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Monday January 13, 2014
Hail Hemi's 50th, 1963-64 Studebaker R-Series Specs and PNs, 1964 NASCAR Ford Road Test - and More!

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Chrysler's Hemi Stage Two - Introduced 50 Years Ago!  
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Hemi's Intro

The drag race version of the 1964 Hemi graced
Hot Rod Magazine's April 1964 cover.

Hemi's Intro

The Hemi Head compared to the RB wedge in this
Chrysler engineering drawing.

by Wild About Cars Staff

OK, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the famous 426 Hemi’s introduction in this year, but let’s not forget that this beauty was Stage Two. The fabulous 426 would never had existed if Chrysler Engineering hadn't done so much development work back in the late 40’s on hemispherical combustion chambers and then properly refined the design for production – which debuted in the 1951 Chrysler.

With further enhancement over the years, the Stage One delivered close to 400 HP from 392 cubes in the Chrysler 300 D. The first Hemi was replaced by the "RB" wedge in 1959.

So when Chrysler was looking to end Ford’s 1963 domination in NASCAR, Tom Hoover convinced the brass that his engineering team could develop similar heads for the current RB wedge V8. Remember now that the 413/426 Max Wedge engines were having a field day in drag racing, but in single carb form they were mediocre in the roundy-round circuit. Fords were having their way with the 427 FE, and Chrysler’s top managers were pissed.

Hoover, head of Chrysler's Race engine development program, was able to convince the brass that he could fit hemi heads to the RB wedge engine and design them in record time. Mike Buckel tells us in his series on the Ramchargers that the engine pieces showed up in December 1963 in the dyno room, and it was a big surprise to most of the staff. In early dyno tests, the NASCAR single-4bbl engine pulled 525 HP at 5600 rpm. Of course, the rest is history.

Richard Petty and a host of other Plymouth/Dodge cars showed up at the 1964 Daytona 500 and smoked the field. Ford petitioned for the SOHC 427, but they were denied by Bill France, forcing that mill into a drag racing power plant for its entire life, and never once to be found in factory delivered stock cars.

Initially the Hemi had a checkered career. Outlawed for 1965 in NASCAR because you and I couldn't buy it, Chrysler decided, “Oh what the heck”, and the Street Hemi was made available for 1966. From then on, the Hemi established itself as the killer street, strip and track engine.

Thank you Chrysler Corporation, because the current 21st Century Hemi can trace its lineage all the way back to 1951 – and the Corporation’s dedication to that wonderful configuration . . .

To Read more about the Hemi Development from Chrysler itself - Click HERE!


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1964 Studebaker R-3 V8 Studebaker's R-Series Engines - High on Performance Low on Sales!

Studebaker's modern OHV V8 came on the scene in 1951 and emulated the best practices of the new Caddy and Olds V8s. However, they made one big mistake, they designed an engine block that could not exceed 300 cubes. When the HP race started in earnest, they were in trouble. Enter supercharging - from 1957-1964, the Studebaker engine relied on supercharging to make HP, and the R-Series engines of 1962-64 could get it done . . .

Click here to read more on the tremendous R-Series Studebaker V8s!

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1964 442 Test   GTO & 442 Debut Stories - America was ready for mid-size muscle.

Big cube engines in mid-size cars were not invented by the GTO but rather by MOPAR. The 413/426 wedge in the Dodge and Plymouth mid-size cars began in 1962, but since Chrysler touted them as large cars, this favorable power to weight scenario went unnoticed by most. It was when the popular GM A-bodies were introduced in 1964 specifically to capture the "youth market" that the concept had the legs to take off. When Pontiac shoved the 389 in the GTO and Olds got 310 HP out of the 442, it was then that the magazines took notice . . .

Read the famous "fake" GTO article that got the ball rolling!

1963-64 NASCAR Ford Road Test   Back in the Day - 1964 Ford NASCAR Stocker Road Test.

"It takes a whopping amount of preparation to make an ordinary passenger car ready for stock car racing. And it is preparation which puts the winners ahead of the pack." So said Car Life magazine in their expose and test of Fred Lorenzen's NASCAR stocker. The car started  life  as  a  Ford  Galaxie hardtop, with all the heavy-duty equipment that could be loaded aboard, including a 410-bhp version of Ford 's Super Torque 427-cu . in. V-8 . . .

To see the full Test and Report - Click HERE!

2011 Mustang vs Camaro and Challenger   Modern Muscle - 1986 Mustang GT versus IROC Z Camaro Test.

IROC Z versus Mustang GT - it was a war back then. The Chevy had owned the playing field since the reintroduction of the 5.0 V8 in the 'Stang in 1978, but times were changing, and the new EFI 5.0 had some real ponies to put in the corral. The net result in 1986 was glory to the Ford camp, but the war would rage to this day . . .

To see this head to head battle - Click HERE!

McMurray fastest at Daytona IMSA Testing   Austin Dillon posts top speed at Daytona International Speedway - January 10, 2014.

Testing had been suspended for rain on Thursday, and on Friday, starting was also a problem, as once again rain persisted throughout the morning. At 12:45 p.m. Greg Biffle finally led the parade onto the racing surface, and ultimately, 40 different cars turned laps at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. It was Austin Dillon who maintained a stranglehold on the top of the speed sheet. By 5:30 p.m. he had posted fastest lap at 195.109 mph . . . .

Click here to read more on the Autoweek website!

Maradyne Jetstream Fans
  Product News - New Technology Nailhead 401/425 Forged Pistons!

Nailhead Guru Tom Telesco is teaming up with RaceTec Pistons to offer customized forged pistons for 401/425 Nailheads. Here's your chance to get strong, forged piston sets made to your specs. Primary benefits are strength, optimized quench and compression ratio to produce efficient combustion to reduce detonation and maximize power. Low drag and lighter weight configurations available . . .

CLICK HERE to Read the Rest of the Story.

Check Out the Latest Uploads   Library Listings - What's Hot in the Auto History Library.

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