PRI 2021: Farmtruck And AZN’s Wild Diesel-Powered Hearse

Farmtruck and AZN have always approached their projects from an interesting angle, and you never know what they’re going to wheel out of the shop. Now, with a new show coming on Discovery, the bar will surely be raised a few notches. As a case in point, the Wagler Competition Products booth at this year’s PRI Show featured one of the coolest creations Farmtruck and AZN have ever come up with: a 1958 Cadillac Hearse with a nasty Duramax diesel engine for power.

The Hearse has been giving Farmtruck and AZN fits for a while, but they’ve never given up on trying to get the project running. One of the first things you’ll notice about the hearse if you’re paying attention is how it sits and the tires it’s rolling on. The hearse body has been grafted onto a GM-based 2006 Duramax 4×4 chassis, hence the need for a full set of Mickey Thompson drag radials.  Jeff Lutz and his son built the custom roll cage and took care of all the interior fabrication work.

Now, it wouldn’t be a Farmtruck and AZN build unless it had some ridiculous powerplant under the hood, and that’s where Wagler comes into the picture. Jeremy Wagler and his team went all-out building one of their CompRace LBZ Duramax mills for the hearse. Inside the big diesel engine, you’ll find a set of Wagler billet connecting rods, pistons from Ross, and a Callies billet crankshaft. Each CNC ported OEM Duramax cylinder head features a set of Wagler billet rocker arms that are moved by a set of Wagler pushrods, and work with a set of Wagler dual valve springs. The engine was finished off Wagler billet intake manifold.

The custom compound turbo system uses Precision Turbo & Engine 7685 and 8891 turbos to fill the engine with boost, while an intercooler from Be Cool keeps all the air nice and chilled. Since having a pair of massive turbos wasn’t enough, Farmtruck and AZN had a two-stage nitrous system from Nitrous Express installed. All six nitrous bottles are resting inside the casket in the hearse’s business area. An intense engine like this needs a whole lot of fuel, so S&S Diesel created a trick fuel system to keep the engine fed. A Bosch Motorsport ECU was installed and tuned by S&S to control all the Duramax’s engine functions.

This build required a pretty tough driveline since the engine is making plenty of power, and the fact that the Hearse weighs in at a hefty 7,800 pounds. Rossler Transmissions built a TH400 with a transbrake that works with a billet torque converter from Neal Chance to transfer all the horsepower to the tires. A billet transfer case shuffles power to the Quick Performance front and rearends that are filled with axles from RCV.

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“It’s been about a four-year project and been a lot of fun. It’s interesting how the body sits so nice on the truck chassis; if you close the hood you really can’t tell it’s not stock outside the tires. It launches really hard and tries to lift the front tire while twisting the car. We’ve only made a few passes, but it’s showing a lot of potential,” Wagler explains.

Farmtruck and AZN’s Hearse project is one of the most unique builds we’ve seen in a while, and it’s going to be interesting to see what went into the build on the show and what this hearse will be capable of when it’s fully sorted out. One thing is for sure, if you’re a drag racer this would be the coolest way to take your final ride.

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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