Neil was born into an Air Force family in Ardmore Oklahoma. He then moved about every 3 years while growing up, although he continued that trend, and to this day he has not ever lived in the same house for more than 3 years! His dream from age 11 was to attend the Air Force Academy and he pursued that goal through high school. Neil was involved in student government at Cabrillo and was an Honor Roll student. He also participated in water polo and swimming and became an Eagle Boy scout. He did get admitted to the Academy although he had a change of heart and dropped out after one week!
Having no plan “B”, he attended Allan Hancock, the local community college for a year, taking mostly auto shop classes that he missed out on in high school due to the academic rigor he had chosen. Neil then discovered the General Motors Institute (now called Kettering University) and earned his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering. During his illustrious career as an automobile engineer, Neil has distinguished himself as a leader in the field of car design and racing. He has worked directly with famous Ford designer Carol Shelby. In fact, Mr. Shelby once introduced Neil as “a young Ken Miles.” (See the movie FORD vs FERRARI to learn about Ken Miles). He was also a development engineer for the Dodge Viper program from its early stages. During his working career, Neil was a nationally renown race car driver and has 6 wins and 23 podium finishes in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) events. He has a “Johnny Lightning” Viper 31 racing car with his name on it. Neil has also worked for Saleen to develop the Saleen S7, the latest American supercar, and for McLaren Automotive in England as their Executive Director of Engineering.
Some of the accomplishments for Neil are:
- Registered patent (with partners) “Powertrain, Vehicle, and Method with Electric Motors and Dual Belt Drive”
- Author of multiple articles and presentations regarding auto racing and safety
- Executive Team Manager of the ViperSpeed race team which won the 1999 SCCA Speed GT Drivers Championship with Bobby Archer
- SCCA World Challenge Driver Champion in 1992, 1994 and 1995 driving an Eagle Talon for Archer Motorsports
- Engineering consultant for Full Time racing, Archer Brothers and Joe Verde racing
- Formed and directed Shelby Motorsports
- Raced at Daytona 24 hour race (5 times) and at Bathurst in Australia
- Works as a forensic analyst of accident vehicle and accident scenes
- Viper GTS-R Program Manager
- NASCAR Winston Cup Program Manager for Daimler Chrysler Corporation
- Chief Engineer for Saleen, Inc.
- Chief Engineer for Ford Motor Company
- Executive Director of Engineering for McLaren Automotive (England)
- Automotive consultant for numerous companies in racing, design and safety