1952 Chevy with a 6.7L Cummins Engine - Engine Builder Magazine
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6.7L Cummins

Diesel of the Week

1952 Chevy with a 6.7L Cummins Engine

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We saw a ton of established names out at the Ultimate Callout Challenge this year, but it’s just as cool to see some newer talent hit the track and show off their sweet rides. We met a few guys competing in the Outlaw Diesel Super Series that we knew we had to talk to. One of them was Mickey Unverzagt.

Unverzagt is the co-owner of Dynamic Diesel Performance, a shop in Iowa City, IA that provides diesel repair, fabrication and performance upgrade services. His recent drag-truck build is surely a representation of those services, and a wicked cool marketing tool for the business. His patinaed ’52 Chevy is a strikingly restored vintage pickup on the outside and a strict, down-to-business drag truck on the inside — complete with a decked-out 6.7L Cummins powerplant under the hood.

Remarkably enough, the restoration and performance overhaul of the truck only took a few years despite it being a bone-stock, dilapidated roller the team bought for $500 off of Craigslist. At that point when the truck was purchased 12 years ago, it was completely rusted out and had been sitting in a field in Wisconsin for around 30 years. Little by little, Unverzagt, his father Mike, and Dynamic Diesel co-owner Charlie Morse pieced together parts and components until it became what it is today.

“We came to UCC in 2017 and I’ve always raced drag cars and been into gas motors,” Unverzagt says. “I’ve worked on diesels for a living, but I never thought about making them fast before that. I remember my first time here I saw Industrial Injection go down the track and I thought, ‘I’m going to build one.’”

After cleaning up the truck and scoring a free 20,000-mile 6.7L Cummins out of a Ram 5500, it was time for Unverzagt’s dream build to begin. And despite being wicked fast, the engine is fairly simple as it sits now.

As far as performance upgrades, the engine features head studs, Dynamite Diesel Super Mental 150% injectors, an S&S 14mm fuel pump, a BD Diesel Performance exhaust manifold and a BorgWarner S475 turbo. The single turbo has a 72mm inducer and a 98mm exducer with a 132 housing.

Backing up the engine is a Powerglide transmission and custom tuning from Ryan Miliken, which allows the truck to bolt down the track despite its heavy, 70-year-old chassis.

In fact, weight reduction is the next goal on Unverstagt’s list. Lightening up the truck by removing its steel doors, cab, fender, and hood and replacing with fiberglass will likely take off around 300-400 lbs. from the truck’s total 3,765 lb. weight with the driver. This winter, Unverstagt also plans on adding some other upgrades likes stronger connecting rods, pistons, valve springs, and eventually a new transmission.

Diesel of the Week is sponsored by AMSOIL. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected]

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