Hemi Engine History

Hemi is your word for fast, powerful, and coveted engines! The Hemi Engine was first used in World War II in the Thunderbolt planes, as well as another version, used in the Patton tanks.

Harry Westlake, in 1948, created a powerful 6 cylinder engine for the makers of the Jaguar. For the day and age of the 1950's through the 60's, the world was wowed by the sheer power of 180 horsepower engines, that later grew to 425! An amount of power at the time that was unheard of. Every man on the block knew the neighbor who owned one.

Hemi Engine History

Hemi Engine History

You'll find in a Hemi engine, a singular combustion chamber with half circle heads, called hemispheric heads, or "Hemi" heads. Until these were created, you were likely to have a flathead engine. These engines at the time were economical and easy to produce. They were of a simpler design and easy to maintain.

One of the problems with these engines, is that so much power was lost in small ways. You might have gas leftover and unburned, heat lost to the walls of the engine, that might otherwise be power toward your engine and speed. One of the greatest disadvantages of a flathead engine, was that there was a lot of surface area. That surface area is where you lose heat, and therefore power in your engine, and unburned fuel. With a Hemi engine, you are able to turn these disadvantages around. With less surface, and less heat loss, peak pressure can be higher. Simple and straightforward, the Hemi, although it was more complex in it's structure and creating, was the answer to greater power in a smaller space.

So the question you might ask then, is why are all cars not designed with these "Hemi" heads? The answer is simple. We are lucky that today we have designed engines with an even greater ability than these early Hemi's. Most of our modern cars have smaller combustion chambers which also reduce heat loss, and contain 4 valves that allow the car to burn fuel more efficiently. While today's Hemi engines have been slightly reshaped and designed, once again they are available with the promise of all the power, and efficient use of today's world of high cost gasoline.

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