Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hemi! One Word Says It All.

At a car show or drag race, a Hemi powered car stops people in their tracks. Many die hard Ford and GM enthusiasts won't admit it, they hold the Hemi engine and Hemi powered musclecars in high esteem.

By the late 1960s, the Hemi upped the performance ante so high that Ford and GM couldn't even compete. In NASCAR racing, the Hemi's performance tipped the scale so far that it was banned. It was so powerful, so potent a machine and so far above the competition that the playing field had to be leveled.

In pure stock form, the Hemi was more than the equal of the Ford and GM engines. When modified, it was unbeatable. In addition, these monster engine were installed in some of the finest looking cars Chrysler ever offered. During the few years that the Hemi was available, approximately 11,000 were made.

In 1966 Chrysler faced a dilemma. In order to race its Hemi engines in NASCAR, Chrysler had to build assembly line versions. So in 1966 it created street going Hemi engines.

To make the Hemi streetable, Chrysler's engineers had to detune the powerful race engines. The aluminum heads were replaced with cast iron versions. The compression was dropped so it could run on premium pump gas and the cross-ram intake was replaced with an aluminum intake. The intake was fitted with 2 Carter AFBs in tandem. The Hemi's horsepower was listed as 425 at 5,000 rpm.