Want to feel the satisfaction of doing a comprehensive engine overhaul without getting off your ass? I know I do, and watching this video really made me feel accomplished. Vicariously. Which, today, seems like enough.
Chrysler Hemi FirePower engines like this one first showed up in cars in the 1950s. After all, FirePower gave the Saratoga Coupe its fearsome 12-second 0-to-60 time. Pretty sure you could hit that in a UPS truck today, but it bought you solid bragging rights back in 1951. Running a two-barrel carburetor, the FirePower would have made something like 180 horsepower.
As Allpar explains, FirePower engines were tweaked and tuned up with better exhaust flow, more aggressive cam shafts and higher compression pistons over their production run. Apparently Chrysler’s own crew squeezed as much as 353 horsepower out of this engine in its day, and of course independent hot rodders would have been running skunkworks of their own with these.
As you can see in the video, the build on this particular engine is dialed entirely toward big-power rather than period-correct originality.
Engines look so easy to work on when they’re freed from the confines of a car. That said, even safely mounted on an engine stand in a well-lit workshop, this rusty boat anchor of a Hemi seems pretty intimidating to a mediocre mechanic like myself. But watching Hagerty’s techs Davin and Matt strip it, dismantle it, clean the everloving heck out of it inside and out is inspiring.
That’s it, I’m finally going to open that can of degreaser and start tidying up my engine this weekend. Okay, maybe next weekend. How about you?
Hat tip to KCG!