Hemi, short for hemispherical, refers to the legendary cylinder head configuration that Chrysler and its various subsidiaries made famous, starting in the mid-1950s. The Chrysler Hemi was the engine of choice for championship NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car teams, as well as few very successful Pro Stock teams.
Away from the track, Hemis got stuffed into hot rods, rat rods, Jeeps and even boats. If you wanted to go fast, you wanted a Hemi under the hood.
In recent years, Chrysler has reintroduced the Hemi engine – or at least a greatly modernized interpretation of it – and marketed it with great success, using the tagline, “That thing got a Hemi?”
At the 43rd Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Collector-Car Auction, Jan. 12-19, there will be about three dozen Hemi cars for sale, representing a wide cross-section of styles, budgets and preferences. And with 36 hours of live television coverage on the FOX family of channels, you’ll see plenty of live Hemi action from Barrett-Jackson.
Here are a few of the Hemi vehicles slated to cross the auction block:
LOT 5017, 1968 PLYMOUTH BARRACUDA RACE CAR ‹ One of the Salon Collection cars sure to generate an enormous amount of interest at Barrett-Jackson is this legendary Hemi race car that formerly was owned by the late, great Ronnie “Mr. 4-Speed” Sox of Sox & Martin fame.
A true icon of the halcyon era of NHRA Super Stock drag racing, this is one of about 50 lightweight Barracudas built for competition. Comes with extensive documentation and race history.
LOT 755, 1955 DESOTO FIREDOME SPORTSMAN TWO-DOOR HARDTOP ‹ Let¹s be honest here. Nothing screams “1950s” louder than an über-cool two-tone, coral and white paint scheme. This one comes with a stock 291-cubic-inch Hemi engine, power steering, wire wheels, factory AM radio and then some.
LOT 799, 2009 JEEP WRANGLER UNLIMITED CUSTOM SUV ‹ Here¹s a bright orange Jeep that¹s about as different as different gets, a tricked-out, bulked up custom off-road warrior made for the SEMA show in Las Vegas. It also appeared on the cover of Four Wheeler Magazine in May 2012. Power comes from a 6.1-Liter SRT8 Burnsville Off Road Hemi conversion kit with a dyno rating of 505 horsepower.
LOT 1291, 1969 DODGE HEMI CHARGER R/T ‹ For the purists, here¹s a real rarity: A 1969 Dodge Charger with its original matching-numbers engine, which was removed from the car when it was drag raced new and reinstalled after its racing days were over.
Heavily optioned, this Hemi Charger has a TorqueFlite automatic transmission, tinted windshield and an 8-track tape player with rear speaker. Best of all, it¹s been driven just 1,295 miles since new.
LOT 1088, 1932 FORD CUSTOM HOT ROD ‹ Known as the Lil’ Coffin II, this utterly trick 1932 Ford 2-door sedan was professionally built as a tribute to Dave Stuckey, who built the original Lil’ Coffin. This beautiful hot rod has been shown at the Grand National Roadster Show, Detroit Autorama and World of Wheels, taking Best in Class at each show. It is powered by a 291 cubic-inch DeSoto Hemi engine.Barrett-Jackson, Cars, HEMI