You may know Cummins today as one of the leaders in the Diesel Engine Industry, but this fortune 500 company wasn’t built overnight. Now worth 23.8 billion the company had a very humble beginning. Founded in 1918 Clessie Cummins sets up shop in a former cereal mil after outgrowing William G. Irwin’s garage. A little over a decade later Cummins is yet again another pioneer, this time becoming the first diesel to break the 100-mph in Daytona Beach then made history the same year at the Indy 500.
You may not know Dave Evans, but he was the first race car driver to drive a Diesel in the Indianapolis 500 in 1931. The Cummins Diesel Special did not win the race, but did finish without a pit stop landing a place in the history books. The car qualified in the 17th position at 96.87 miles per hour.
Three years later Cummins released the Cummins Diesel No. 5 & 6. The No. 5 was new technology, a two-stroke Model H supercharged diesel engine. Although launched with great hope, the engine was deemed “not dependable” and production was stopped after the engine failed to restart during the Indy 500. Slightly better The No. 6 was powered by a four- stroke Model H engine. The car only finished 270 miles and finished 19th.
After competing in the Indianapolis 500, Cummins No. 61 Green Hornet goes on to become the world's fastest diesel at 165 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
In 1952, Fred Agabashian in a Cummins diesel won the pole at the Indianapolis 500 race with a turbocharged 6.6-liter diesel car, setting a record for pole position lap speed, 222.108 km/h (138.012 mph). At the start, a slow pace lap (reportedly less than 150 km/h (93 mph)) apparently induced what is now referred to as "turbo lag" and badly hampered the throttle response of the Cummins Diesel.
Cummins has played a pivotal role in diesel racing, by manufacturing one of the leading engines in the industry. Cummins continues to advance in technology and is globally known.
Check Out our It’s And Addiction T-Shirt inspired by our Diesel Enthusiast