Joe Harmon, 27, started the project with other students at North Carolina State University to see whether it was possible to build a performance car out of wood.
Their creation - the Splinter - should be completed later this year and they believe it should be capable of speeds in excess of 240mph.
Mr Harmon said: "Wood is a truly amazing material to work with. It has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than aluminum or steel, and it possesses a versatility that makes many different types of construction techniques possible.
"The look, feel, and smell of a natural material like wood are not seen elsewhere and cannot be faked, and the satisfaction involved in making something from a piece of wood is awesome.
"People are so caught up in thinking that the wood will burn or crack or splinter because they fail to see wood as just another material that has its advantages and disadvantages."
But Mr Harmon has doubts whether his pioneering work could ever be commercially viable.
"I don't harbour much doubt that a lot of people will want to have one, but I would be surprised to see any wooden cars on the road any time soon," he said.
"The amount of labour involved in the manufacturing process is very high, and I am not sure if people will ever get over the fear of the safety aspect."(aussieexotics.com/ananova.com)