The Legacy of the Cummins No. 8 Race Car

1931 Cummins No. 8

Of all the Cummins race cars, none is as well-traveled as the 1931 No. 8 Cummins Diesel. From the famous Indianapolis speedway to a tour round the world, the No. 8 car was the model for efficiency and reliability.

Cummins founder Clessie Cummins originally installed his 4-cylinder model U engine in a Duesenberg chassis and in February 1931, drove it to Daytona Beach and set a new diesel speed record averaging 100.755 miles per hour (mph).

Cummins No 8 - MATS 2015 The Cummins No. 8 car on display at the Mid-America Trucking Show.


In May of 1931 Clessie took the Cummins-Powered Duesenberg as the No. 8 Cummins Diesel to the Indy 500 and finished 13th with an average speed of just over 86 mph. It was the first car in racing history to complete all 500 miles without any pit stops.

The No. 8 car wasn’t retired after the race. Cummins founders W.G. Irwin and Clessie Cummins drove it on a European tour through France, Monaco, Italy, Germany and England to promote the efficiency and reliability of the diesels.

In the 1960s, the No. 8 Cummins Diesel was restored and now permanently resides at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway museum. Clessie Cummins showcased the importance of efficient diesel technology to people around the world. It’s a legacy that we continue to honor today.

While the No. 8 car usually is on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, in March it was part of the Cummins booth at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky.

Michael Nagel

Michael Nagel is the Digital Brand Reputation Manager - External Communications for Cummins Inc. He has more than 10 years of digital communications and traditional public relations experience, with a focus on social media marketing and digital communications. Michael earned his B.A. from the Indiana University School of Journalism - Indianapolis and currently resides in Indianapolis. 

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