Search By Make

Additional Information

Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth 426 HEMI V8 Engine

The Chrysler 426 HEMI V8 engine was introduced by Chrysler in 1964 and has become the company’s most famous engine. HEMI, short for hemispherical, is a reference to the engine’s hemispherical-shaped combustion chamber. Known as the “elephant engine” for its hefty size, the 426 HEMI was still smaller than the popular Ford 427 V8 and and wasn’t made available to the public until 1966. The engine had a horsepower rating of 425 but like many powerful engines of that time, most likely these numbers were serverely underrated to keep insurance companies happy.

The Dodge Coronet and Charger models used the 426 HEMI until 1971. The engine was also featured in the Coronet R/T and the Coronet Super Bee. Plymouth models such as the Belvedere GTX, Satellite, Barracuda, and Superbird were also powered by this legendary motor. When Chrysler re-introduced the HEMI in its line of trucks during the early 21st century, the 426 became known as “2G,” or 2nd Generation, HEMI to avoid confusion with the truck engines and the 1950s-era HEMI engines. The 426 HEMI cars are popular collector’s items, especially the 1969 “General Lee” Dodge Charger made famous by the 1980s TV series “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

The 426 HEMI was immortalized on the superspeedways by none other than the “King” of NASCAR, Richard Petty. With his Plymouth stock car powered by the 426, Petty won the first of his seven career NASCAR titles in 1964. In 1967, he won 10 consecutive races en route to 27 wins for that year. The HEMI was also a popular choice in NHRA drag racing.