The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, also known as The Race to the Clouds, is an invitational automobile and motorcycle hill climb to the summit of Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain in Colorado, USA held annually on the last Sunday of June. You can expect plenty of highly modified supercars, motorcycles, but one thing you don’t expect is a 1949 Ford F1 powered by a Cummins diesel engine.
In the exhibition class, Scott Birdsall of Chuckles Garage has taken the world by storm with his patinaed old-school Ford setting it up to attack the tough Pikes Peak course. The Pikes Peak course covers 12.42-miles of road boasting 156 turns and climbs all the way to 14,115-feet where the finish line sets at the summit of the mountain.
What We Know
Mr. Birdsall is known to change things up from time to time so there is no real definite or permanent setup on this truck. Right now, for Pikes Peak, Old Smokey was set to have snappy throttle response but still obtain that big-time pull higher in the rpm range. This Dynomite Diesel-built, 6.7-Liter, Common Rail Cummins has been tinkered on just a hair.
This 6.7 features a set of CP Carrillo connecting rods, Hamilton Cam’s pistons, pushrods, and camshaft, ARP 625 head, and main studs, and DDP stroker CP3 pump and super mental injectors. All this mixed with a healthy set of compound turbochargers. The compounds on board are a Garrett GTX 58MM secondary charger fed by a Garrett GTX 70-MM atmosphere turbo. That may not seem all that enormous, but its enough for what they’re setting out to do.
If you were to put a more traditional “big power” set of compounds on this truck, at this elevation, it wouldn’t have the excellent acceleration they’re after. In fact, prior to Pikes Peak, Smokey had a larger 80-MM / 106-MM combination. On the backside of this Cummins engine is an ATS Diesel-built 47RE transmission with full manual controls on the inside. Between 1,200-horsepower, a full tube chassis, and a driver that’s eager to do well, Old Smokey is awesome.
When talking with Birdsall, we wondered how critical each part of competing in something like this is. His answer? Tires. “With all of our torque and time management, tires are the most critical part to our pike’s peak effort,” said Birdsall. “It takes a special compound made for colder road temperatures to work with our mixture of horsepower and torque.” Birdsall finished his shorter course with a time of 5:54:908 with a set of purpose-built motorsports slicks. “Toyo delivers and then some,” said Birdsall.
Being familiar with what it’s like working with companies in a racing program, I asked Birdsall what it was like to be partnered up with Toyo and how long he has been with them. “I have been working with Toyo since 2016 on everything possible including all of my racing efforts with Old Smokey F1 and all of my clients builds.
“Working with Toyo has been an absolute pleasure. Their tires gave me the grip and confidence I need to send Smokey up with mountain in record time,” said Birdsall. “I credit Toyo for boosting the spotlight for Smokey as they featured it in their Autocon SF booth in 2016.”