4 ways to celebrate all things Hemi on 4/26

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FCA

Although it was an expensive and somewhat rare option, Chrysler’s 426 Hemi V-8 made a huge impact in both street cars and in racing. It set records in NASCAR, was a menace in Pro Stock drag cars, and rewrote the rules in Top Fuel drag racing, where Hemi V-8 architecture is still being used today. Here’s a look back at our favorite Hemi content to get your Hemi knowledge firing on all cylinders for April 26.

Know the history

hemi engine cutaway
Beau Daniels

Step one in Hemi appreciation is a look into its history and development. Performance-testing veteran and engineering aficionado Don Sherman shows the guts of the Hemi engine and how its design decisions applied to real-world power.

Dig into the machine

You can tell the 426 Hemi means business without even popping the valve covers, and the bigger, meaner, 500-cubic-inch Top Fuel Hemi found in the quickest cars in the world make that even more apparent. Davin Reckow and the Redline Rebuild crew tore into a 11,000-hp nitromethane-burning Hemi to see the extreme end of pushrod technology. It may be made of aftermarket components, but deep down it’s just the latest evolution of Chrysler’s big-block Hemi.

Love the legends

1969 Dodge Charger Daytona NASCAR
Courtesy of Mecum

Big-block Hemi V-8s have been record-setter and race winners right out of the gate and claimed plenty of memorable automotive firsts. The 1969 Charger Daytona you see above was the first car to run 200 mph on a closed circuit.

Appreciate the art

1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible profile
Mecum

Not every 426 Hemi car was a racer, some were just powerful, beautiful machines. This 1971 ‘Cuda convertible is about as understated as a Hemi ‘Cuda can be and yet still exudes muscle car machismo.

If you’ve got a Hemi-powered machine of your own, whether it’s an early Firedome-powered fantastically finned cruiser, one of these 426-powered brutes, or a late-model daily driver with some attitude, we hope you get a chance to hear your V-8 roar today.

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