Waldo Stakes began modifying motorcycles to increase their speed at 14 years of age with his hobby being designing and flying homemade rockets. He was married at 19 years of age and was the father of three children by the age of 23. By the time he was twenty he was designing aerodynamic bodies for Hydrogen Peroxide fueled rocket dragsters which set track records all over the USA during the 1970s. During this time he was also hopping up street racing cars in order to "Rat Race" which was a form of street racing hide and go seek and tag with hot rods. This was played in the streets of Chicago and it's suburbs and is probably the most dangerous sport using an automobile. All the while Waldo was building rockets, learning liquid rocketry and studying aircraft and automobile aerodynamics.

 At age 28 he moved his family to southern California in order to build his first rocket powered unlimited land speed record vehicle. Eventually Sonic Wind a bipropellant rocket powered ice racer was designed aero tested and built. This was funded solely from his income as a Contractor and built with the help of only two friends. Ken Mason who handled propulsion and Larry Hayes a race car fabricator.

 Also during this time Waldo honed his fabrication skills and began working on or campaigning land speed motorcycle streamliners and various class cars running at SCTA meets at El Mirage and Bonneville. He was voted into the well known SCTA club the "Land Speed Racers". He has worked on vehicles which have set over 30 land speed records in many different SCTA classes. He spent 15 years learning land speed vehicle dynamics with the fastest men on Earth.

Currently he is CEO of Land Speed Research Vehicles, LLC and co/owner and builder of the Imagine LSRV land speed rocket car. It is without peer and will be the most powerful, well thought out and fastest automobile on Earth for many years to come. Currently no other car being built can even come close to the expected top speeds of Imagine LSRV because of it's unique rocket technology which utilizes an engine from the Atlas ICBM. With 40 years of on hands knowledge in high speed vehicles and real NASA rocketry at his disposal. He has helped and consulted most of the fastest teams and current land speed record contenders on Earth and is known by many as Dr. Landspeed.

His vehicles are unique in that Waldo considers the land speed record to be a sort of martial art. An art which takes a life time to master. Like a martial artist all his vehicle designs use all the dynamic and aerodynamic forces acting on them to stabilize and streamline them. Just as a martial artist uses his opponent's kinetic energy against him.

He currently lives on the Ord Mountains in the high desert of southern California with his wife Denise. His sole passion and primary goal at this time in his life is bringing the land speed record back to the United States after being in Great Britain's hands for the last 25 years.

Waldo E. Stakes- Designer, Builder and CEO
of Land Speed Research Vehicles, LLC


Ed was involved in aerospace egress and design testing for most of his entire aerospace career. He worked for or closely with most of the largest aerospace contractors such as Northrop and Boeing. He worked on hundreds of types of aircraft from the exotic F-23 Black Widow to the Sr-71 Blackbird. His personal aerospace history was as diverse as aerospace itself.

Sadly Ed passed away in 2006 but was always there for me whenever I had a question about an aerospace topic and I had a lot of them. He gave me insight into all the parameters that make up a vehicle such as the type I am building now and I could never repay him for his time and wealth of knowledge. 

Barbara since Ed’s passing has still been a huge influence on my project and life with her wisdom and insight. She has sent me much data that Ed had squirreled away through the years. Incredibly this data is still consulting me as I progress on this project. It is amazing and she is wonderful for doing this. She also had a rich aerospace career and was involved in many aerospace projects a few which still can’t be talked about. She consults me on life issues whenever I need a grounded, well rounded opinion and she has helped give me new insight on the many problems that I have had.

Both Ed and Barbara were both hot air balloon pilots as that was their hobby for many years. I thank them both and if ever there were two dedicated Sonic Wind team member Ed and Barbara are them. 


Consultants Edwin “Ed” Drumheller II
and Barbara Drumheller



Oscar W.  Sepp is president of O. W.  Sepp and Associates providing technical and systems development consultation to the DoD, aerospace industry and international clientele.  He has provided his services for over 55 years in that venue after receiving his BSME from MIT’54.  While serving as an officer in the US Air Force, he worked closely with the Von Braun German engineers and scientists employed by the US government through “Operation Paperclip.”

He has been the recipient of numerous US patents, inventions and awards including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Support  Systems Award “for significant contribution to the overall effectiveness of the aerospace systems through to development of improved systems technology.”

He also received the IEEE Autotestcon Frank McGinnis Award for outstanding leadership, individual initiative and technical contributions in the field of automatic test engineering.  He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Scientific Research Society of North America and past member of the NASA Aerospace Review Board.

He has been the designer of aerodynamic stabilization and retardation systems for airdropped nuclear weapons and has been intimately involved with the design of aircrew members escape from disabled aircraft, including capsules and high-speed ejection seats.

A composite summary of his accomplishments in the world of escape systems is on display at the Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas, Texas. He is the author of his autobiography, “There Were No Free Lunches” and covers the period from 1931 through 2008.

He currently resides with his spouse, JoAnn, in Redlands, California


Oscar Sepp - Senior Technical Consultant






Tone Stakes (son of Waldo) is a marketing professional based in San Diego, CA. He has over 10 years of experience in Marketing, Advertising, Branding, and Promotions. Tone has gained his experience working in radio for Infinity Broadcasting and Lincoln Financial Media, and in the sports industry at the Upper Deck Company.

Tone resides in San Diego with his pregnant wife Shannon, his future child, and their dog Paisley. When not working, Tone likes to hear Waldo's perspectives on life and try to figure out what Waldo and Ken Mason are talking about....drag coefficient anyone?

Tone Stakes- Marketing , VP
Land Speed Research Vehicles, LLC


Ed Torsello, owner of Airtime Web Design, Airtime Communications and Pantry Classic .a subsidiary of Woodworks Manufacturing and Sales.
Ed is automotive sales and marketing professional with a diversified background over the past 43 years. Experience includes automotive vehicle sales, retail and wholesale environments, marketing, remarketing, and product development. Solid business background with extensive sales and marketing knowledge.

Recognized for strong project management, business-focus and resource management capabilities.

Ed Torsello - Web Designer