Born in 1921, Dick started working at his uncle's automotive repair shop at the age of 13. Working for his uncle for the next seven years, Dick found his passion while learning how to build reliable engines. World War II interrupted his engine building, as he enlisted in the Navy shortly after Pearl Harbor.
When the war ended, Dick returned to California and would go to work for McColluch, installing superchargers on customer engines. It was there that the owner of Champion, Robert Stranahan, met and hired Dick. Dick went to work for Champion Spark Plug Company in 1957.
Dick spent close to 30 years as Technical Racing Manager, in charge of Research and Development for Champion Spark Plug Company, at their West Coast Engine Dynamometer Test Facility in Long Beach, CA. Utilizing a nearly unlimited budget from Champion, Dick designed, developed and built engines that powered many race winners, Championships and most notably, four Indy 500 victories. It was during these years, Dick developed and refined his equations with guidance from his close friend Ed Winfield.
By the end of the 1960's, Dick was recognized worldwide, as one of the leading authorities on turbo-charging the internal combustion four-stroke engine. Through the 1970's, Dick had his hand in many successful engine development projects, including the Formula One Turbocharged Renault. After Dick had retired from Champion, he consulted on several engine projects and started his own camshaft company called Camshaft Technologies. Dick mainly used the camshaft company to manufacture the camshafts he designed for his engine consulting projects. By the time of his death, in 2000, his camshafts had proven themselves to be some of the most powerful by many of the premiere engine builders in racing.
Born in 1958, Rick grew up beside his father at the Champion Spark Plug Dyno Facility during the 1960’s. Rick was 5, when his father began educating him on the internal combustion four-cycle engine, which continued for 17 years. By the end of the 70’s, Rick had a well rounded education in machining, engine assembly, dyno operation and engine testing protocol. He had also gained a complete knowledge and understanding of the math and physics his father used to design and develop four Indy 500 winning engines, as well as, his engine / camshaft design equation.
In 1979, Dick and Rick decided to grind their own cams and spent a year of trial and error, learning how to grind inverse radius roller profiles at a relative's machine shop. From 1980 to 1982, Rick honed his cam grinding skills, while producing cams for Dick's consulting projects and a few hand picked engine builders. Having proved the capabilities of the inverse radius profiles, as well as, Rick's ability to provide accurate and quality camshafts, Dick turned the cam business over to Rick, making him 50% owner and President of the corporation. At the same time, Dick gave 50% of the corporation to Rick's younger brother Mike.
Rick changed the name of the business from Camshaft Technologies to Dick Jones Racing Camshafts, and began an assault on the performance industries cam companies. Rick started by placing ads that guaranteed a gain of 20 HP and 20 lb/ft of torque over any camshaft manufacturer or your money back. And at only 25 years of age, he followed that up with cold calls to almost every engine builder in the country, offering the same guarantee. As you could imagine, this did not go over well with a lot of people, including his father.
During the 80's, Rick increased the gross sales 42% each year, and built a great reputation for service, quality of workmanship, and making horsepower with reliability. But, family dynamics made it impossible for Rick to continue working with Mike, and Rick signed his part of the business over to his brother.
Rick began writing and selling Controlled Induction engine and camshaft design software, and over the next 20 years worked for several engine builders and development companies, assembling and dyno testing race engines, designing and manufacturing camshafts, learning to operate CNC machinery and write G-code.
10 years after receiving traumatic injuries to his head and spine, Rick will, once again, be shaking things up with his CI 2020.
ENGINE MODELING & CAMSHAFT DESIGN SOFTWARE
ABOUT RICK JONES
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Camshaft Design & Profile Generation Software