Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How the North American Eagle Works

        Auto | Unusual Cars

Image Gallery: Exotic Cars

The North American Eagle
© Copyright 1996 - 2007 E&D Services, North American Eagle, Inc.
All rights reserved.

World Speed King. See more pictures of exotic cars.

Most people are perfectly happy cruising their cars down the interstate at a respectable 65 mph. Others crave more speed and achieve it by adding bigger engines, superchargers and other automotive muscle. And still others — those rare thrill-seekers known as speed freaks want one thing and one thing only: the fastest car on the planet and designation as the "World Speed King." Since 1997, that designation has belonged to the British Thrust SSC, which became the first car ever to break the sound barrier when driver Andy Green coaxed the jet-powered vehicle to a speed of 763 mph.

But a North American team is on course to change all of that. Led by Ed Shadle and Keith Zanghi, the team hopes to guide its entry -- the North American Eagle -- into the record books by breaking the world land speed record and bringing the title of World's Fastest Car back to the North American continent. In this article, we'll examine how the North American Eagle works, as well as the steps that must occur for any car to set an official land speed record.

Ed Shadle
© Copyright 1996 - 2007 E&D Services, North American Eagle, Inc. All rights reserved.
Ed Shadle

Keith Zanghi
© Copyright 1996 - 2007 E&D Services, North American Eagle, Inc. All rights reserved.
Keith Zanghi
Jon Higley
© Copyright 1996 - 2007 E&D Services, North American Eagle, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Jon Higley

A Team of Volunteers
The North American Eagle project is a true labor of love. The team that Shadle and Zanghi have assembled consists strictly of volunteers who donate nights, weekends and holidays. Most bring a high level of expertise to one of the car’s critical systems. Team North American Eagle includes an ejection specialist who worked on NASA space missions, a jet engine mechanic, a computer technician, a former B-52 mechanic, an auto body specialist and an engineer.


More to Explore