The hemispherical head design was revived in 1964. These were the first engines officially designated Hemi, a name Chrysler trademarked. Chrysler Hemi engines of this generation displaced 426 cu in (7.0 L). Just 11,000 Hemi engines were ultimately produced for consumer sale due to their relatively high cost and the sheer size of the engine bay required to fit it in. The 426 Hemi was nicknamed the "elephant engine" at the time, a reference to its high power, heavy weight and large physical dimensions. Its 10.72 in (272.3 mm) deck height and 4.80 in (121.9 mm) bore spacing made it the biggest engine in racing at the time.
The 426 Hemi of the 1960s was an engine produced for use in NASCAR, used in a racing version of a Plymouth Belvedere in 1964. It was not initially available to the general buying public. The 426 Hemi was not allowed to compete in NASCAR's 1965 season due to its unavailability in production vehicles sold to the general public and because of complaints by Ford regarding its power. However several special production cars were produced and sold with the 426 Hemi. These were the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Fury later in 1965 included the Dodge Coronet and included aluminum fenders and bumpers and for drag racing. However they were sold to the general public. Chrysler introduced the "Street" Hemi in 1966 for its intermediate range of cars and sold the required number of Hemi engines to the public to legitimize its use for NASCAR in 1966. The "Street Hemi" was the same as the racing Hemi but with lower compression (10.25:1 from 12.5:1) a smaller cam shaft, with iron headers instead of lighter steel long tube headers.
The 426 Hemi also was used in NHRA and AHRA drag racing. Its large casting allowed the engine to be overbored and stroked to displacements unattainable in the other engines of the day. Top-fuel racing organizers limited the bore spacing of engines until very recently, when under pressure from Ford and other manufacturers, the bore spacing allowed was increased to 4.900 in (124.5 mm)-this allows other engines such as the Ford 385 series to begin to compete. The engines based on the old Chrysler design predominate Top Fuel and Funny Car classes due to plentiful parts, large amount of research and development, as well as decades of experience with the problems of the engine's design. In drag racing today, the engine bears little resemblance to any engine produced by FCA; it is usually equipped with a large Roots type supercharger and short individual exhaust pipes, and fueled with nitromethane. Yet, this variant is used in Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Modified classes.
The 426 Hemi, in "street Hemi" form, was produced for consumer automobiles from 1965 through 1971. There were many differences between the Hemi and the Wedge-head big-block, including cross-bolted main bearing caps and a different head bolt pattern. There were also many differences between the racing Hemi's and the street Hemi, including but not limited to compression ratio, camshaft, intake manifold, exhaust manifold. Some 1960s NASCAR and NHRA Hemi engines featured magnesium cross-ram intake manifolds and magnesium oil pans in an attempt to reduce the massive weight of the overall engine, along with chain-driven internal dry-sump oil systems. Today, aftermarket blocks, heads, intakes, rods and pistons are usually made of aluminum.
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