No Smoke No Poke

100 Pounds of Boost? Now we’re Torquing!

14th May 2013 | BY NSNP

If you’re going to choose to go drag racing in something that weighs nearly 3 tonnes then you’re likely to need horse power, and truck fulls of it. Luckily this is not something Max Kirtley is short of, having taken not one, but two simply huge turbochargers and mounted them in compound to a 6 cylinder Cummins engine. If you need the definition of a car that doesn’t accelerate but spins the world backwards then the “Lil Red Express” would be a good contender. Hit the jump for loads more pictures and a smoke filled video.

One of the nicest things about this drag racing behemoth is the base vehicle on which it is based. In the late 1970’s Dodge took one of their most desirable pickups and fitted a 5.8 litre v8 from a police interceptor (read: high speed pursuit car). According to reports from the time it was the fastest American production car to 100Mph. Either it was a slack year in the States or this thing really could shift.

Fast forwards to now and things have changed a fair bit under that big red bonnet. The original V8 has been removed to make way for a 12 valve, straight 6, 1000 horse power Cummins diesel being force fed over 80 psi of boost. Obviously  such outrageous figures have taken a some custom work to extract. The pistons are from the marine version of the engine and the head has been ported, polished and machined for o rings as well as being fixed with a full set of ARP head studs. And then there are the Holsets, a HX40 feeding straight into a HT3B with the exhaust making it’s way out through a pair of polished 4 inch stacks behind the cab. There aren’t many pickups that get away with this setup with out looking a bit silly,but in this case the pipes complement the classic step side styling.

A good majority of Max’s efforts went into making his Little Red Express look as original as possible. Besides replacing the fiberglass front end with all sheet metal parts, he also remade all of the wood paneling down the sides in red oak as was originally fitted. In the bed, the stock wood was pretty well shot, so Max replaced that to accommodate the roll cage as well. His wife even found an original Express tailgate and gave it to him for an anniversary present.

Fueling comes from a high-volume pump that draws from a 5-gallon fuel cell mounted out back. The pump feeds the highly modified P-pump, which is then delivered to the engine via DDP Stage 4 injectors. A dual homemade nitrous kit that can deliver up to a 250-hp shot, according to Max, adds top end power and also helps to spool the turbos when staging.

The shifter mount is as no nonsense as the rest of the truck with the nitrous and line lock switches mounted on top. Between your right leg and right hand is basically enough power to bump start a planet. Below are a few pictures taken directly from the build log and a video of the man himself explaining the current setup before a few runs up the drag strip during testing. ENJOY!