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Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Contents -

Each spring amid the rolling hills in the snow belt of North­ern Michi­gan ex­ists an event like no other. The Schuss Moun­tain Snow Chal­lenge is a one-ofa-kind spec­ta­cle that brings rac­ers of all makes, styles, and gen­res from all over the coun­try to the snowy ski slopes of Shanty Creek Re­sort to com­pete in side-by-side, up­hill drag rac­ing where the snow is the ul­ti­mate equal­izer. Four-wheel­ers, mud drag­gers and sand drag­gers come from far and wide af­ter dust­ing off the cob­webs to shake down their ve­hi­cles and ready them for the sum­mer sea­son. And, Mer­chant Automotive’s Du­ra­max diesel-pow­ered buggy just won it all!

The Mer­chant Automotive diesel buggy raced in the Su­per­mod Class, in which the only rule is run-what-you-brung (and hope you brought enough—ed.), and is the high­light of the week­end event. The light­weight pur- pose-built sand drag rail is pow­ered by an LBZ Du­ra­max en­gine that de­liv­ers more than 750 hp to pro­pel the 2,000-pound buggy down a 300-foot sand drag strip in less than 4 sec­onds. The power is chan­neled to a Power Glide 2-speed trans­mis­sion then put to the ground— or snow in this case—through a set of mas­sive pad­dle tires that lit­er­ally dig through the snow and/or sand to thrust the buggy off the line and up the course.

MA driver Nick Beau­doin fought his way through the fastest field of race ve­hi­cles in the event’s 9-year his­tory to take the class win. Beau­doin and his diesel-pow­ered MA buggy de­feated driv­ers and ve­hi­cles with more ex­pe­ri­ence and more power, in­clud­ing a three-time Su­per­mod cham­pion sand drag Blazer, 600+ cu­bic-inch mud rac­ers and one very nasty 620 cu­bic-inch twin-turbo beast with a horse­power rat­ing north of 2,000. The com­pe­ti­tion was un­able to best the MA buggy and in the end it was good old #2 that pre­vailed over the race gas and al­co­hol. And all while sip­ping just 3 gal­lons’ worth of fuel over the week­end.

“I’ve watched Nick and the MA buggy at the event for a few years now fine tun­ing this diesel,” said Ja­son Grze­sikowski, owner of GRZ Pro­duc­tions orig­i­na­tor/pro­moter of the Schuss Moun­tain Snow Chal­lenge. “We’ve seen ev­ery form of ma­chine make runs up the hill. Gas, al­co­hol, tur­bos, su­per­charg­ers, every­thing. For diesel to take the cake and win it all makes a state­ment: Diesel is the real deal!”

Keep tabs on the Mer­chant Automotive Du­ra­max pow­ered mon­ster this race sea­son at mer­chant-automotive.com, their so­cial me­dia out­lets or the Mer­chant Automotive mo­bile app. Then fol­low them as they re­turn in 2018 to the 10th an­nual Schuss Moun­tain Snow Chal­lenge to de­fend their Su­per­mod ti­tle. UDBG

Car­ry­ing the front tires across the snow as the mas­sive rear pad­dle tires dig into the snow claw­ing for trac­tion to pro­pel the Du­ra­max-pow­ered buggy to the 2017 Su­per­mod cham­pi­onship.

Por­tions of the course where the snow was thin gave way to the dirt be­low, but that did not slow down the Du­ra­max buggy as Beau­doin took home the over­all win in the highly con­tested Su­per­mod class.

There wasn’t as much snow as in years past, but the Mer­chant Automotive buggy ripped through what was there, spray­ing rooster tails of snow high into the air as Nick Beau­doin pi­loted the buggy up the moun­tain.

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