The Road Warrior
9/1/2014 | Words: Chuck Mahnken | Pictures: MTU Archive
2-Cycle engines, Series 71
You could say that Bud Dalahite and Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle engines share a lot of history. As a U.S. Navy engineman in Vietnam, Bud worked with Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle engines. When Bud returned to the states, he ran WWII aviation rescue boats converted over to Detroit Diesel 6-71s. According to Bud, “They were always dependable and easy to work on. I loved the loud whine when they went up on step.”
Bud started driving trucks in 1972 and discovered an old friend—the Detroit Diesel Series 71. “My first long haul truck was a 1970 freightliner cabover with a 6-71 (238) Jimmy,” Bud says. “Believe me, this combination was not meant to haul 72,000 lbs. across the mountains, but that little Jimmy always delivered the load.”
Over the last 35 years, Bud has experienced all kinds of trucks, powertrains and engines—mostly Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle. He can vouch for their legendary dependability: “With others I've been sidelined several times, but very seldom with a Detroit.”
Bud retired in Texas in 2005 with “more million-mile circuits than I care to remember.” Recently, a car hauler with a snub-nosed '69 GMC passed Bud on the road. “That 8V71 was just a screamin',” Bud says. “I think at that moment I would have paid him just for the chance to wind that buddy up just one more time. Oh how far we have come, and I’ve been right there with Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle for 47 years.”
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