Ask any Mopar and Hemi fan and they will say that any day is a good day to celebrate the Hemi. However, it has become a known phenomena around the car community that April 26th (4-26) will now forever be known as National Hemi Day. To help celebrate and commemorate this glorious day and the magnificent Dodge/Chrysler motor, head over to the Dodge Life website and pick up your 2021 Hemi Day shirt. They have both male and female-style shirts.
Bit of history on the 426
So, if you haven’t already guess it, National Hemi Day is a nod to the iconic 426 cubic inch Hemi V8 engine that was built from 1964 through the 1974 model year. It was lovingly given the name “The Elephant Engine” due to it’s size. Only 6 years after the production of their first generation Hemi engine, Chrysler came out with this beast. This was also the first engine to officially wear the Hemi name. The massive engine had a 10.72 inch deck height and a 4.8 inch bore spacing. These specs made it the largest engine in the racing world at that time.
It was originally produced for Chryslers Nascar program and was used in their racing version of the Plymouth Belvidere. It was also not originally sold to the general public. This caused a some problems though. The 426 got banned from the 1965 Nascar season because of it. Chrysler quickly remedied this later in 1965 by shoving this motor into the Dodge Dart, as well as, the Plymouth Fury. Even later on in 1965 a version of the Dodge Coronet came out with aluminum fender and bumpers and a room for the massive cubic engine under the hood for drag racing.
In 1966 a street version of the Hemi was introduced and available in a wide variety of Chrysler vehicles. This made them once again eligible to be used in Nascar races. Not only that but it quickly made Dodge one of the top desirable muscle cars. The difference in these two motors was the street Hemi had a lower compression ratio and more street desirable camshaft than the race Hemi.
As the years went on Chrysler/ Dodge just kept improving the Hemi motor and shocking the world with these high-performance motors. We think it is fair that we take a day to celebrate them. So. happy 4/26, National Hemi Day!