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When the Diesel came to Indy...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,361


  2. Fantastic write up!! thanks
  3. Nice write-up there!!!

    Back until not too long ago, there was a VERY diverse number of cars running at Indy - different engines, bodies, designs - now, it's one or two cars and one, maybe two, engines. Just like NA$CAR. Truly a shame!
  4. If my memory is on target this morning, there's a large diesel plant just south of the speedway. I always figured there just had to be a connection there. Anyone have details or history?

  5. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don

    I always wondered why we never saw more of that car. Thanks for letting us know.
  6. I've done a lot of work on Diesel engines and it always seemed to me that Cummins was the best. My dad told me a story of when he worked for the Porterville Poltry Ass. in the '30s loading trucks, the ones powered by the old Dodge Diesels would barely climb (a walking pace so you could get out of the truck while it was still running up hill and walk around to check your tires) the Grapevine going to LA and when the "New" Cummins powered trucks came out they could take the grade at 15 mph. That "New" engine in 1937 was very much like the 855s still running today, a very good design. ;)
  7. AG F/C
    Joined: Oct 20, 2009
    Posts: 361

    AG F/C

    I wonder if the car still exists. Maybe in a museum somewhere?? Would luv to see it in person.
  8. kurtis
    Joined: Mar 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,989

    from Australia

    I sometimes imagine an Indy 500 with diesel powered cars although i doubt it will happen anytime soon.

    This car was fast. Thanks Jive.

    Attached Files:

  9. hotrodjeep
    Joined: Feb 3, 2009
    Posts: 867

    from Tama, Iowa

    Here's a few shots of the Cummins car at the Speedway museum Oct 2009.
    Its Green and Gold? I know its not the same one as mentioned in the op,
    but I thought you all would like it.

    I can't remember what years it raced. Looks like the sign in the last pic says 1950.
    Well, it looks like IFS and disk brakes on fenderless cars is Traditional......


    Attached Files:

  10. B Blue
    Joined: Jul 30, 2009
    Posts: 281

    B Blue

    Cummins is headquartered and has considerable manufacturing facilities in Columbus, Indiana, about 50 miles south of Indy. This car was a factory effort.

    I worked with a guy that had the opportunity to drive the race car a short distance on the Cummins Campus. He came away from the experience with a shit load of respect for Freddie, who was not a big guy. He just could not see how anyone could drive it for any length of time. Hot, noisy, uncomfortable, hard steering monster.

  11. Racingphotoguy
    Joined: Jun 23, 2009
    Posts: 88

    from Wisconsin

    A very cool article. Thank you for posting
  12. A very awesome read. Thanks Jive.
  13. RustyShackleford
    Joined: Jan 25, 2010
    Posts: 32


    i saw that at the speedway museum. i love diesels. its also amazing to see how the cars evolved over time there. they got most of the years. that was an amazing place. great article!!
  14. cb1
    Joined: May 31, 2007
    Posts: 403

    from Wisconsin

    Anyone know what motor that is based on??
  15. stude_trucks
    Joined: Sep 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,755


    "Quit while we are ahead"? I never make that mistake.
  16. Slim Pickens
    Joined: Dec 15, 2008
    Posts: 3,342

    Slim Pickens

    I just love that line... Let’s quit while we’re ahead.”
    Thanks. It shows alot of strength to do that. Slim
  17. Adam.Perrault
    Joined: Nov 10, 2009
    Posts: 124

    from Phoenix AZ

    I want one for the street. that should be my daily driver. one more project for the books!
  18. SDhotrod
    Joined: Oct 11, 2008
    Posts: 572


    Audi is having quite a bit of success with a diesel in their Le Mans type cars.

    Interesting read. Thanks!
    Joined: Nov 29, 2007
    Posts: 497


    good read, ive always loved diesels
  20. Chuck G.
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 381

    Chuck G.

    Attached Files:

  21. BangerMatt
    Joined: Mar 3, 2008
    Posts: 465


    Built on a 1931 Duesenberg chassis, proof that diesel engines offer great fuel economy.
  22. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,733


    I remember when this car was introduced (I read about it in the original Hop Up magazine), and that it was on the pole. I was really impressed with it.
    The article pointed out that the body was so low that without the headrest, it could be upside down and would still roll on its tires. In '52, that was radical!

    I thought (and still do) that the shape of the body was exceptionally handsome, and it was right at the end of the wire wheel era at Indy. I love its looks!
  23. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,819

    from KCMO

    F1 is even talking of racing diesels.
    slightly more complex than the old cummins however.
  24. choprodinc
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 141


    great write! can't beat indy for pure speed! even today... 220 mph, wheels a foot a part from each other... BIG BALLS!
  25. wizzard23
    Joined: Dec 12, 2009
    Posts: 733


    The Indy style roadsters were the coolest racecars ever! Thanks for sharing.
  26. kurtis
    Joined: Mar 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,989

    from Australia

    Clessie Cummins first venture to Indy was in 1911 when he served as pitman on Ray Harroun's winning Marmon Wasp. In 1931 he commisioned the Duesenberg brothers to build him a car to challenge for the Diesel world record and to run at Indy that same year. Built on the Model A platform this car was fitted with a 361ci 4 cylinder putting out around 90hp. Driven by Dave Evans the car achieved speeds of 100mph at Daytona Beach then at the 500 race he qaulified the car last but finished on the lead lap in 13th without making a fuel stop.
    In 1932 two cars were built, one powered by a supercharged 364ci 4 stroke 6 cyminder while the other car was fitted with a 2 stroke engine and it was this car that finished in 12th place, the best for a diesel. The 6cyl. would eventually retire on lap 81 with tansmission failure.
    Another car was built for the '50 Indy this time driven by Jimmy Jackson but retires after 52 laps with a shattered harmonic balancer. This is the green #61 that was posted earlier. built by Frank Kurtis and fitted with an aluminum and magnesium engine.
    Going back to Jive-Bomber's original post it is said the '52 Agabashian car failed due to debris entering the turbo. While this maybe correct there are some historians who suggest the cars premature retirement was the result of shredding tires. If anyone has a chance to see the qaulifying laps it's very noticeable to the eye just how much smoke was coming from the front tires. Whoever it is you believe it can't be denied that this car was FAST.

    Attached Files:

  27. tjm73
    Joined: Feb 17, 2006
    Posts: 3,382


    Cool. Would love to read some technical stuff on the engine.
  28. kurtis
    Joined: Mar 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,989

    from Australia

    There is a DVD you can purchase or view online.

    I haven't seen it but from what i've heard it explains the build on the 1950 car, magnesium crankcase and aluminum head and pistons.

    After all that the car was still too heavy.
  29. johnny bondo
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,547

    johnny bondo
    from illinois

    all that work making an over perfect restoration, and they used the wrong tires...... lol the fact that stuff bothers me lets me know im insane.
  30. Brandy
    Joined: Dec 23, 2004
    Posts: 5,286

    from Texas

    Oh my god! This thread is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING and I am beyond stunned/flabbergasted!

    My father worked for Cummins for over 20 years; I grew up on the shop floor being raised by 15 mechanics *my mother was MIA*...............for me, there is NO other diesel engine and Cummins is the VERY reason I got my certifications in heavy equipment and diesel mechanics.

    It floors me to no end to know that they actually participated in such a historic event!! Thank you SO much for this!

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