426 Hemi

426 Hemi Mopar or No car

For those of us who reached adulthood in the 1960's the hottest cars on the road were Dodges and Plymouth's. In 1964 Chrysler Corporation came out with a racing engine that featured a half circle ( hemisphere) combustion chamber and spark plug centralized in the chamber.

At Daytona in 1964, this new Hemi 426 engine swept the first four places of the race. This prompted NASCAR to put production requirements on Chrysler. Fortunately for all of us teen age hot rodders Chrysler decided to make a street version of this powerful racing engine.

Hemi 426

Hemi 426

In 1966 the first street Hemi's came out in Dodge Coronets, Chargers, and Plymouth Belevedre's. The primary street modifications were a cam that would allow for smooth functioning at low RPM's, milder valve timing, cast iron instead of aluminum heads, and different intake and exhaust manifolds. Alterations were also made that enabled the engine to warm up properly. These alteratios enabled a racing engine to function smoothly on the street.

The street Hemi also had dual quads( 2 four barrel carburators ) It featured 425 H.P., though some experts believe the engine may have reached as high as 500 horse power at 5000 rpm's. It also featured 490 lbs torque at 4000 rpms.

The original Hemi engines that Chrysler made, starting in 1951, were the 301, 331, 354, and the 392 cubic inch engines. These were primarily passenger car engines. The classic Hemi was made from 1964 to 1971 when new emission regulations among other things forced it off the street.

For Hemi enthusiasts today unless you have alot of money it is nearly impossible to find an original Hemi engine. I found a 1969 Dodge Coronet Hemi car for a mere $114,999.00. Not bad for a car that would have listed new for right around $4,000.00. Chrysler claims only about 10,000 cars were made with the 426 Hemi engine in them.

Never fear, in 1993 Chrysler started making a new Hemi engine block. Shortly after this the repro market kicked in to start making the rest of the parts so for something on the order of $10 to $15,000.00 you can create a new hemi engine.

Even today, it is still Mopar or No car.

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