TITLE: Muscle Car Used Car History Vehicle History Report at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

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426 STREET HEMI

 CARS > MUSCLE CARS > 426 STREET HEMI

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Muscle Cars

GTO 1964-1967

Shelby Mustang

Hemi

 

 



426 Street Hemi Ruling the Road 1966-1971

For years, automotive enthusiast magazines have stated the 426 street Hemi was offered for sale to meet minimum production requirements by NASCAR and other sanctioned racing organizations. This is partly true, but other factors were involved in turning the 426 Hemi loose on American streets.

Early on, Chrysler looked into offering the 426 Hemi in passenger cars during the 300 Hemi program. To make the 426 street Hemi affordable, expensive steps in the engine's manufacture were to be deleted and modifications made to civilize the Hemi for street use. But the proposal went no further.

The idea of putting the 426 Hemi in street cars was not as outrageous an idea at the time as one might first believe. It was, after all, the performance era, and every car manufacturer was offering high-performance, large-displacement engines—some with multiple carburetion—in their passenger cars. Chrysler had offered Hemi-head engines in their cars before, and they were touted for their greater performance compared to Ford and General Motors. For 1964, Chrysler offered a new 365 hp 426 Wedge in its Dodge and Plymouth models, and the 426 race Hemi was offered in those Dodges and Plymouths for sanctioned drag racing.

In light of all this, it is easier to understand Chrysler's decision to de-tune the 426 race Hemi and make it an option in select models. What Chrysler perhaps did not know is that the 426 street Hemi was destined to become the most desirable high-performance engine ever bolted into a passenger car.

During the latter months of 1964, product planning meetings were held by Chrysler management to discuss the feasibility of offering the 426 Hemi in their cars. On January 6, 1965, Bob Rodger, special car manager and chief engineer, and Robert Cahill issued a Product Planning Letter with the title: "Hemi Performance Option Super Stock and 'A' Stock Competition." It was specifically addressed to J. C. Guenther, manager of Styling Administration and H. R. Steding, executive engineer of Engineering Administration. The models affected were 1966 model-year Plymouth and Dodge B Series cars with B and
C Bodies. This letter was actually a change to an earlier performance engine proposal and gave the following description of change:

"Because of continued requirements for an ultimate performance dragstrip, and street type engine with expanded usage, the following change in the engine lineup has been agreed upon after discussion with the affected areas. Please release a hemispherical combustion chamber engine for 'B' Series with the following general characteristics:
1. Intake manifold to have two four-barrel carburetors.
2. Cylinder block to maintain cross tie bolt main bearing caps.
3. Cast iron exhaust manifold.
4. Solid lifters are acceptable but not preferred.


5. Pistons—Forged acceptable and thermally controlled preferred.
6. Manifolding and camshaft to be designed to give best high speed power possible while still maintaining a reasonably drivable vehicle for summer and winter.
7. Automatic and four-speed [manual] transmissions required (4-speed to have development priority).
8. No air conditioning required for 'B' Series.
9. Limited warranty is acceptable for 'B' Series usage."

Projected production volume stated in the letter was 5,000 to 7,500 cars, to take effect for the 1966 model year. The letter closed with this statement: "This engine to replace eight barrel wedge requested in Product Planning Letter... dated 8/5/64."

With the release of the January 6, 1965, Product Planning Letter, events moved quickly to make the 426 street Hemi a reality. On January 12,1965, W. J. Bradley issued a product description of the street Hemi, now having the designation A102. It listed all the preliminary findings of additional changes that had to be made to the 426 race Hemi for use in street cars.



 
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426 STREET HEMI

 CARS > MUSCLE CARS > 426 STREET HEMI


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TITLE: Muscle Car Used Car History Vehicle History Report at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory : Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Vehicle, Vehicles, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car Price

Site Description: Car Consumer Reports and Consumer Guide on automobile, brake, buying car, car care, car cost, car safety, cooling system, drivetrain, electrical, exhaust, emission, fluid check, fuel system, ignition system, lubrication system, suspension and steering. Offers Free VIN Check, VIN Check

Cars Topics: car consumer reports on automobile, brake, buying car, car care, car cost, car safety, cooling system, drivetrain, electrical, exhaust, emission, fluid check, fuel system, ignition system, lubrication system, suspension and steering.