Skip Hedrich was interested in motor vehicles from an early age. He learned about mechanics by watching his father and older brother. When Skip was 8 years old, he received his first violation ticket for driving without a valid license!
Skip studied engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and then, in 1958, began racing "Midget" race cars.
In 1962 Skip ran Sprint Cars and by 1964 had moved up the proverbial ladder and was racing Indy cars. In 1965, Skip was preparing for his first race at the Indianapolis 500 when he broke his knee.
Skip’s life time goal was to win Indianapolis, so he was completely distraught.
After the injury, Skip avoided listening to car races on the radio or seeing them in person for 25 years. During this time, Skip worked for Kawasaki, designing and building all-terrain vehicles and personal watercraft. He also invented a few things, including a very successful arcade game called the Dragulader that simulated drag racing. Skip loves to design, build and be creative.
In 1988 and 1989 Skip won several events driving Jet Boats for water skiers.
In 1992, Skip discovered streamline vehicles on a trip to Bonneville. He was walking through the pits and saw a streamliner with names on the side. Skip talked to the owner and explained his background. By 4:30 p.m. that afternoon, he had his 150 mph license and drove the streamliner.
After driving the Burkdall's streamliner for 2 years, Skip decided he wanted his own streamliner. Skip couldn’t afford a new Streamliner so he decided to build one from scratch. Skip built more than 90 percent of the car with his own hands. The American Eagle is built like an airplane. It stands at 23 feet long, 3ft wide at the nose. 1ft wide at the tail end and 38 inches tall. It runs on gasoline and has a 358-cubic-inch Dodge Nascar engine and weighs a little over a 2300 lbs.
In August of 2006, at the age of 71, Skip established a new land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Skip ran The American Eagle over 347 miles per hour with a terminal speed of over 353 miles per hour. This allowed Skip to become a lifetime member of the 300 miles chapter of the 200 miles per hour club. "I enjoy it. I crave it." is how Skip describes his need for speed.
Skip has installed a Nitrous System in the American Eagle that should enable him to travel over 404 mph with a terminal speed of over 411 mph.
Skip didn't keep track of his expenses so when his wife asks how much he spent on the American Eagle, he can look her in the eye and tell her honestly, “I don't know”.