Scott Birdsall is a character. He is a business owner, builder, fabricator, race car driver, used car salesman, Dad, and many more things, but for the purpose of this piece we will start with Chuckles Garage. This is where Scott transitioned from the corporate world to chase the dream of building and creating hot rods, one of those famed builds is the classic “Gasser” affectionately known as “Strange Bird”. However Scott doesn’t just limit himself to Chuckles Garage he is also part owner of Resolute Motorsports who specialize in improving 911‘s from 1983 to 1989 for either the road, track or safari rally’s. Last but not least we can’t not touch on the fact Scott currently holds the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb record for a diesel vehicle, beating previous record-holder, Uwe Nittel and his Mercedes Benz C300D 4MATIC, by just over 13 seconds in “Old Smokey”.
Now “Old Smokey” his beloved truck is hard to characterize, maybe the best way is to say it is an IMSA race car hiding under 1949 Ford truck sheet metal. It is however registered and legal to drive on public roads and with the squeeze of the loud pedal it obliterates a pair of rear tires at will. This is in part thanks to a massive wave of torque from the turbocharged Cummins engine that sits up front. Honestly the truck defies easy explanation, and therein lies its appeal. It is cool because it’s so functional in ways that it shouldn’t be. Most people wouldn’t build a race car out of a 1949 Ford F1 pickup, and for those who would, it is extremely doubtful they would go to the lengths Scott did. Originally, he didn’t build Old Smokey to set records at hill climb or top speed events; he actually bought it to fix it up and flip (hence the used car salesman).
Back to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and its 156 turns over the course of 12.42 miles. Scott has the current best diesel time of 11 minutes and 24.065 seconds, beating the diesel record set by Mercedes-Benz in 2016. His end goal is to get the record under 10 minutes in “Old Smokey”. I know he will do it because Scott already made the impossible happen in getting a 1949 Ford F1 up a mountain faster than anyone else, that number is just going to get lower as Scott gets better.