Mike Humble / Cummins Engine Co
One of the most famous diesel-powered race cars of all time, the No.28 Cummins Diesel Special, will bring its distinctive diesel growl to the Goodwood Festival of Speed taking place June 29 to July 2 as it runs up the iconic hill climb track in a rare public appearance following restoration of the original JT-600 engine. In 1952 the car created a diesel sensation with a record-breaking qualifying speed of 138 mph (222 kph) to take pole position at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 500 race, then a points scoring round of the F1 championship.
To the astonishment of the industry, the experimental Diesel Special with the 430 bhp (321 kW) Cummins engine had outperformed some of the fastest petrol powered race cars in the world to become the first and only diesel to take the coveted pole position.
The Diesel Special was invited to run at Goodwood by the Earl of March as part of a fabulous line-up of historic race cars to reflect the ‘Peaks of Performance – Motorsport’s Game Changer’ theme for the 2017 Festival.
Under pressure, Under time – The game changer No.28:
In today’s language, No.28 would be described as a ‘technology disruptor’, as not only did it unleashed the potential of the diesel engine, but also introduced some remarkable innovations to Indy race car design. Not only was No.28 the first Indy 500 race car to be turbocharged, it was the first to be fully aerodynamically designed and wind tunnel tested. With a radiant red-and-yellow colour scheme, the Diesel Special handled superbly on the track due to a radically different Kurtis-Kraft roadster chassis, designed lower and longer to accommodate the diesel engine.
The 6.6-litre, 24-valve engine featured Cummins revolutionary Pressure-Time (PT) fuel system, with the pump supplying the fuel at low pressure to a common rail and then injected at high pressure by unit injectors to each cylinder. The PT system, combined with the first use of a turbocharger at Indy, enabled a faster engine speed of up to 4,500 rpm. The PT system was newly developed by Clessie Cummins and the engineering team at the Company headquarters in Columbus, Indiana, where the Diesel Special proudly resides today, located just 50 miles from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Cummins Railton now completed on display:
On display on the Cummins Engines pavilion will the be the incredible Cummins – Railton car, a modern day homage to the 1932 Brooklands built aero engine powered Napier Railton record breaking racer. Powered by a bespoke turbo and supercharged Darlington built 6.7 litre Cummins iSB engine, the Cummins – Railton was designed and built by West Country engineer Terry Clarke with engineering input from the factory’s Darlington based engineers. The car develops well over 480bhp with future plans to increase this even further.
Previous visitors to Cummins at the festival who may have seen the car when little more than a rolling chassis will be impressed to see the car in fully completed and road-going form. Mainly assembled in a small industrial unit, visitors will be visually treated to a moving work of art that resembles something mass produced with millions of pounds worth of corporate development behind it. The car and its creator welcome all to Cummins pavilion at Goodwood. For a little more info on the car CLICK HERE
Visitors to the Festival of Speed will be able to see the legendary diesel racer up close in the paddock area and when it takes to the track as part of the ‘Americana’ car batch on the hill climb. The Cummins pit crew will be on hand to provide an insight into the technology that made the No.28 Cummins Diesel Special. So special and famous in fact that it played a huge part in paving the way for the company’s current day global success in automotive engineering and power generation.
Cummins latest ultra-low emission bus and truck engines built at the UK Darlington Engine Plant and the Cummins Railton car are to be found on display at the Cummins pavilion on Plot 8, near the start line – you wont be disappointed.