Charles “Pete” Hagenbuch, who once headed Chrysler’s production engine performance tuning and has worked on many of the company’s most famous engines, died this morning.
Pete graduated from West Virginia University in 1956, and earned an MAE degree from the Chrysler Institute of Engineering in 1958. He worked on the the 426 Hemi, the B/RB-series big blocks, the LA small blocks, the 2.2 turbos, and even the Australian Hemi Six.
In retirement, Pete was friendly and approachable, and volunteered a good deal of his time at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills. He participated in a two part interview with Allpar, and answered more questions by email later. He is survived by his wife, Ann, by his children, Cathy, Peter, and Daniel, and by nine grand-children and one great-grandchild.
Services will be held on Saturday at 3:30 pm at the University Presbyterian Church in Rochester Hills, Michigan. In lieu of flowers, Ann Hagenbuch requested that people donate to the Walter P. Chrysler Museum.
Dyno operator Ed Poplawski wrote, “Pete was a great guy to work for…Pete was very hands on involved in all phases of the testing. He always had a plan in place and you knew where you stood with him. He made a point to make sure all our equipment was running and backed me up if any problems came up.”
Burke Brown, who was in charge of the original LX cars’ development, wrote, “I would call him the consummate absolute role model of the dyno development performance engineer. He was all about running the dyno, getting really good data, sitting down and looking at that data, he understood all that stuff really well.”
While with Chrysler, he gained some fame as a slot car builder, and is to be featured soon in a book on the subject.
With the Detroit Auto Show over, it may be worth some time to look at one of the men who made yesterday’s and today’s Mopars possible.
- Pete Hagenbuch (brief biography)
- First interview
- Second interview
- Third “interview” (correspondence)
- Pete’s guided tour of the Walter P. Chrysler Museum
Allpar’s informal sources have agreed that there are plans for a new Dodge Viper ACR, debuting for the 2016 model year, possibly replacing the current TA (Time Attack) model. Artist suzq044 provided the following rendering, which uses SRT’s trademark black wheels and a Dodge concept-car semi-rendering. The Viper ACR may have a mild power boost, but will be mainly a suspension and/or airflow upgrade, to increase track [...]
Dodge has released pricing for the full Charger lineup, starting with the V6/eight-speed Dodge Charger SE at $28,990 (all prices include $995 destination for the “49 states”). Charger was thoroughly renovated for the 2015 model year, with a new look, suspension and electronics revisions, a standard eight-speed automatic for ever engine, and other upgrades. The top Charger, the SRT Hellcat, has [...]
The 2017 Jeep Wrangler may leave its historic steel body-on-frame construction and Toledo plant behind, according to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, as quoted by Automotive News’ Larry Vellequette. The current Wrangler has good mileage for rugged four wheel drive vehicles, but poor economy overall, at around 17/21 mpg (depending on model and transmission). Mr. Marchionne said the Wrangler will need to lose weight [...]
Keeping a years-long tradition, Chrysler today released a number of “teaser images” for concepts to be revealed at the SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Each brand is covered, though Chrysler has but one car — the 200S. That can be explained by the status of the brand’s three cars: the 2015 300 has yet to be launched, and the [...]
Months after unconfirmed reports made it to Allpar’s pages, the power of Automotive News, in the person of reporter Larry Vellequette, pried a key fact from Chrysler executives — that they cast and build “Ferrari” engines for Maserati. As our sister site pentastars.com reported, the engines are actually cast in Kokomo, and machined in the Trenton Engine plant, using a mixture of [...]