We admire and seek out creativity within drag racing and this Western Canadian effort hits that nail right on the head!…..

One of the main reasons we always enjoy our annual “mecca trip” to Edmonton’s Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals every July (besides the smiling and welcoming face of Kimberly Reeves!) is without exception Castrol Raceway’s reputation for always providing it’s race fans with — something different.  

And that was certainly the case again last year during the 2018 event version when some serious smoke screens courtesy of an ultra innovative little diesel powered altered (!) — quickly grabbed our interest.

Owned by Richard Mead, who is the founder and driving force behind RPS Diesel (Morinville AB), this machine ventures into uncharted waters pretty much every time it runs down the track.  While not really legal for any designated NHRA class eliminator – it does fit into the PS Diesel Class within the fringe sanctioning NHRD (National Hot Rod Diesel).

Richard and his very family orientated team have been racing this car since 2016.  It is a Funny Car chassis kit car that has been front halfed and turned into an altered.  It is fully rigid with no suspension – like a AA/FA.

“There is a lot of homemade stuff and self fabrication for sure,” said Richard, who is also the driver.  “The car is really meant to run heads up (not bracket racing)  and is something we use as a rolling test bed too.  The motor is actually pretty similar to a tractor pulling engine, which our company RPS Diesel does a lot of.  We lean on the race stuff hard at the drag strip while testing components and ideas under those extreme circumstances.  That way we find out what it’s capable of, and what works or doesn’t before we offer it to our customers.”

Richard Mead’s ultra creative little diesel powered altered has topped the 180 mph mark!

At the 2018 Edmonton event the team was running an aluminum billet block 6-cylinder Cummings motor configuration.  That engine has a roller cam and is also equipped with 3 turbochargers.  The little altered’s driveline includes the use of a Crower clutch, 3-speed Lenco transmission and a 9.5 inch Ford rear end assembly.  With the car tipping the scales at 2600 lbs and with some 130 lbs of boost available — Richard has zoomed into the 7.8 secs zone and over 180 mph with it so far.

“It’s a fun car to drive and the fact that it’s an altered makes it really easy to work on,” Mead added.  “But for sure we are doing something really different — I’m not aware of anyone else with a car like this — it’s one of a kind.  We continue to push the power levels, remain innovative and fix problems — that’s a constant.”

Richard Mead’s ventures to the drag strip are truly fun family affairs too with his whole family being very hands-on with all aspects of the car on race day.  His team also receives some great associate help from Alberta-based companies, Khaos Customs, Flo-Pro Performance Exhaust, Dynamite Diesel, Edcon Power Tools and Craig’s Welding.

On race weekends — the RPS Diesel effort is very much a fun family affair.

For more information on RPS Diesel (Richard’s Performance Solutions) company – link to their website:  HERE

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler