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Folks Of Interest "Slagle & Heap - '43 International/Detroit Diesel Bonneville Race Truck" Tribute page

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by mart3406, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. mart3406
    Joined: May 31, 2009
    Posts: 3,055

    from Canada

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


    ------------------------- Phoenix LSR Truck.htm

    My Tribute to
    the Phoenix Land

    Speed Record


    By Jim Shepherd
    Evergreen, CO August, 2010

    <table width="70%" border="1"> <tbody><tr> <td>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.
    than republish data from the
    I have asked the family to
    provide information they wish to have

    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
    </td> </tr> </tbody></table>


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

    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
    (update: Carl's son informed
    me that
    the front wheels are 707
    nose wheel

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

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

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

    *The truck uses 7 gallons of fuel in
    miles. Carl estimated that it used
    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

    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

    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:

    <table width="100%" align="left" border="1" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0"> <colgroup> <col width="37*"><col width="37*"><col width="37*"><col width="37*"> <col width="37*"><col width="37*"><col width="37*"> </colgroup> <tbody><tr valign="TOP"> <td width="14%"> [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive] Venue[/FONT]
    </td> <td width="14%"> [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive] Year[/FONT]
    </td> <td width="14%"> [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive] Driver[/FONT]
    </td> <td width="14%"> [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive] Sanctioning Body[/FONT]
    </td> <td width="14%"> [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive] Class[/FONT]
    </td> <td width="14%"> [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive] Speed (MPH[/FONT]
    </td> <td width="14%"> [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive] Standing Record[/FONT]
    </td> </tr> <tr valign="TOP"> <td width="14%"> Bonneville Speed Week
    </td> <td width="14%"> 2003
    </td> <td width="14%"> Carl Heap
    </td> <td width="14%"> SCTA
    </td> <td width="14%"> U/DT
    </td> <td width="14%"> 272.685
    </td> <td width="14%"> Yes
    </td> </tr> <tr valign="TOP"> <td width="14%"> Bonneville Speed Week
    </td> <td width="14%"> 2002
    </td> <td width="14%"> Carl Heap
    </td> <td width="14%"> SCTA
    </td> <td width="14%"> U/DT
    </td> <td width="14%"> 263.487
    </td> <td width="14%"> No
    </td> </tr> <tr valign="TOP"> <td width="14%"> Bonneville Speed Week
    </td> <td width="14%"> 2002
    </td> <td width="14%"> Carl Heap
    </td> <td width="14%"> SCTA
    </td> <td width="14%"> U/DT
    </td> <td width="14%"> 254.450
    </td> <td width="14%"> No
    </td> </tr> <tr valign="TOP"> <td width="14%"> Bonneville Speed Week
    </td> <td width="14%"> 2002
    </td> <td width="14%"> Carl Heap
    </td> <td width="14%"> SCTA
    </td> <td width="14%"> U/DT
    </td> <td width="14%"> 251.244
    </td> <td width="14%"> No
    </td> </tr> <tr valign="TOP"> <td width="14%"> Bonneville Speed Week
    </td> <td width="14%"> 2002
    </td> <td width="14%"> Carl Heap
    </td> <td width="14%"> SCTA
    </td> <td width="14%"> U/DT
    </td> <td width="14%"> 231.356
    </td> <td width="14%"> No
    </td> </tr> <tr valign="TOP"> <td width="14%"> Bonneville Speed Week
    </td> <td width="14%"> 2002
    </td> <td width="14%"> Carl Heap
    </td> <td width="14%"> SCTA
    </td> <td width="14%"> U/DT
    </td> <td width="14%"> 212.478
    </td> <td width="14%"> No
    </td> </tr> <tr valign="TOP"> <td width="14%"> Bonneville
    </td> <td width="14%"> 1990
    </td> <td width="14%"> R.B. Slagle
    </td> <td width="14%"> USFRA
    </td> <td width="14%"> M/DT
    </td> <td width="14%"> 188.340
    </td> <td width="14%"> NO
    </td> </tr> </tbody></table>

    Data from:

    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

    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

    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
    ( in Auburn, IN at the
    time. It is the home of Endeavor, a
    competitor in diesel truck racing at

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

    I received your e-mail in regards
    land speed racing trucks. I have
    also been in contact with Jim
    who is helping me with my
    belt drive
    system. Jim had everything
    correct, with a few exceptions.
    are more than two diesel truck
    At this point there is a Highway
    class and a diesel truck class for
    under 1 ton. In the 1 ton class,
    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,
    is when I begin to use the brakes.
    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
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]You Tube Videos: Click here for video 1
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]This video is some raw footage from a
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]record run in 2003.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]
    Click here for video 2
    This video is a bit
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]of a “production”
    showing lots of scenes
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]from 2003.
    It has some goodfootage of
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]Carl ]
    and his wife as well as various folks
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]involved withthe Phoenix. It has good
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]footage of the Peterbilt Push truck.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]For the life of me, I don't recall
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]the plane flying that close
    to the track.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]The video does show how much fun
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]members of the team had.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]
    It is troubling for me to watch
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]of video 2, as you can see
    the pain that
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive] Carl is in. As noted
    above, he passed
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]away the following
    year from cancer. I
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]was in their pit
    area at approximately
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]the time some
    of the footage was taken.
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]
    The joy was unbelievable. Perhaps
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]of the special celebration was
    the fact
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]that the folks close to the
    team knew it
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]was the last year they
    would be on the
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]salt as a team.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]Note: the black smoke of both the
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]push truck and the Phoenix is normal.
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]They over fuel the engine to produce
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]the huge amounts of power. The first
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]time I saw the Phoenix run, I thought[/FONT]
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive] it had caught fire. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]
    As a side note, you can actually see
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]curvature of the earth at Bonneville.
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]The cars "disappear" over the horizon.
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]Some of the photographers at the
    [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]starting line some stand on ladders when[/FONT]
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]they are shooting long distance photos.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]=======================================
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
    Joined: Aug 22, 2010
    Posts: 262


    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
  3. I saw that thing run in 02, truly impressive!
  4. 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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  5. 38FLATTIE
    Joined: Oct 26, 2008
    Posts: 4,350

    from Colorado

    Very cool truck. I really hope Travis is succesful at buying the truck back!
  6. Yup...i saw 'em run out there too. Wasn't ready for the black smoke trail. Truly amazing.
  7. BIG BLACK smoke trail!
  8. MO_JUNK
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,027

    from Rolla, Mo.

    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
  9. Same here. I would love to see the thing back on the salt. Is the family not interested in selling it?
  10. mart3406
    Joined: May 31, 2009
    Posts: 3,055

    from Canada

    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  11. Loadedagain
    Joined: May 1, 2009
    Posts: 23


    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.
  12. aircap
    Joined: Mar 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,496


    Saw it run in '98 - awesome machine and crew.
    Someone should bring it back to the salt and go 300 in it.
  13. Frosty21
    Joined: Jan 25, 2007
    Posts: 958

    from KY

    This is really neat. I love the old Detroit 2-strokes.
  14. jroberts
    Joined: Oct 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,595


    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:
  15. M.D.
    Joined: Jun 17, 2008
    Posts: 107


    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.
  16. AnimalAin
    Joined: Jul 20, 2002
    Posts: 3,417


    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.
  17. M.D.
    Joined: Jun 17, 2008
    Posts: 107

    Member's hoping it can happen again.
  18. percifab
    Joined: May 1, 2010
    Posts: 79

    from Dixon,CA

    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.

    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
    Joined: Mar 12, 2009
    Posts: 58


    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..
    Joined: Mar 12, 2009
    Posts: 58


    The bronco pulling truck sits near it also..
  21. Lytles Garage
    Joined: May 6, 2011
    Posts: 617

    Lytles Garage

    Saw that record run, most impressive thing I have ever witnessed !!! THANKS Carl !!! Chris
    Joined: Mar 12, 2009
    Posts: 58


  23. donnie
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 191

    from NC

    Someone (Frenchblue72) really needs to go to the fair and get some pictures of the truck as it is today.
  24. Lets hope the new owner runs it again!
  25. donnie
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 191

    from NC

    I would love to see this thing run. I just wonder what it would take to make it legal to run, new roll cage? Would they let them run the airplane tires now? Fire equimpment and so no.
  26. I'll never forget seeing that thing run. It was incredible.
    Joined: Mar 12, 2009
    Posts: 58


    I'm sorry guys I had to work all weekend but the truck was sold to a collector back east so I doubt it will be on the salt ever again.. The pics I did see of the truck on tv show it just as it was last raced..
    Joined: Mar 12, 2009
    Posts: 58


    Here is how it sits...

    Attached Files:

  29. Got to watch the truck's last record run, what a piece of machinery. Way cool.
  30. sir
    Joined: Oct 8, 2005
    Posts: 467


    It was on display at the fairgrounds in Grants Pass during the county fair still looks ready...sorry no pictures my bad.....

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