Joniec joins us as we celebrate the historic Cobra Jet 50th!

Born and raised in Philadelphia and on his own since the age of 15 due to multiple family events, Al had to learn how to survive while continuing to go to school. His love with cars started with his first job, working at a gas station. From there, he was hooked! When he got his license at 16, he bought his first car for $25. Broken down, Al learned how to fix it via 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.

Fast forward a few years and he took a job at a new car dealership in the next step of his automotive education. Then came night courses in mechanical engineering at Temple University followed by taking a job at Spring Garden Institute where he became a state certified automotive instructor. It was at the dealership where he continued to pursue his passion, racing cars. With a dealership sponsored ride, 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 for Al in many ways. Mainly, it provided him invaluable lessons beyond the mechanical that only the high-profile, fast-paced world of competitive racing could do. He had to learn about staying competitive by doing ongoing 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, plus the logistics of having a professionally prepared car at weekly events held across the United States.

During this time Al won multiple national championships and set records for Ford, all while continuing to get full factory support from Ford. This support lasted until 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 would continue building engines and drag racing too.

Join Al Joniec in June to celebrate the 50th Birthday of the Cobra Jet! Al will be joined by author Charlie Morris inside Building T along with a slew of Cobra Jet cars both old and new. Autograph sessions will be located in Building T and times are as follows:

Friday: 9a-11a and 2:30p-430p
Saturday: 9a-11a and 2:30p-4p
Sunday: 10a-12p

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