Video: Cummins’ Founder’s Diesel-Powered 1936 Cadillac Fired Up!

Ever seen a Cummins-powered Cadillac? If not, here’s the original built by Clesssie Cummins. The company recently fired up Clessie’s 1936 diesel Cadillac, and produced a video of it being started and running, as well as provided detailed photographs of the historic vehicle. The video above is a copy of the original posted on the Cummins Facebook page.

Maybe you have never heard of Clessie Cummins. However, if you made the assumption that he was the founder of the Cummins diesel engine manufacturing company, then you would be spot on. The inventor, engineer, and entrepreneur (long before the moniker became popular and considerably overused) Clessie Cummins imagined and designed improvements on existing diesel engines, and engineered new diesel engine designs.

During his lifetime Clessie set five world records for endurance and speed in a variety of vehicles. The man was awarded 33 U.S. patents, and upon retiring from his Chairman’s position at the company in 1955, kept many of his patents. Clessie went on to form Cummins Enterprises Company, and later worked in California with Allison Engine Company.

Clessie didn’t just dabble in engine designs. He engineered and patented the first compression release engine brake to solve the problem of truck brakes overheating on long, steep descents. The brake product known as the “Jake Brake,” built by Jacobs Vehicle Systems, the company that ended up buying the idea, has been produced since 1954. Clessie Cummins worked well into his ’80s, passing away on August 17, 1968.

Cummins Cadillac-1

About the author

Stuart Bourdon

Growing up with a passion for cars, trucks and motorsports made it natural to seek a career in that direction. An education in photojournalism, a love of the outdoors and years of exploring the waters, deserts and mountains of Southern California led to working on boating, outdoor, RV and off-road vehicle enthusiast magazines. Off Road Xtreme is the newest adventure in his life-long love affair with vehicles of all types.
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