On the cover of the MAY 2015 issue of HOT ROD magazine, an article by Thom Taylor: "FORD'S HEMI KILLER TURNS 50!"
The article runs from pages 92 to 99 and has several archive photos, but I found the text to be nothing more than rehash propaganda with some revisionist history.
I remember when Don Garlits aggressively advanced the ignition timing on his 426 HEMI. FORD didn't know what the hell hit them. "FORD'S HEMI KILLER", huh? Not-even-close.
Also, when I started reading Ed Pink's comments I had a little deja vu. I thought, "I've read this before...verbatim". Well, yes I have. I read Mike Magda's, The Old master, Ed Pink reflects on SOHC, IRL and Midget Engines, October 3, 2012 Engine Theory, Interviews.
Duplication aside, I for one am fed up to the teeth with the numbers fudging for an engine that was only infamous for oiling down the track, as it split the block and grenaded at a maximum of about 1500 horsepower. That's a thousand horsepower less than the article credits the SOHC.
According to ED Pink the block was intended for maybe 750 horsepower, but they were getting 2500 horsepower out of it on nitro. Really?! In what dimension of space/time? On what planet? In what edition of CarToons did the 427 SOHC produce 2500 horsepower on nitro?
To put things in perspective: In 1970 the most powerful Top Fuel car so far, was Gene Snow's Dodge Challenger bodied RAMBUNCTIOUS. That year, Snow was the first to win both Bristol races in a single season, to the AHRA SPRING NATIONALS and AHRA ALL-AMERICAN in addition to winning the NHRA title. RAMBUNCTIOUS had 1800 HEMI horsepower.
The 427 SOHC experienced serious mechanical issues at the 1200 horsepower level. At 1500 horsepower the SOHC was a smoking wreckage. As horsepower output approached 2000, the only competition the HEMI had was the CHEVY RAT. At around 2300 horsepower, the RAT was blowing off the cylinder heads. So...before 2500 horsepower the HEMI dominated Top Fuel. It wasn't until Keith Black's aluminum block for the 426 HEMI in 1974 and Donovan's heads that the HEMI developed 2500 horsepower. The 427 SOHC never did.
FORD'S foundry methods for the 427 SOHC were pathetic. The blocks did not meet the engineer's blueprint. The core-shift was so bad that even though the allowable overbore was 0.030" (thirty-thousandths of an inch), in reality it was impossible, or you were into the water jackets.
It became standard machine shop procedure to bore the block out to accept sleeves to resize the cylinders to OEM stock.
The 427 SOHC is also called "The 90-Day Wonder". Yeah, they got that right. It certainly was a "Wonder". A-one-pass-wonder. FORD won 4 races with the 427 SOHC. It took a tractor-trailer full of engines to do it.
No, I didn't forget NASCAR. Apparently the 427 SOHC has "legendary status" for being banned from NASCAR. Actually, the 427 SOHC "banned from NASCAR" is just another "Fractured Fairy Tale" and FORD propaganda BS.
To qualify for entry to NASCAR an engine had to be a push-rod type and in production for vehicles. The SOHC did NOT meet that criteria. It was an overhead cam exotic, not available in any vehicle. It was beyond consideration at the time, but it was NEVER banned.
NASCAR did actually tell FORD that they could run the SOHC with one 4 barrel in a GALAXIE, with a weight penalty. FORD had a hissy-fit, went dragracing, and got "fisted" by the HEMI.
The 426 HEMI was banned from NASCAR. If you weren't running a HEMI you weren't even in the same race. Sour grapes, mostly from FORD got the "426" HEMI banned. When homologation was no longer an issue and couldn't be used as leverage by the whiners, the only way a HEMI was allowable was if it had a significantly reduced displacement, like 404 cubic inches. As they continued to get their a$$es handed to them anyway, FORD's incessant whining got the HEMI disallowed in "any" displacement. All HEMI's were banned. Period.
The 427SOHC as it was produced by FORD was a compromised engine. Its "legendary status" was created and perpetuated by a following of slack-jawed anthropoids that mimic human speech, knowing nothing of that which they speak.
Once again, to put things in perspective, the "hemi" that the 427 SOHC usually raced against was the 392, last produced in 1958. That was NOT Chrysler's race engine. It was a "rodders" engine, most often plucked from a scrap yard car for a hundred-dollars, and then run bone stock with a supercharger on it.
The 426 HEMI® was Chrysler's factory race engine. When the 427 SOHC raced against it, everything changed. Like I said, "FORD didn't know what the hell hit them".
Discussion about the Hemi in general.
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