Dodge,Engineering,Mopar,Powertrains,Technology | April 26 2019

HEMI® Day: Running the numbers on history-making engines

Performance car fans celebrate April 26 as HEMI® Day, marking the day the calendar aligns (4/26) with the displacement of the second-generation V-8 powerplant.

Join the celebration: Pull on your HEMI and Mopar gear and give the throttle of your car or truck a blip or two to let everyone know today is a special day.

The nearly 70-year history of HEMI engines at our company is filled with plenty of numbers. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • 1950: The original hemispherical combustion chamber engine design is introduced with the FirePower name for 1951 model-year Chrysler vehicles, rated at 180 hp. Dodge, DeSoto and Imperial also used versions of the engine
  • 138: Decibels of the FirePower-driven Chrysler Air Raid Siren
  • 1958: Final year of the first-generation HEMI engine
  • 1964: The Gen II 426 Race HEMI engine debuts as Richard Petty laps the field and wins the Daytona 500. Top three finishers are powered by 426 Race HEMI engines
  • Also 1964: “Big Daddy” Don Garlits breaks the 200-mph barrier with a Gen II 426 Race HEMI-powered car, covering the quarter-mile in 7.78 seconds at 201.34 mph
  • 1965: NASCAR blocks the 426 HEMI by mandating a minimum level of street car production
  • 1966: With the launch of the street version of the 426 HEMI, the engine returns to NASCAR. Petty again wins the Daytona 500
  • 11,000: The number of Gen II 426 HEMI engines produced for customers, making muscle cars with the engine sought after by collectors
  • 350: Net horsepower rating of the Gen II 426 HEMI in 1971
  • 345: Horsepower rating of the Gen III 5.7-liter HEMI when it debuted in 2003 in the Ram pickup
  • 345, 370, 376, 392: Cubic-inch displacements of the Gen III HEMI (5.7-liter, 6.1-liter, 6.2-liter, 6.4-liter)
  • 840: Horsepower rating of the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI Demon engine in the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.
  • 1,000: Horsepower rating of the “Hellephant” 426 Supercharged Crate HEMI engine
  • 11,000+: Horsepower of the nitro-fueled Gen II HEMI-based engines used by drag racers today in NHRA’s Top Fuel and Funny Car classes.

Dale Jewett

Do you know your blood type? Mine is 100 octane (not your standard blood bank classification). At any given moment, I’m thinking about cars – driving one, fixing one, buying one or (in my dreams) restoring one. So I love to tell stories that involve horsepower, brake and wheel diameters
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Do you know your blood type? Mine is 100 octane (not your standard blood bank classification). At any given moment, I’m thinking about cars – driving one, fixing one, buying one or (in my dreams) restoring one. So I love to tell stories that involve horsepower, brake and wheel diameters and 0-to-60 times – and the people who make it happen. Because behind every awesome vehicle are amazing people with vision and the desire to make it a reality. I cover Mopar, Dodge, SRT and motorsports for FCA Digital Media. I learned to drive on a 1973 Jeep CJ-5 with the rare Super Jeep option package and three-speed manual transmission. I still belong to the dwindling club of people who prefer to shift their own gears, and think the best way to drive is with the top down!