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FIREPOWER, FIREDOME and RED RAM

 CARS > MUSCLE CARS > FIREPOWER, FIREDOME and RED RAM

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Hemi

 

 



Production Performance Increases

In 1954, the first wave of increased power appeared. The Chrysler Fire-Power now developed 195 hp at 4400 rpm, still at a 7.5:1 compression ratio, but a new four-barrel-carburetor version developed 235 hp. The Dodge Red Ram was offered in a 7.1:1 compression ratio developing 140 hp at 4400 rpm, and a 7.5:1 version with 150 hp. The DeSoto FireDome now produced 170 hp at 4400 rpm.

Chrysler Corporation was poised to throw off its conservative image. The high-performance development work that showed the Hemi's potential was about to bear fruit that would attract the attention of the entire automotive world, and it was decided that this new car would be introduced for 1955. The car was the Chrysler 300.

Bob Rodger joined Chrysler in 1939 and entered the Chrysler Institute. After graduating, he was assigned to the Engine Development Lab in 1941. He was a key man on Drinkard'steam in the development of outstanding durability for the A239 FirePower engine. By 1954, he was resident chief engineer of the Chrysler car division. He knew well the performance potential of the FirePower engine and proposed the concept of a high-powered model with good handling and unique styling. This early product planning proposal resulted in the 1955 Chrysler 300.

From the time it began rolling off the assembly line in January 1955, it became the car to road test by automotive journalists. The 300's performance left them agog, establishing a high-water mark in acceleration, handling and top speed. The 331 ci FirePower now had a compression ratio of 8.5:1, a 280/270/60 mechanical camshaft, and two Carter four-barrel carburetors. It developed 300 hp—hence the car's designation—at 5200 rpm and 345 Ib-ft of torque at 3200 rpm. The only other car that even came close was the Cadillac Eldorado with 270 hp, but it weighed nearly half a ton more than the 4,000 Ib. Chrysler 300.

A less-potent 331 FirePower was offered in the Chrysler New Yorker Deluxe and the Imperial, having 250 hp at 4600 rpm and 340 Ib-ft of torque at 2800 rpm. To round out the Chrysler FirePower line-up, a new smaller-displacement V-8 with 301 ci was offered in the Chrysler Windsor Deluxe with an 8.0:1 compression ratio, developing 188 hp at 4400 rpm and 275 Ib-ft of torque at 2400 rpm.

Over at Dodge, the Red Ram Hemi received an increase in displacement to 270 ci, boosting output to 175 hp. This new, larger mill was standard in the Coronet and Royal. The Custom Royal had slightly more power—8 hp to be exact. An optional engine was available in all three models. The Custom Royal engine could be ordered with a Special Equipment Power Package that used a four-barrel carburetor. This produced 193 hp at 4400 rpm with 245 Ib-ft of torque at 2800 rpm.

For 1955, the DeSoto FireDome also was increased in displacement, to 291 ci. With a two-barrel carburetor, it was rated at 185 hp. A four-barrel version, called the Fireflight, was offered which developed 200 hp.

 


 
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FIREPOWER, FIREDOME and RED RAM

 CARS > MUSCLE CARS > FIREPOWER, FIREDOME and RED RAM


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TITLE: Car Consumer Reports and Consumer Guide 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.