W hen one thinks of American muscle cars of the late 1960s and early 1970s, or indeed of any time, the one engine that stands head and shoulders above the rest is the Chrysler Hemi. It was quite simply the most powerful production engine of its time, so powerful, in fact, that Chrysler understated its real power by a substantial amount. In print, the Hemi produced a claimed 425 hp (317 kW) at 5,000 rpm. In practice, it was more like 500 hp (373 kW) at 6,000 rpm. But despite offering more power than anyone else, even at that “official” figure, during an age in which horsepower was king, the Hemi sold only in tiny numbers. It was an option on several Chrysler muscle cars, but there

An early Chrysler V8 internal combustion hemispherical engine.

Hemi Muscle Cars 9

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