Nicknamed the “elephant engine,” the 426 HEMI is mostly known for its presence in high-performance street cars, but Chrysler actually designed it with something different in mind. Its purpose was to power Mopars to victory in the NASCAR series, which it did in its first outing in the Plymouth Belvedere in 1964.
However, it couldn’t do the same in 1965, when NASCAR did not allow HEMI cars to compete due to the engine’s unavailability in production models sold to the general public.
The decision prompted Chrysler to create a few HEMI-powered factory dragsters in 1965 and to release the engine in regular-production Dodges and Plymouths for the 1966 model year.
Whether we’re talking about sleeper-like Belvederes and early Chargers to mean-looking ‘Cudas and Daytonas, they’re all rare and desirable come 2022.
The 1967 Coronet you see here is part of that lineage and it’s as awesome as restored muscle cars get. And since it’s finished in Scorch Red, it lands on these pages just in time for Christmas.
This figure also includes the W023 Super Stock factory dragster, built in 55 units, and a few impossible-to-find iterations of the midsize.
But that’s enough math and probability talk for today because I’m pretty sure you’re here for the HEMI Mopar goodness. And yes, there’s also idling, revving, and in-car driving footage to enjoy.