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Chrysler Hemi engines Last updated on September 28, 2013

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Chrysler Hemi sites
Chrysler Hemi parts sources

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Since its introduction in the 1950s, no other engine has come close to equaling the role the Chrysler Hemi has played in Top Fuel drag racing or on the salt flats.

Hot rodding pioneers like Joe Mondello did great things with Oldsmobile engines as Mickey Thompson did with Pontiacs, and Tommy Ivo did with Buicks. But the Chrysler 392 quickly became the engine of choice on the strip, as well as on the salt, and the dry lakes.

The 392 was built to last. I've owned one, a '58, which I bought when I lived in Harrisburg, North Carolina. I can tell you that having carried all three, a stock 392 cylinder head feels more than twice as heavy as a Donovan small block Chevy block or a Holman and Moody aluminum 427 Ford block. Even a water pump off a 392 weighs more than two or three good mountain bikes. But if the Hemi hadn't been built so stout, it never would have survived to achieve its status.

Once the Hemi had established its dominance in drag racing, engineering visionaries that included Keith Black designed and produced reinforced aluminum blocks and free-breathing aluminum heads for the Hemi which were better suited to blown and injected nitro racing.

To this day the engines used in virtually all Top Fuel cars and Funny Cars, back to the Keith Black engines, and the JP1 engines that were made by the late Joe Paisano, are all based on the Chrysler 426 Hemi.

It's unfortunate that there are some of you that have yet to experience the sound of a Hemi on nitro. I'll extend myself just a tad by summing it up this way:

"Now I've been to church and I've been to the drags, and brothers and sisters, for those of you who have never heard a Hemi on nitro, get thee to the drag strip when the Fuel cars are running. Get thee a pit pass, and bring thyself to a Fuel car being tuned up. Listen to the overwhelming sound of what must be the closest thing you can hear in this life to The Sound Of God. Reach out, brothers and sisters, and bask in the glory of the almighty Hemi. For I have heard the Hemi testify. And I believe! Yayass, I believe."

Chrysler Hemi sites

Hemi-powered Pantera AllPar — by Steve Boelhouwer

Classic Hemi

Hemi Pantera

Mo-Power Events

Mopar Parts and Accessories

Mopar's Infamous Hemi

Fred Ristagno's Pro Stock Hemis — The original Sox and Martin Pro Stock Hemi Duster, and the world's quickest and fastest Road Runner — 7.21 at 193

You'll find links to more Mopar-related Web sites on the Muscle Cars page.

Chrysler Hemi parts sources

You'll find thousands of links to speed equipment manufacturers' Web sites in the Speed equipment directory, and have a look on the Muscle cars page too.

American Hemi Speed Center — in Australia

BAE — Brad Anderson Enterprises, Inc.

Billet Machining Technology, Inc. — 392 and 417 heads

Keith Black Racing Engines

Capanna Company — transmission adapters and valve covers

Cavalieri Racing Equipment

Cirello Magnetos

DLIDick Landy Industries

Dvorak Machine

For Hemis Only


Hot Heads Research & Racing, Inc. — trick 392 parts

Alan Johnson Cylinder Heads

Koller Dodge — crate engines and parts

Mooneyes — valve covers

Mopar Performance Parts


Nielson Vintage Racing Cams

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