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Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Power to the People: When Big-Block Engines Suddenly Showed Up All Over the Place

Posted June 07, 2018 9:00 AM by dstrohl

[Editor’s Note: Martyn Schorr’s Day One: An Automotive Journalist’s Muscle-Car Memoir takes readers through muscle-car history like few others can: From the perspective of somebody who drove, tested, raced, and wrote about all the hottest Detroit cars. For this week’s Hemmings In-Depth, Schorr gave us the green light to run an excerpt from the book, specifically from the chapter that details how the muscle-car market heated up in 1966.]

When carmakers announced their 1966 models in September 1965, it was like the muscle car floodgates had opened. Ford had already proven that its 1964–1965 marketing mantra—“Win On Sunday, Sell On Monday”— worked. For 1966 Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors unleashed their all-time hottest models and, in Ford’s case, the most ambitious racing plans of any carmaker ever. It was nirvana for car enthusiasts and automotive magazine editors.

The biggest big news for 1966 was the 426 Dodge and Plymouth Street Hemi. After teasing us with on-again, off-again streetable 426 Hemi cars in 1965, the option was officially announced. Rated at 425 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 490 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, the Street Hemi was, essentially, a detuned race Hemi with milder 276-degree solid-lifter camshaft, 10.25:1 compression, and dual inline Carter AFB four-barrel. It boasted the same valve and port size cast-iron race Hemi heads and added new cast-iron long-branch exhaust manifolds. Since race heads did not have provisions for exhaust heat crossover, heat was piped from an exhaust header to the intake manifold.

Looking back at the 1960s displacement wars among the Big 3.

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