based on early '60's Mopar Logo

Mopar Memories -- yarns spun, stories told!

Tales of '62 to '65 Mopars that got away; that stole our hearts; that burned vivid images in our mind that still pleasantly shock us today....

My 1963 Dodge Hemi

Don Dulmage writes:

This is my first 1963 Dodge Post Car, complete with a 426 Hemi engine. These engines respond to tuning!

This was before the days of good torque convertors and such. In a stock chassis with no frame connectors or such it was pushing that car over 120 MPH in the quarter despite improper gearing etc. The car had a Dana in it which added to the weight. I weighed it without me a Toronto International Dragway (that is the track where Dick Harrel was killed for those who remember) and it weighed 3750 pounds.

1963 Dodge

I guess the Hemi was slightly heavier than the big block but the Dana was a lot heavier and I probably shouldn't have used it.

Hey, I was very young and inexperienced. I did the best I could. Anyway the engine which is what we are talking about worked very very well as you can tell from the MPH.

I used a Sig Erson 999XX solid cam and I must confess that if I had to do one now (almost 30 years later) I would be really tempted to use it again. It pulled very strong right up to and past the finishline and was almost frightening at the far end of the track. It would run down the big block 427 Camaros that populated the bracket racing back then and would usually catch them and fly by in the last 100 feet of the quarter. Often its mph figure was 6 or 7 MPH higher than theirs and I have looked over many times to see them looking over with their jaws dropped and their eyes wide open. The usual comment I got was "where the H_____ did you come from!?"

1963 Dodge

Unfortunately that was in time trials. I couldn't drive worth a hoot back then (and still can't) and did not realize how important chassis was to the car like I do now. Other than that, we had the TRW 12.5 to 1 pistons, matching valve springs for the cam and the heads cc'd to 168 cc. We recurved the distributor like we still do (in the book) and ran the street hemi manifold and carbs that came with the engine. The carbs were jetted up but otherwise were stock and ran the factory progressive linkage.

I sold the engine after 5 years of hard hard racing to the Rini Brothers of Canadian top fuel fame and recently asked Jim Rini what happened to it . He said he didn't know where it was but knew it had never been used since they bought it. That could mean anything like even it is in his basement as the Rinis don't like to part with anything---ever.

I remember we made our own dual pick up oiling sytem and made the pan from a Hemi top section and the bottom section of a 549 International truck pan (HD gas engine) which was remarkably close in length and width but would hold 10 or twelve qtz (IMP). It had the traditional tube for the steering link to pass through.

1963 Dodge

Oh how I wish I had it now! Nothin' but nothin' sounds or pulls top end like a Hemi!

Don Dulmage
Visit Don's Web Site.

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