Axial compressive neck injuries occurring during head-first impacts in sports and transportation accidents devastate the lives of those affected and their families. We desired a physical surrogate head and neck to provide a sufficiently biofidelic and repeatable response to head-first impacts for the purposes of evaluating injury prevention strategies and testing the efficacy of devices intended to prevent or mitigate injury. A surrogate neck based upon biomechanical concepts specifically for head-first impacts has been designed and built for use with a surrogate head and custom drop tower already developed and being used in our lab. The design allows for both sagittal rotation and compression between adjacent vertebrae in the sagittal plane. Vertebrae are constrained to rotate about centers of rotation typically located on an adjacent inferior vertebrae. A spring loaded preload mechanism utilizing 4 cables, 2 on each lateral side, applies preload along the centers of rotation for each vertebral level. In this study, it was our objective to subject the surrogate head and neck to a variety of baseline mechanical tests. Flexion-extension rotation response testing and a series of head-first impacts were performed with and without a guided preload system. Full surrogate spine (C0-T1) flexion-extension flexibility tests have been performed on a custom spine machine at three preloads (0,78, and 104 N) that can apply pure dynamic moments at controlled loading rates. 12 impacts onto a rigid perpendicular surface were conducted, 6 with preload and 6 without. In both flexibility and drop testing, kinematics were determined by tracking markers and planar photogrammetry. Drop testing showed a repeatable and realistic decoupled response between head and neck loading. Significant differences (α=.05) were found to exist for peak neck load, neck impulse duration, peak head load, initial head impulse magnitude, and the time lag between head and neck loading. Kinematics in drop testing were very repeatable with and without preload although the kinematic patterns and posture prior to impact were quite different. Flexibility testing showed a highly non linear flexion-extension response with a large neutral zone. The range of motion (ROM) was considerably smaller with each incremental preload magnitude tested. Subaxial (C2-C7) and intersegmental ROM without a preload were within an acceptable tolerance of published data for in vitro and in vivo data.