The First Hemi Clone?
This month's story on Hemi history doesn't retread most of the age-old factoids about the Elephant, Mopar's 426 Hemi. But here may be a little dirt you haven't seen. This is a '64 Chrysler PR photo, shot in huge and detailed 8x10 format, that depicts a very early mock-up version of the Race Hemi. See the flat, round pad at the front of the cylinder head? There should be a core plug there, tipping us off to the fact that this is a phony engine model with heads that are rumored to have been carved from wood. The rest of the engine, with its NASCAR four-barrel intake, cowl-intake air cleaner, and kickout oil pan, looks true to the first Stock Car Race Hemis that competed in 1964. This also appears to be the same engine used in another press photo that shows Chrysler's Paul Ackerman standing with this engine between a '64 Dodge Polara and a '64 Plymouth Fury.