Saturday 7th February 1931
David Evans, driving the Cummins No.8 Diesel Special at Daytona Beach raised the land speed record for this type of vehicle to 100.755 mph.The car was a racing chassis built by Fred Duesenberg with a 4-cylinder ‘Model U’ diesel engine designed by Clessie L Cummins. It was the first diesel engine produced with fully enclosed reciprocating parts, with full-pressure lubrication. Its output was a jaw-dropping 10hp per cylinder. In May of 1931 Clessie took the Cummins-Powered Duesenberg as the No. 8 Cummins Diesel to the Indy 500 and finished 13th with an average speed of just over 86 mph. It was the first car in racing history to complete all 500 miles without any pit stops. The No. 8 car wasn’t retired after the race. Cummins founders W.G. Irwin and Clessie Cummins drove it on a European tour through France, Monaco, Italy, Germany and England to promote the efficiency and reliability of the diesels. In the 1960s, the No. 8 Cummins Diesel was restored and now permanently resides at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway museum. Clessie Cummins showcased the importance of efficient diesel technology to people around the world. It’s a legacy that we continue to honor today.