It is with great pleasure that I get to announce my participation in the 101st running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. This year we are not fielding our own car- but I’ve instead been tasked to drive a long time crowd favorite “Old Smokey F1” a 1949 Ford F1 Pickup that has been custom built as an Exhibition Class Race vehicle by Scott Birdsall of Chuckles Garage in Santa Rosa CA. I met Scott years ago on the mountain when we competed in 2019 in our own M2 – and we hit it off. While me driving Old Smokey was not the original plan for this year- Scott called me last minute that a prominent figure who was originally tasked with driving had a scheduling conflict and unfortunately had to drop out. He asked if I felt up to the task- to which I responded “HELL YEAH!” Just like that , I applied to be in the race, and was accepted as one of 70 entries for the 101st running- Beating out already another 50+ entries who did not make it into the competition.
It will be an interesting experience for me- as the truck is heavy, Diesel powered making over 2000 HP , and sports many features found normally on high-end racing cars, but nestled all below a 1949 Ford F1 body. I will be flying out to California here in May to test with the car on a regular road racing track, prior to our first week of Practice with the truck which will take place the week before the race in Mid-June.
Speaking of the race itself- the 14110’ Climb with 156 Turns is the oldest race in America- and takes place every year on the last weekend of June in Colorado Springs, Colorado. If you are reading this and interested in learning more about the race or traveling out to be a spectator, please do not hesitate to reach out! I’ve attached some content below of Old Smokey In action , so you can get a better feel for the vehicle ! -Tyler