claimed a major racing title since the Carrol Shelby team in 1965 and the last Cobra to win a national championship.
  • In 1976 Al was contacted by an old friend, George Hurst, of Hurst shifter fame, who at that time was working as a consultant for United Technologies Corporation, a Fortune 500’s 23rd largest company. UTC was a leading aerospace company that was getting into the automotive engine testing business in multiple markets; for both engine diagnosis and quality control for the OEM’s and for the state and nationwide emission testing equipment that they were building, which is why they hired Hurst.  Hurst convinced UTC that they needed to hire true automotive people with a lot of experience and automotive expertise.  As a result, Al came on board ultimately working with these top aerospace engineers in developing the latest technology test equipment for the following: computerized automotive test equipment, hot engine testing for OEM’s quality control, state and federal fleet test state emission programs and the nationwide aftermarket, special diesel test equipment and the very first diesel electronic control system. While there he extended his formal education in thermodynamics and physics.  As a result he spent the next 15 years traveling all over the world demonstrating equipment that he had been instrumental in developing.  He has competed in competitive demonstrations, diagnostic shoot-outs and has been a guest speaker on these subjects for years.  He also recognized the need for training in how to use the test equipment in the industry and started and directed CARES (computerized automotive repair educational system), which was an interactive automotive diagnostic training program complete with a known repair database for members to phone in on. He has been a member of the SAE (Society Automotive Engineers), which sets the industry standards for 30 years and is a former member of the SAE diagnostic sub-committee.
  • In 1990 Al went to work for the Phelon Company, the world’s largest independent ignition company to develop further his original idea of a true closed loop ignition control system.  While there he became actively involved with the owner of the company’s racing efforts and had successfully competed in vintage sports car racing, which ultimately evolved to the SCCA Pro-Series and then the professional NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
  • In 1995 at the request of his best friend, Al designed and built an engine combination to power his friend’s new high tech airplane. When completed the project became the world’s fastest V-8 single engine powered vehicle by achieving a top speed of 386 miles per hour.  As a result, he and his partner were awarded the highly prestigious August Raspet Award, recognized as the highest annual achievement given by the experimental aircraft industry.

Because Al has been a student of the internal combustion engine for literally all of his life, he understands its limitations, strengths, the current state of the art and opportunities for improvement.  He also understands that the current and future direction of world-wide interest is in highly efficient and environmentally friendly power.   To this end, Al has successfully created a patented engine innovation that will make a major impact towards addressing today’s energy conservation issues.   Al now has a patent and a working proof of concept engine that has been in development for years. 

Al is now working on the 4th generation of the engine that he originally created for the AeroPursuit project.  Now with even more knowledge and experience and by using the latest state of the art technology with yet even more development work being undertaken specifically for this endeavor, this newest and far more sophisticated version will propel Steve even --- Higher, Faster & Farther!

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