It’s always gratifying to start a new year with a new endeavor in journalism. Accordingly, we’ve just had our first article published in Tazio, a recently launched premium-quality quarterly magazine, based in Belgium, that focuses on the international history of motorsport. The magazine’s motto is “Slow stories about fast cars.” You’ve got to respect that. It’s a philosophy that great racing cars of the past are entitled to deep-dive historical analysis to determine what made them that way. My own entry was a feature on a car that transformed the Indianapolis 500 more than 70 years ago.
Designed and built by the great fabricator Frank Kurtis, the Cummins Diesel Special of 1952 snatched that year’s 500 pole position with the Chicago Midget ace Freddie Agabashian in the low-slung hot seat. The first Indianapolis race car of any kind powered by a turbocharged engine, the Cummins likely would have won the race if rubber debris hadn’t been sucked into the turbocharger inlet to choke the engine. To research the story, we spoke to sources in Cummins’ archive and engineering team, and even to the last surviving family member still in the business. This multi-page story is the kind of coverage that’s Tazio’s speciality, and we’re proud to be affiliated with the title. As you may have already guessed, Tazio takes its name from Tazio Nuvolari, the preternaturally gifted Italian racing champion of the 1930s, who excelled on both two wheels and four.