The Dr. Performance Dodge Dakota sure has been burnin' up the track as of late. At the recent ATS Diesels On the Mountain event, the Dakota reset the DHRA track e.t. and mph records with an 8.48-second and 164.23-mph run at Bandimere Speedway.
Driver Charlie Stewart backed up the 8.48 pass with an even quicker 8.312-second run
"Unfortunately, we stuck a piston on the faster pass and weren't able to back up that time," Stewart says. "We have about 100 passes on the engine, and we're amazed that it's lasted this long without a rebuild." Team owner Kenny Laughlin adds, "Our goal for this season is to get an official time in the 7s, and we're right there if you take into account Bandimere's elevation [5,800 feet above sea level]."
"This sport is fairly new, and there are still a lot of things we haven't tried yet," says Dr. Performance Nitro Series driver Charlie Stewart. "We've only been running 40 pounds of boost. Since Houston is the last event of the year, we'll crank it up on each run to see what happens when we run 60, 80, and maybe even 100 pounds. We think we can get in the 7.60s."
A Record Discrepancy Or Simply Semantics?There might be a clash of the diesel titans on the horizon to determine who has the "world's fastest diesel truck." The SPAL Rocket Ranger set a national land speed record by averaging 215.091 mph in the C/Diesel truck class in August. The truck also went as fast as 222 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats but was unable to back up that particular run due to mechanical malfunctions. The record was recognized by the Southern California Timing Association.
In 2002, Gale Banks' Sidewinder Dodge Dakota set the SCI-SCTA International and FIA record at 217 mph.
Both companies are claiming to have the world's fastest diesel truck. We wonder if Banks will blow the cobwebs off the Sidewinder and meet the Rocket Ranger in Bonneville to settle this deal once and for all. Stay tuned.
Everlasting Tires?Michelin just unveiled the XDA5 tire, a new design for Class 8 big rigs, which features a unique tread compound that regenerates as it wears. As the tread wears, new grooves and tread blocks are revealed, essentially adding to the service life of the tire. This regenerating tread design keeps the tire in service longer before retreading, an impressive 30-percent improvement in tread life over other drive tires that are commercially available.
"Incorporating three-dimensional features into the tire tread that must interact with each other as the tire rolls down the highway required Michelin to develop additional innovations in our manufacturing processes," said Jean-Michel Guillon, chief operating officer, Michelin Americas Truck Tires. "The result is a sophisticated tread design that works to preserve itself as it performs. We are very excited to bring this technology to the marketplace, as it dramatically raises the bar for high-mileage tires."
So far, the technology has only been applied to the commercial side of Michelin's tires. Could a passenger car tire that lasts even longer be on the horizon? We'll keep you posted.
Another Effie For TitoWe're not quite sure why, but Courtney Halowell has a weakness for '57-'60 F-100 pickups. In fact, he has a collection of some of the strangest Ford trucks known to man, including a '42 Ford pickup that everyone calls Kirby. In recent years, he built a burgundy and white '60 F-100 and, in a moment of weakness, traded it off for some other project that he proceeded to sell off. He must have really liked the truck, because he went out and bought another one, but there are two differences between the '59 and the '60: The '59 is a shortbed, and it isn't a Custom Cab. It has spent most of its life as a work truck, so there are dents all over the poor little red pickup.
Courtney started this build with a trip to All Ford Auto Salvage, (714) 993-2110, where he picked up a Paxton Supercharged 5.0L engine, a five-speed tranny, a driveshaft, and all of the wiring and fuel system goodies needed to make the engine and tranny combo work in the truck. Then, right around the corner, he stopped at Currie Enterprises, (714) 528-6957, and ordered up a brand-new Currie 9-inch, complete with limited-slip and Explorer rear disc brakes.
The rest of the plan includes IFS, a power brake conversion, paint, upholstery, and lots of trips to the chrome shop. Keep an eye out for a series of tech stories on this truck, including installing the EFI motor, setting up the suspension, and doing the bodywork and paint right here in your favorite magazine, Sport Truck.
Remember the bitchen Chevy Tahoe we gave away with Stylin' Trucks earlier this year? You don't? It had more than $25,000 worth of enhancements, including a lowered DJM suspension, MagnaFlow exhaust system, a Crutchfield stereo system, Cal-Vu sport mirrors, and a Street Scene chrome speed grille. Now does it ring a bell? Good. Well, the winner was chosen, and it turned out to be Jane DeLoache of Nashville, Tennessee.
The vehicle is certainly a step up for DeLoache, who had not had reliable transportation in years. This made it difficult for her to volunteer in her community and help her family, two of her priorities. Obviously, her luck has changed. "I guess this is the good karma SUV. I can finally get out there and do things for people," Jane said.
Another one of DeLoache's passions is her art. She is a freelance photographer and believes this truck will also help her expand this pursuit. "Now I can head off to all the good karma places, like California, and find inspiration. I can easily fit a surfboard and all of my photography equipment in here," she chuckled.
John Milos, president of Stylin' Trucks considers this vehicle a work of art in its own right. "This vehicle was designed by one of our call center agents, a true truck enthusiast. By partnering with DJM, Crutchfield, and the many other vendors, we created a truck with unparalleled design and performance."
"When you drive down the street, kids are going to take pictures with their camera phone," Milos assured DeLoache. "After all, it's Stylin's mission to make trucks look good and go fast."
DeLoache agreed and is confident her new truck will make a statement in Knoxville. "I guess, it will give my fuddy-duddy neighbors something to talk about," she said with a bit of mischief in her eyes.
She considers this truck a new member of the family. "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship," she concluded.
10 Mostly Worthless Facts
1 For the '93 model year, Dodge "magnumized" the new 5.9L V-8 engine. It scored 25 more hp and 30 extra lb-ft of torque, thanks to a new sequential port fuel-injection system. This netted 230 hp and 325 lb-ft in power output.
2 From 1973 to 1984, GMC built the Indy 500 Special and Indy 500 Hauler special edition trucks each time a GM car paced the historic race. In 1980, the Pontiac Trans Am was the Indy pace car, and the Indy Hauler was a two-tone white and charcoal truck with a large Firebird graphic (silver with red accents) applied to the hood. The Indy truck also featured a front spoiler, aluminum rims, blacked-out grille, and bold letters, stating "GMC Indy Hauler," along with the text and Indy graphic on the doors. The dualie edition of the Indy Hauler became famous after appearing in the original Cannonball Run movie.
3 More recently, GM released the '03 SSR Pickup Convertible Indy 500 Pace Car, which cost $41,995. For the money, you got a paltry 300 hp, which motivated the SSR to pitiful 15.9 quarter-mile e.t.s at just 90 mph. If we are going to pace the field at Indy, we'd rather have something with some balls, like the SRT-10.
4 According to Strangefacts.com, it's illegal to look at a moose from an airplane in Alaska.
5 Women aren't allowed to legally drive a car in California while wearing a housecoat. Do people in California even wear housecoats? It's so freakin' hot here.
6 In 2000, Pope John Paul II was named an honorary member of The Harlem Globetrotters. Who knew that guy had so much game?
7 More than 123,000,000 cars and trucks are on the road today. We hope the lights stay green.
8 We like the cars, the cars that go boom!
9 Editor Mike Finnegan ended up selling his dualie, rather than trading it for another truck. The cash was just too sexy.
10 It's illegal to cross the border of Minnesota with a duck on your head.
The staff speaks and you listen. It's that simple. This month's question is:
Kevin: For me, it is all about a simple five-spoke deep-dish billet wheel. There is nothing cleaner than the shine off of a polished aluminum surface. Since these wheels are custom-made, you can order them in specific sizes and backspacing for that exact fit. The shine off of a chrome wheel is too harsh in my opinion, and 90 percent of the designs I don't like. Chrome is way easy to clean, and billet takes some polishing, but it's a small price to pay to run such good-looking wheels. So, quit your whining.
Calin: I'd have to say billet, and here is why. It's not because I like constantly polishing wheels or having black fingernails. It's because some of the best-looking wheel designs out there are made out of billet. So, even though I like the idea of easy-to-maintain chrome, I have to have cool wheels.
Happy Birthday Sport Truck!
The year 2008 marks the official 20th anniversary of Sport Truck magazine. While the actual first issue of Sport Truck wasn't published until November of 1988, we decided that since it's such a cool milestone in truck history we're going to celebrate all year long, starting with this January issue-that and our 20th anniversary logo is so cool it would be a shame to use it for only two months. So, bust out your tuxedo T-shirt, put on your party hats, and ice down the beer-it's party time.
Sport Truck Slang Term O' The Month#9,842: phantom (fa?n'tm) n. A term coined in the late-'80s by Boyd Coddington to describe a wide-fender fullsize Chevy he'd built that looked like a dualie, but instead of having dual rear wheels, it had a wider, single wheel on each rear axle. The truck was called a "phantom" dualie because it wasn't really a dualie. Later on, the term was also applied to billet grilles that covered up the headlights on '88-'98 Chevy trucks. It also refers to an ugly dude who hung out in the rafters of an opera house.
Mike: I'm a lazy bastard when it comes to detailing, because I have little time for it. I dig the look of polished billet aluminum wheels, but I hate polishing, so lately I've been powdercoating my wheels when possible. I'm not a huge fan of chrome, though, because it can sometimes look cheap. Now chroming billet wheels is cool. It's the ultimate wheel finish for the lazy man.
Galen: Why does it have to be chrome or billet? Why can't they both just get along? I guess, it depends on how OCD I feel. A chrome wheel is easy to clean and easy to maintain. But, with a lot of the wheel companies going overseas to produce their wheels, you might not be able to get the right offset or bolt pattern. With a set of nice billet wheels, you have more options as far as offsets or bolt patterns. They are a little more work to keep clean, but with this great new product called the Power Ball, "billet elbow" is a thing of the past. I would have to say that it depends on what fits and what is more appealing.
Andy: I'd say I have to take the easy way out and go for chrome. Sure, the look of a billet rim is nice, but I'll leave all that sweating and polishing to the guys with a little more free time on their hands. I've even gone a step beyond the chrome in that my rims are machined silver, so they don't even need a chrome polishing. They just stay a nice bright silver all the time.