Goldenhawk Racing’s 4BT Streamliner Looks To Dominate The Salt

Personally, I have always enjoyed watching the land speed vehicles run. Those guys are insane for going that fast to be quite honest but anything motorsports related, I’m in. In the last few years, I’ve seen more and more diesel-powered action in the flats and even more recently, the Goldenhawk Racing Team reached out to us wondering if we knew about their project.
My answer? No, but I’m suddenly very interested. The huge diesel engines in the big rigs, the inline-six Cummins and V8 Duramax trucks we’ve seen are extremely cool but the difference between them and the Goldenhawk Streamliner, it’s a four-cylinder 4BT Cummins. When I think 4BT, I think box trucks, agricultural equipment, or small industrial vehicles, not 160-plus mph streamliners.
 
This almost 33-foot machine has been trailered to the salt flats in Wendover, Utah multiple times at an attempt at the land speed record for its class but has come up 12 mph short. This 4BT-powered car has reached a 160 mph threshold but Randall Pierce, head of the Goldenhawk Race Team, has since made other plans to crush the record.
Built-in 2009 by Randall (Randy) Pierce Design, this rig is a purpose-built streamliner to do one thing and one thing only; Go fast. Although going fast was key, it was built to tribute the Royal Canadain Air Force Golden Hawks Air demonstration that dated back 50 years ago. The Golden Hawks were a Royal Canadian Air Force aerobatic flying team established back in 1959.
In fact, Randy served in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a public relations photographer. He studied photogrammetric engineering and remote sensing and military law. As a veteran of the heydays of drag racing in the sixties and seventy he crewed, owned and drove everything from stock bodied Mazda’s to a 1941 Willys gasser, to front and rear engine fuel dragsters up and down the west coast.

Racing off-road in desert races on dirt bikes he even managed, in his first year to make the top ten in CMA Motocross at the tender age of 34 years. He also sponsored and assisted off-road 4×4 racers to championship performances in the seventies. Always moving in two or more directions at once, he owned and managed four or five businesses at the same time.
In 1979 while testing a twin-turbocharged fuel dragster he decided it was time for a change. He parked all the racing equipment. Sold his businesses and bought two sail vessels. One he sailed around the Hawaiian Islands in the winter of 1979/1980 and the other, a classic 37-foot wooden sailing yacht which he completely restored with his wife, Wendy. They cruised the northwest showing it in wooden boat festivals. “My life went from 200 mph racers to six-knot sailboats offering hours of total boring relaxation between moments of sheer and absolute terror,” said Pierce.

All of the paint was done by Tim Kennedy at TKO Customs in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada, and the graphics were done by Nic Boos at Total Control Art Works.

In 2001 the need for speed could not be suppressed and he convinced Wendy to drive to Bonneville Speedweek to check it out, and a plan to build a streamliner took shape. A return fact-finding trip in 2002 has convinced him to proceed with the construction of his own machine. A twin-engine, diesel-powered, air-conditioned Pierce-Arrow Streamliner was capable of speeds of 350 kmh on an existing record of (149 mph) 240 kp.

Following heart surgery in December 2003, the project has now evolved to a new car; A single 4-liter engine, front-wheel drive turbo diesel capable of 500 kms (300+ mph). Designed by Randy, built by the sponsors and the team.

If you were wondering, yes that is air conditioning on top of there. They told us it was an interesting install.

So, of all things, why a diesel? What is the motivation there? “We wanted to promote and motivate motorsports lovers’ to come out and experience the Bonneville flats and check it off their bucket list,” Somerville. “When I built this car, I chose the E/DS class simply because I liked the rules in that class.” Little did he know, what he is doing with a 4BT engine is quite impressive.

Details Of The Speed

According to Team Goldenhawk, this 3.9-liter Cummins Special Duty diesel-powered streamliner is making around 450 horsepower on regular diesel fuel. When they up the ante and start pouring the nitrous oxide to it, however, that’s when things get fun. They claim they have enough nitrous to push this little four-cylinder to 750 horsepower.

This entire build was made from recycled or repurposed materials and components by volunteers either corporate for individuals.

Based on the RSR Aero-Horsepower Calculator, a scale that measures the power it takes to reach a certain mile per hour, they have a broad range of capabilities with this unit.
Horsepower required (based on RSR Aero-horsepower calculator)
200 mph (325km) = 182 horsepower   225 mph (365 km) = 256 horsepower
250 mph (405 km) = 350 horsepower   275 mph (446km) = 463 horsepower
301 mph (488km) = 610 horsepower
Let’s say you wanted to get involved and build a streamliner that replicates this one here. It has been said that to replicate this model, you’re looking at $500,000. They started on this project in 2007 and it was certified in 2009. Something like this takes a lot of time and money to make it all come together but seeing it now makes it all worth it.
Throughout this journey, you can imagine there were some things that didn’t quite go as planned and like all projects, this is true. “The air conditioning unit installs for this was a chore but it was my favorite part. Looking back, there would be many things different now. We would have gotten a full front and rear suspension,” said Pierce. “At the time, though, it was built to be old school. Just the way Mickey Thompson and Summer Brothers did many years ago.”
Pierce continued, “Every single day was an experience and many were an adventure. Working and learning with so many talented people that were dedicated to this was special. This project was made from quality and pride. There were more than a hundred individuals and companies who are a part of this and that number is constantly growing.
We are excited to see this thing hit the salt in the near future and take on this record. We think these guys have what it takes to make it happen. Stay tuned to Diesel Army for more updates on Team Goldenhawk Racing and more in diesel motorsports. For more information about the Goldenhawk Streamliner, be sure and check out their Facebook page.

About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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