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See the 1947 aluminum-head V8 blueprints

by David Zatz on

The original Hemi engines had superior performance for any given displacement, when compared with their American counterparts, but the large heads provided to be quite heavy, a disadvantage both in handling and in repairs. One solution would be using aluminum heads.

In 1947, Chrysler apparently was investigating that solution — as part of an option to the Hemi engine which most reports claim had already won the internal contest. “68RT” wrote that this head has parallel valves.

The son of a Chrysler engineer has provided blueprints for an aluminum head V8 engine. The “double rocker” engine, later known as the Hemi, ended up being Chrysler’s sole V8, starting with the 1951 cars.  The first generation Hemi was an advanced, efficient design, but competitors pumped out cheaper, larger engines, and Chrysler finally relented.

Eventually, the Hemi made its return for a rare 426 cubic inch engine, primarily designed for racing (there was a street version so the racing cars could be called “stock”). This engine was the first to have the Hemi name. See the blueprints.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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