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post #41 of 44 Old 12-13-2012, 01:29 PM
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At the center of Chrysler's contribution to American muscle car performance is a storied engine of remarkable achievement: the 1964 Dodge 426 Hemi.

This is the entry-level Dodge 330 model equipped with the 426 Hemi and
outfitted for drag racing with aluminum body panels. See more muscle car pictures.

The company's original run of Hemi V-8s ended in 1958, with a 390-bhp 392-cid edition. The design was sound -- large, hemispherical combustion chambers are highly efficient -- but Hemis were complex, heavy, and expensive.

By the early 1960s, stakes were high enough for Chrysler to try again. To win on NASCAR's new superspeedways, and to dominate at the cutting-edge of drag racing, Mopar engineers developed a Hemi based on the 413/426 wedge-head engines. It still was costly and complicated, but the new mill weighed just 67 pounds more than the wedges. Maximum advertised horsepower for the 426-cid Hemi was 425. Rumor had dyno needles breaking at 600 bhp.

Arriving in 1964, the 426 Hemi immediately propelled
Dodge and Plymouth into NASCAR's winner's circle. Drag-racing
versions like this one used two four-barrel carbs.

These engines were reserved for racing, and their impact was immediate. Debuting at the Daytona 500 in February 1964, they promptly swept the first three places in NASCAR's premier event. Stock-car racing Hemis had a single Holley four-barrel atop a dual-plane high-rise intake manifold and were used with a four-speed manual gearbox. Drag-racing versions had a ram-tuned aluminum induction system with Carter AFB dual quads. Available only in special-order intermediate-sized Dodge and Plymouth models, they ran the four-speed or the TorqueFlite automatic, which was in its last year with pushbuttons.

It could be used on the street, but the 426 Hemi in '64 Dodges and Plymouths
was really a race engine. The true street version would arrive for 1966.

Available from the factory were a series of sub-12-second supercars that used aluminum for the hood, front fenders, doors, and some body panels. A lightened front bumper and magnesium front wheels were standard. The cars had no radio, no heater, no back seat or carpet, no sound deadening material. Feather-weight Dodge van bucket seats were used, the side windows were plastic, and the battery rode in the trunk.

Shorn of all comfort amenities, including radio and heater,
this 1964 Dodge 426 Hemi was a race-ready lightweight
muscle car that did 11.4 seconds in the quarter-mile.

Street versions of the Hemi engine wouldn't be available for a couple of years. But King Kong had arrived.
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post #42 of 44 Old 12-13-2012, 06:08 PM
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post #43 of 44 Old 12-13-2012, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Malcolm65 View Post
I see a few main points

1. Chrysler was the most accomplished American company in the 1960s with respect to racing
2. That doesn't really matter in 2012
3. Dude needs to learn how to talk to people better
4. There is no car that can match the 2012 Charger line for room, power, and price

5. In 2012, Chrysler is no longer at the top of the heap with respect to performance. It is a good value but not a performance leader.
1. Disagree, every manufacturer had their day in the sun in the 60's. Chrysler's real dominance of Nascar, for example began in 1970 and continued throught the 70's. It's dominance of drag racing really began in 68 and continued throughout the 70's and 80's (and further).
2. Really, I suppose that's why retro cars are selling so well? People who arn't aware of their history are doomed to repeat it. Don't buy for style and don't complain when we get stuck with Cordoba, version 2.
3. Agreed
4. In RT and SRT versions, V6-a Taurus is a close competitor in performance and price.
5. Compared to what? It is a performance leader in the mid-full size class of four door sedans, for under $50,000. Find an RT or SRT competitor than can out perform it for under $50,000.

Last edited by 13WhiteSRT; 12-13-2012 at 07:04 PM.
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post #44 of 44 Old 12-14-2012, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by 13WhiteSRT View Post
4. In RT and SRT versions, V6-a Taurus is a close competitor in performance and price.
The SHO compares to the Superbee in price but not HP. The SHO compares to the R/T in horsepower, but not price. Most R/Ts are in the low to mid $30K range. Try to find a new SHO for that price. Ain't gonna happen!

5. Compared to what? It is a performance leader in the mid-full size class of four door sedans, for under $50,000. Find an RT or SRT competitor than can out perform it for under $50,000.
I totally agree there.


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