VIN­TAGE SMOKE

THE CUM­MINS HIS­TOR­I­CAL RESTORA­TION CEN­TER

Diesel World - - Contents - BY JIM ALLEN

Those who ap­pre­ci­ate diesel his­tory are al­ways happy to see the cor­ner­stones of diesel man­u­fac­tur­ing main­tain­ing cor­po­rate in­vest­ments in it. Cum­mins is one of those foun­da­tional com­pa­nies that got diesel power where it is to­day, and it might in­ter­est you to know they main­tain a His­tor­i­cal Restora­tion Cen­ter (HRC) near their head­quar­ters in Columbus, In­di­ana, where they store, re­store and op­er­ate old Cum­mins en­gines. It’s not open to the pub­lic, but if you see a vin­tage Cum­mins en­gine at a Cum­mins fa­cil­ity or event, it prob­a­bly came from there. Cum­mins gave us an in­side look at the HRC and we got to see some restora­tions in progress.

You may al­ready know that Cum­mins does main­tain a mu­seum at their head­quar­ters and it’s open to the pub­lic. Nor­mally. When we vis­ited in the spring of 2018 it was un­der­go­ing a ma­jor ren­o­va­tion that won’t be com­plete un­til 2019. That turned out to be a good thing, be­cause many ex­hibits from the mu­seum were be­ing stored at the HRC, giv­ing us “one-stop-shop­ping” ex­pe­ri­ence. And what an ex­pe­ri­ence it was! The guy in charge of the HRC is David Gog­gin. He’s the Cum­mins mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor, and since 2015 he’s en­thu­si­as­ti­cally over­seen both the HRC and the Cum­mins Ar­chive. Part of his job is ed­u­cat­ing new hires on the his­tory of Cum­mins and we got to see him do his stuff run­ning a large group of new em­ploy­ees through a “Cum­mins His­tory 101” course. Most of the restora­tion work at the HRC is done by vol­un­teers that in­clude cur­rent and re­tired Cum­mins em­ploy­ees from var­i­ous lev­els in the com­pany. Their ef­forts are sup­ported with a mod­est bud­get from Cum­mins.

The found­ing fa­ther of the HRC is a guy named Jeff Jones, who was a sales and mar­ket­ing VP. He had a sense of the his­tory lan­guish­ing in var­i­ous stor­age ar­eas at Cum­mins, largely un­seen by most in the com­pany. He rec­og­nized the dan­ger that short­sight­ed­ness and a ca­sual “let’s clean this place up” or­der of­ten leads to a com­pany for­ever los­ing its his­tory. He found like­minded peo­ple in the com­pany to carry out a mas­ter plan to see it pre­served, doc­u­mented, re­stored and dis­played. It be­gan in earnest in 2012, when Jones tapped en­gi­neer Bruce Wat­son

 An over­view of nearly 100 years of Cum­mins his­tory in one room. And this isn’t the en­tirety of the col­lec­tion! Nu­mer­ous ar­ti­facts are ro­tated around the var­i­ous Cum­mins fa­cil­i­ties world­wide. You will be see­ing in­di­vid­ual sto­ries on some of these ve­hi­cles and en­gines in up­com­ing in­stall­ments of Vin­tage Smoke.

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