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Old 10-29-2010, 11:30 AM   #1
mart3406
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Default "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute page

From the net - "Slagle & Heap - 1943
International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville
Race Truck " tribute page.

Mart3406

-------------------------
http://rvsafetysystems.com/The%20Pho...SR%20Truck.htm

My Tribute to
the Phoenix Land

Speed Record

Truck


By Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO August, 2010


Update 10/28/10: since I published
this page, I have been able to
establish contact with several of
the family members associated with
this project.
Several folks have asked
if I could
include biographical data.
Rather
than republish data from the
internet,
I have asked the family to
provide information they wish to have
published.

Jan Heap said that she still has the
Phoenix in her possession. She is
trying to locate a museum that will
purchase the vehicle from her and

display it with a proper tribute to
the people involved.

At the bottom of this page, I have
listed two You Tube videos. I will
update this site as information is
obtained and time permits
---------------





This is the last picture I took of the
Phoenix at the 2003 Bonneville Speed
Week event. That year it set the
record
record of 272.685!!



This is the first picture I took
in 1990

My reason for this tribute is to document
an amazing project. It last ran at Bonneville
Speed Week in 2003. After the owner
passed away in 2004, it was never run again.
My fear is that the history of this truck and
the folks involved will be lost as the years
pass.

I was very fortunate to be at Bonneville in
1990 which was the second year that the
Phoenix ran on the salt and the last time it
ran (2003). In 1998, I worked with the
team when they used a Gates PolyChain
belt for the final drive. I have never
been around such fun loving people who
just had a ball being on the Salt.

The truck was built out of a junk yard
truck - a 1943 IHC K-7 model. The
truck was co-owned by R.B. Slagle and
Carl Heap.



Salvage yard version

Some of the specifications are:
*1943 IHC K-7 truck.

*Detroit Diesel 16V92 engine.
(1472 cubic inches)


*Engine is mounted behind the cab

*Engine has 4 turbo chargers and

produces in excess of 4,000 HP
.

*Engine is redlined at 3200 RPM as
opposed to the standard 2100 RPM


*Truck is over 18,000 pounds

*Truck used 737 and 747 airplane
tires
(update: Carl's son informed
me that
the front wheels are 707
nose wheel
tires)

*The truck had "skis" mounted on
the
front axle that allowed a safe
deceleration in the event of a front
tire failure.


*Transmission was an in-out box
coupled
to a "Brownie" auxiliary
transmission.
(used top three
speeds of a four speed
box)

*Truck did not have a clutch
system
- it was push started
and the in-out
engaged at the
proper speed.


*The truck uses 7 gallons of fuel in
5
miles. Carl estimated that it used
4
gallons in the last mile of the run.
Those numbers were from 1999 and
the fuel consumption in the next few
years probably increased in later
years.
---------------

My first exposure to the truck was very
memorable. It was on a trailer in a hotel
parking lot. A friend and I were kind of
sneaking around looking at this marvel.

All of a sudden this meat hook of a hand
hit my shoulder from behind and a very
deep voice boomed "son, you can't see
anything down here - crawl up there and
look to your hearts content". It was R.B.
Slagle the co-owner. He was an absolute
character and a wonderful person to be
around. R.B. drove the truck, while
co-owner Carl Heap oversaw most of the
maintenance and contributed strongly to
the various versions of the truck. After
R.B's passing, Carl took over the driving
chores.

In 1990 the truck was very basic with
an almost stock cab and an engine with
no cover in the back. By 2003 the
streamlining had become very
sophisticated. Both versions are shown
in the pictures below.



1990 Version



2003 Version


Over the years, the aerodynamics and
engine modifications permitted setting
many records:

Venue
Year
Driver
Sanctioning Body
Class
Speed (MPH
Standing Record
Bonneville Speed Week
2003
Carl Heap
SCTA
U/DT
272.685
Yes
Bonneville Speed Week
2002
Carl Heap
SCTA
U/DT
263.487
No
Bonneville Speed Week
2002
Carl Heap
SCTA
U/DT
254.450
No
Bonneville Speed Week
2002
Carl Heap
SCTA
U/DT
251.244
No
Bonneville Speed Week
2002
Carl Heap
SCTA
U/DT
231.356
No
Bonneville Speed Week
2002
Carl Heap
SCTA
U/DT
212.478
No
Bonneville
1990
R.B. Slagle
USFRA
M/DT
188.340
NO

Data from:
www.ugofadini.com/phoenixstory.html

Both R.B. and and Carl became members
of the elite 200 MPH club. R.B became
a member in 1992 with a speed of 212.440
and Carl in 2000 with a speed of 231.356.

R.B was the first driver of a truck to be
inducted in the 200 MPH club. By the
time I got to the pits shortly after Carl
had received his 200 MPH shirt, he had
already gotten it dirty. Sadly, R.B died
in 1998 and Carl died in 2004 - both from
cancer. I talked to Carl after he set the
272 MPH record in 2003, and it was
obvious that his health was not good.
Never-the-less, he still had a wonderful
time!

The following are some photos and
information that I have collected
over the years.


Push truck and Phoenix, 2003

This is one of my favorite photos. The
Peterbilt push truck has a very hopped
up 8V92 two-stroke engine. That year,
they cracked a head on the push truck
and the owner repaired it in the pits.

He was an old time two-stroke mechanic
and took a lot of time showing me how to
"run the rack". That is a process of
setting the injectors so that they all
function in unison. It is very sensitive
process that involves very special
techniques.

Update: I have been contacted by
Hazel Nielsen wife of George Nielsen
who still owns the Peterbilt. She gave
me the following information:

"The Pete started drag racing (as Class
of '65") in 1987--held the track record
at Woodburn Dragstrip for several years
-- fastest time in the quarter mile 12.24
seconds//113 MPH.. It weighed in at
12650 lbs without the driver. 2008 was
our last year at the drags. The Pete was
also campaigned on the salt and held a

record of 156.510 MPH in the Highway

Hauler Class until 1999
"


Tow truck and trailer

Again, this a favorite. The 3/4 ton 4X4
tow truck has a Detroit Diesel 6V92
two-stroke engine with twin turbo
chargers. My guess is that it produced
at least 400 HP. It was mated to a
truck 10 speed transmission and the
rear end is from a semi, machined down
so the 3/4 ton axles and wheels could
be used. A 6V92 weighs over 2,000
pounds, so the truck had to have special
springs. Getting the engine in the truck
must have involved a rather large
shoehorn! They said it really pulled the
trailer and Phoenix very well except for
cooling issues. Later they mounted a
large radiator in front of the grill.

Update: Carl's son Travis is trying to
located the current owner in an effort
to buy it back.


1990 version. No streamlining.



1991 Version. Start of streamlining.



2001 version. More streamlining



2003 final version front view



2003 final version rear view


The following is an email I received
from Carl. He was writing to a friend
of mine who was working at the National
Automotive and Truck Museum of the US
(www.natmus.org) in Auburn, IN at the
time. It is the home of Endeavor, a
competitor in diesel truck racing at
Bonneville.

"From: "Carl's 4x4"
Subject: Re Land Speed Record Trucks
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 22:38:31 -0800

Howard,
I received your e-mail in regards
to
land speed racing trucks. I have
also been in contact with Jim
Shepard
who is helping me with my
belt drive
system. Jim had everything
almost
correct, with a few exceptions.
There
are more than two diesel truck
classes.
At this point there is a Highway
Hauler
class and a diesel truck class for
trucks
under 1 ton. In the 1 ton class,
there
are breakdowns for cubic inches
including AA,A,B,C,D,E and F. Also
when Jim referred to the parachute
being deployed at about 100 mph,
that
is when I begin to use the brakes.
The
parachute is deployed as soon as I
cross the 5 mile marker at 239 mph.
Other than that I think Jim had it
very accurate.

In regards to the fuel consumption I
use about 7 gallons in a five mile run.
If you consider that I do not reach
maximum fuel consumption until mile
4, I would say that you are probably
correct in your guess at 4 gals per
mile at top speed.

I hope you can use some of this
information. If I can be of more help,
please let me know. I am not very
handy with this computer so please
bear with me.

Carl Heap"
----------------
Update 10/28/2010

Readers have referred me to two
You Tube Videos: Click here for video 1
This video is some raw footage from a
record run in 2003.

Click here for video 2
This video is a bit
of a “production”
showing lots of scenes
from 2003.
It has some goodfootage of
Carl ]
and his wife as well as various folks
involved withthe Phoenix. It has good
footage of the Peterbilt Push truck.

For the life of me, I don't recall
seeing
the plane flying that close
to the track.

The video does show how much fun
the
members of the team had.

It is troubling for me to watch
portions
of video 2, as you can see
the pain that
Carl is in. As noted
above, he passed
away the following
year from cancer. I
was in their pit
area at approximately
the time some
of the footage was taken.

The joy was unbelievable. Perhaps
some
of the special celebration was
the fact
that the folks close to the
team knew it
was the last year they
would be on the
salt as a team.

Note: the black smoke of both the
push truck and the Phoenix is normal.
They over fuel the engine to produce
the huge amounts of power. The first
time I saw the Phoenix run, I thought
it had caught fire.

As a side note, you can actually see
the
curvature of the earth at Bonneville.
The cars "disappear" over the horizon.
Some of the photographers at the
starting line some stand on ladders when
they are shooting long distance photos.

=======================================

Last edited by mart3406; 10-29-2010 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:52 PM   #2
BHT8BALL
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Default Re: "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute

I was pitted near them in impound waiting for certification and will agree they were a fun crew, they answered my naive questions about diesels and how to hop them up. I wish the video's had better pictures of the engine, it's awesome. Pat
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:18 PM   #3
Tman
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Default Re: "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute

I saw that thing run in 02, truly impressive!
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute

We all miss RB and Carl of carls 4x4. both great guys. the green 3/4 ton chevy was a car/truck guy porn for sure. The big truck used to set close to our old house on fairview.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:44 PM   #5
38FLATTIE
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Default Re: "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute

Very cool truck. I really hope Travis is succesful at buying the truck back!
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute

Yup...i saw 'em run out there too. Wasn't ready for the black smoke trail. Truly amazing.
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Old 10-29-2010, 02:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
Yup...i saw 'em run out there too. Wasn't ready for the black smoke trail. Truly amazing.
BIG BLACK smoke trail!
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute

I also watched it run in 2002. With the black smoke trail it looked like a locomotive crossing the desert. Sadly, I never took the time to visit with the crew. Sam
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MO_JUNK View Post
I also watched it run in 2002. With the black smoke trail it looked like a locomotive crossing the desert. Sadly, I never took the time to visit with the crew. Sam
Same here. I would love to see the thing back on the salt. Is the family not interested in selling it?
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:34 PM   #10
mart3406
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Default Re: "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute

There's a few more pics of the 'Slagle
& Heap Phoenix' at Bonneville in 2002
here.
www.dochemp.com/11-phoen.html.

Also a copy of R.B. Slagle's obituary
from the Medford Oregon 'Mail-Tribune'
newspaper from January 1998.

http://archive.mailtribune.com/archi...8/12798n11.htm

and

Carl Heap's obituary from the same
newspaper in July 2004

http://archive.mailtribune.com/archi.../obit/obit.htm
---------------
Mart3406
==========================

Last edited by mart3406; 10-29-2010 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:40 AM   #11
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Default Re: "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute

thanks for the tribute mart! any updates on the pickup? ... or the big rig for that matter? bonneville 2011 was fabulous as usual, but not too many oil burners.
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute

Saw it run in '98 - awesome machine and crew.
Someone should bring it back to the salt and go 300 in it.
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Old 09-22-2011, 09:14 AM   #13
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Default Re: "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute

This is really neat. I love the old Detroit 2-strokes.
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:41 PM   #14
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Default Re: "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute

I was fortunate enough to have met Carl in 2003 at Bonneville. I was crewing for another Unlimited Diesel Truck. Some of the powers to be did not like our approach to the class, but Carl spoke up for us and supported our attempt at the same record he was after. In the end we were no competition after all. Watching those two final runs was an experience I will never forget. I felt honored to meet Carl an still do today, he was a real class act.

Here is the truck I crewed for:
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:18 PM   #15
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Default Re: "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute

I have been talking with Travis Heap about doing a documentary on The Phoenix. Any sources of photos or video would be especially welcome. I have also proposed to him finding a way to see it on the salt again even if only for one last attempt at 300 mph. His mother in law owns the truck and it seems she is only interested in seeing it go to a museum. At this point I don't yet know if she wants to sell it to a museum or donate it. Sure would love to see it run again and break that magic barrier. Carl was oh so close.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:23 PM   #16
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Default Re: "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute

This truck was one of very few racers that absolutely stopped all other activity when it ran. Everyone just stood and watched with their mouths open. Unbelievable.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute

Well...here's hoping it can happen again.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:14 PM   #18
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I think they are from Grants Pass Oregon. My grandpa lives there and they use to store it down the road from his house. I haven't seen it for about 8 years.


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Old 12-07-2012, 04:22 PM   #19
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Default Re: "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute

Truck is still sitting in the shop last time we saw it as kids... Hope she lets travis bring it back out from the mothballs..
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:02 PM   #20
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Default Re: "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute

The bronco pulling truck sits near it also..
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