Tag Archives: Cummins

Diesel Über Alles – Audi R10 TDI #102

After winning Le Mans five times from six attempts between 2000 and 2005, interrupted only by Bentley with it’s Audi derived V8 motor, Audi entered the 2006 season with a real game changer.

The turbocharged 5.5 litre V12 335 cui motor used to power the Audi R10 TDI was to run on diesel, and thus reopen a frontier of development in top line motorsport not seriously looked at since the turbocharged Cummins Diesel Special appeared at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1952.

Audi R10 TDI, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Chassis #102 seen here at Goodwood Festival of Speed appeared in just six races in 2006, after being the fastest car in testing at the Sebring it disgraced it’s self by retiring with an overheating motor in the Sebring 12 hours with Frank Biela, Marco Werner and Emanuele Pirro at the wheel. It’s sister car chassis #101 driven by Rinaldo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish became the first diesel powered vehicle to win an international sports car race.

The #102 was 4th fastest on it’s next appearance at the Le Mans test day and two weeks later qualified second for the 2006 Le Mans 24 Hour Race with the Frank, Marco and Emmanuel again sharing the driving.

Audi R10 TDI, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The 2006 Le Mans 24 Hours was won by today’s featured car which finished four laps ahead of the petrol powered Pescarolo Sport C60 Hybrid driven by Rally legend Sebastian Loeb with Eric Hélary and Franck Montagny.

After Le Mans #102 was sent back to the States to compete in the American Le Mans series where it competed in four more events with Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela sharing the car for two second place finishes at Portland and Laguna Seca.

The R10 TDI claimed two further Le Mans victories in 2007 and 2008 and every Le Mans winner between 2006 and 2011 would be diesel powered with Peugeot interrupting the Audi juggernaut with it diesel powered 908 HDI in 2009. In 2012 and 2013 Audi continued winning Le Mans with it’s diesel electric hybrid R18 e-tron quattro model.

Thanks for joining me on this “Diesel Überalles” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow for another pre ’39/’45 war British Le Mans competitor designed by W.O.Bentley, that is not a Bentley. Don’t forget to come back now !


Santa’s Li’l Pick Up – Ford F-750 Super Duty XLT

Primarily aimed at businesses and municipalities the F-650/F-750 range replaced the F-600/F-700/F-800 range of vehicles that had been in production since 1980.

Ford F-750 Super Duty XLT, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

Today’s featured vehicle is a 2000 crew cab powered by a 185 hp 5.9 litre / 359 cui turbo diesel Cummins straight 6 and

Ford F-750 Super Duty XLT, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

6 speed automatic transmission, which might come in handy for Santa when he sets off on his annual nocturnal round the world odyssey.

Ford F-750 Super Duty XLT, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

F-650’s and F-750’s were manufactured in a joint venture with Navistar International and Blue Diamond Truck Company LLC at a Navistar factory in Escobedo, Mexico. F-650 production will move to Avin Lake Ohio in 2013.

Ford F-750 Super Duty XLT, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

The ladder chassis is an International ladder frame with an F series body on top.

Ford F-750 Super Duty XLT, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

This model is fitted with disc brakes front and rear which have an anti lock braking system, ABS, fitted as standard. Is it me or are the pick up body rear wheel arches too small for the dually rear wheels ?

Ford F-750 Super Duty XLT, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

With a gross vehicle weight of 30,000 lbs and 20,000 lb load capacity there should be plenty of room for Santa’s surprises in the back and if he needs more space there is a substantial towing hitch, maybe Rudolf and his friends will get to take this evening off !

Wishing all GALPOT readers and contributors a Merry Christmans and best wishes for the New Year.

Thanks for joining me on this “Santa’s Li’l Pick Up” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Fearless Freddy and the Cummins Diesel Special

Staying with the 1952 Indy 500 which I started to look at yesterday today we are looking at the Cummins Diesel Special, thanks to a photograph taken by Ed Arnaudin in 1982.

Cummins Special, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The history of Cummins the diesel engine manufacturer dates back to 1919 Clessie Cummins set out to exploit the hitherto unrealised commercial potential of Rudolf Diesels high compression thermal engine which takes it’s name from it’s inventor the diesel engine.

Based in Colombus Indiana Cummins a self taught engineer was also quick to spot opportunities to promote his products through events like the Indy 500 and in 1931 entered a car built around a Duesenberg road car chassis fitted with an 85 hp Cummins deisel marine engine which started last but thanks to it’s fuel economy came home 13th and in the process became the first car ever to complete the Indy 500 without making a pitstop.

This car was subsequently prepared for use on the road and used by Cummins and his marketing manager WG Irwin on a promotional tour of Europe.

In 1934 Cummins returned with a two car entry the #5 powered by a two stroke diesel which went the distance coming in 12th and the #6 by a 4 stroke diesel which retired with transmission failure.

In 1950 Cummins returned to the Brickyard with the #61 Cummins Deisel ‘Green Hornet’ a 340 hp supercharged diesel sitting in a Kurtis Kraft chassis driven by Jimmy Jackson who started 32nd and retired after 50 laps of the rain shortened race. The Green Hornet would take the diesel land speed record at Bonneville after it was timed at 165 mph on the famous salt flats.

For 1952 Cummins held nothing back from their Indy 500 programme working again with Kurtis Kraft the chassis now accommodated a 380 hp 6.6 litre / 401 cui six cylinder turbocharged engine, mandated at twice the size of the gasoline powered vehicles in the race.

The motor featured an aluminium block and head with a magnesium crank case, this unit was lain 5 degrees off flat which gave the #28 three advantages, reduced centre of gravity, reduce the frontal area and thanks to the offset engine some of it’s weight could be distributed so that the car was heavier on the left (inside) wheels.

Fearless Fred Agabashian was hired to drive the Cummins Diesel Special on the recommendation of Kurtis. After the car was tested for the first time the team, comprising almost entirely regular Cummins employees who worked as engineers and mechanics apart from the driver, knew they had a veritable ‘Rocketship’ on their hands.

Fred sandbagged for much of the month of May until Pole day by lifting off on the back straight one lap cruising through a turn on another never completing a whole lap under full power so as not to draw attention to the ‘Rocketship’ capability of the car and risk having the rules changed.

Come 5:45 pm on pole day Fred and the heavy, 3,100 lb, Cummins Diesel Special fitted with a fresh engine made their mark on the world of motor sport by setting an individual lap record of 139 mph and a record 4 lap average of 138 mph.

Qualifying over 1 mph faster than the next nearest competitor in one of the most famous races in the world with a vehicle powered by what was in essence a truck engine subsequently repaid Cummins investment many times over in the volume of publicity this feat generated.

Having shredded their tyres in qualifying the Cummins team needed a different strategy in the race and planned to run a half a tank of diesel and make one pit stop for fuel and tyres. The heavy Cummins Diesel Special was in good company with Ascari and his heavy Ferrari, both cars bogged down at the start but climbed through the field.

Agabashain in the Cummins was running as high as fifth when the car probably claimed a world first, retirement due to…. turbo failure after 71 laps, the air intake for the turbocharger, placed low in the nose, had sucked up debris into the turbine housing damaging the blades.

Cummins however were not in the least disappointed they remain the only manufacturer of truck engines to have recorded an Indy 500 pole. An achievement possibly only eclipsed recently by the 4 victories Audi Diesels in the Le Mans 24 hours since 2006, interrupted by a Peugeot Diesel victory in 2009.

A small post script allegedly in 1953 a spark plug manufacturer was advertising its wares, in the 1953 Indy 500 programe, with a picture of the 1952 Cummins Diesel Special, the only car in the 1952 field without need of them.

My thanks to Steve Arnaudin for scanning and forwarding his Dad’s photograph.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s “Fearless Freddy” edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil, psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !