Credit: Original article published by Classic Cars Journal.
Today is April 26th or 4/26, if you will. Those are magic numbers for Mopar fans because 426 is the size of the Max Wedge that first appeared in 1963, as well as its hemi-headed replacement in the middle of the 1964 model year.
The “Street Hemi” debuted for 1966 and quickly established itself for being the engine to beat. The Street Hemi was expensive and had a mechanical presence that few could beat. The final 1971 model year saw what is considered the most desirable muscle car built, the Plymouth ‘Cuda convertible with an R in the 5th character of the VIN.
Of course, there was a Hemi built before the 426 because Chrysler started using hemispherical heads from 1951-58, but it’s the Generation II Hemi that is most fondly remembered. In fact, the cache for the Hemi is so strong that Dodge introduced a Generation III Hemi for 2003.
Twenty years later, it seems the Hemi is going the way of the dodo to make way for electrification. Plenty of enthusiasts are not happy with the Hemi being put out to pasture. Frederick Scat Pack, located at Kufleitner Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram in Boardman, Ohio, is one of the more vocal critics of this move. Known as “The Challenger Guy,” Bob Frederick is a top supplier of Scat Pack and Hellcat Dodge models for customers all over the US of A due to his mission of finding the right muscle car or truck for you regardless of availability or rarity. To address this product-planning public relations nightmare, Frederick has developed an online petition to save the Hemi V8 addressed to CEO of Dodge/SRT, Tim Kuniskis, Stellantis Head of U.S. Sales, Jeffrey Kommor, and Stellantis CEO, Carlos Tavares. To wit:
The HEMI is the magic at the heart of it all. Whether it’s a 9-year-old kid or an 80-year-old man or woman, the first words out of their mouth when they come up to one of our products is “That thing got a HEMI in it?”. Yes, it’s THAT important and no other manufacturer has anything close! It appears there is a globalist agenda at work. It threatens our way of life and the globalists don’t understand us Americans, nor does it seem they care. The importance of V8 engines to us Americans is something that can’t be overstated and should never be underestimated. Sure, there may be a few 4 or 6 “bangers” with turbos cranked up that could outrun a lot of V8s, but nothing pumps adrenaline through an American Car Guy or Car Girl like a thundering V8 engine!
Why hand Dodge customers to Ford on a silver platter? We want Hemis and we are willing to pay for them! Frederick Scat Pack needs your help — let your voice be heard and sign the petition at frederickscatpack.com to join the growing number of enthusiasts who feel that our streets need Hemis to survive.