Prototype NASCAR Hemi

Discussion of the prototype Hemis.

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mrotz
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Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:49 pm

Prototype NASCAR Hemi

Post by mrotz » Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:22 pm

I am new to this board but have been a mopar motor head for 30 years. I don't think I am out to the senior motor head portion of my life where memory truly plays tricks but.... I seem to remember reading in a mopar magazine some 20 years ago about an experimental engine designed to compete in an all-out cubic inch war with Ford after their developed their version of a hemi should the 426 not been competitive. I know most prototypes were designated by A1---- or something but A1 is all I remember about this engine. I recall plans to build in the 500-600 cid range and distinctly remember a photo showing heads with 3 inch primary tubes attached. No copies survived from what I read as the project was quicky scrapped. We all know what happened to the idea of a cubic inch war in NASCAR once the winged cars were introduced. Am I losing it earlier than I anticipated or was this a real project and not just an April Fools' issue? I wish I had thought to keep the magazine because I cannot find any evidence of the story anywhere. I do not believe that this was part of the DOHC project but I may be wrong. This was strictly a monster motor project that never went anywhere. Help me out those of prototype hemi expertise!

George
Posts: 641
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:12 pm
Location: Fl

Re: Prototype NASCAR Hemi

Post by George » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:45 pm

There's been a couple different Prototype Hemis on EBay recently, don't know if 1 of them is what you're talking about.

moparornocar
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun May 25, 2003 9:16 pm
Location: Pineywoods of East Texas

Re: Prototype NASCAR Hemi

Post by moparornocar » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:22 am

The story appeared in the WINTER '89 issue of MOPAR MUSCLE. I still have the magazine with the 6 page story and pictures.
I offered the story to ALLPAR.COM and this board, but due to fear of copyright infringements or some similar reason they both declined to publish the story.
The engine designation was A-925, at least one was ran on some test runs. It was a 426 CI, DOHC, 4 valve. The cams used an outside Gilmer belt drive with some internal gears in each head.
I scanned all the story pages to "MY DOCUMENTS" and they are still on the older PC I was using in about 2003.
Nascar heard about the engine and in the fall of 1964 warned MOPAR to pull the plug on it. There was some mention in the story of over 900 HP.
'51 Hemi & 55 SBC, a class of their own

mart
Posts: 536
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:06 pm

Re: Prototype NASCAR Hemi

Post by mart » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:06 pm

moparornocar wrote:The story appeared in the WINTER '89 issue of MOPAR MUSCLE. I still have the magazine with the 6 page story and pictures.
I offered the story to ALLPAR.COM and this board, but due to fear of copyright infringements or some similar reason they both declined to publish the story.
The engine designation was A-925, at least one was ran on some test runs. It was a 426 CI, DOHC, 4 valve. The cams used an outside Gilmer belt drive with some internal gears in each head.
I scanned all the story pages to "MY DOCUMENTS" and they are still on the older PC I was using in about 2003.
Nascar heard about the engine and in the fall of 1964 warned MOPAR to pull the plug on it. There was some mention in the story of over 900 HP.
----------------------------

I believe the A-925 DOHC Hemi was informally referred
to at the time as the "Doomsday Machine". It was
supposedly built to show - and to not too subtley, threaten
- Bill France, that if he allowed Ford to run their new 427
SOHC "Cammer" engine in NASCAR, that Chrysler was
prepared to, not just up the ante a bit, but rather, launch
an all-out 'arms race' and 'technology war' by bringing out
a DOHC hemi. Hence the "Doomsday Machine" moniker!
The end result was that France disallowed the Ford
'Cammer and in fact, from that time onward,NASCAR has
outright banned any and all OHC engines from NASCAR
competition - just like NASCAR also banned supercharging
and fuel-injection in the 1950's and halted any further
factory development of that technology for the next
30-plus years! The fear was, that if the Ford Cammer
was allowed and Chrysler countered with a DOHC engine,
that the ensuing 'technology war' between Ford and
Chrysler (and possibly even drawing GM back into the
fray too), would then quickly escalate on a 'month to
month' - and possibly even a 'week to week', 'money is
no object' basis, driving up the costs up to racers, by
constantly totally obsoleting their equipment and thus,
basically eliminating the "little guy" non-factory-backed
racers, who were the majority in NASCAR and who's
presence made up and filled out the pack behind the
top factory-backed "name" racers in the front couple
of rows. There was also - I think, a misguided and
highly overrated - fear of supposedly alienating the
fans too, first by possibly eliminating a lot of the
"little guy-home town hero" type racers whom
a lot of fans came out to cheer - and then further,
by the factories dominating the racing with all kinds
of exotic 'race-only' engines that would allegedy,
never make it into the dealer showrooms or onto
the street. NASCAR is a business, not a sport - and
before the days of advertisers paying NASCAR
mega-millions of dollars for advertising and promoting
all kinds of sleazy products, placing paying "bums
in seats
" ie - fans in the bleachers, was where NASCAR
made it's money. It was probably a mistake, because
had the Ford Cammer- and then the Chrysler DOHC
Hemi been allowed, the technology would have
invariably trickled down, first to the drag strips and
then, eventually, to the street. Proof of this is that
even *supposedly* "non-racing" (yeah, right!<LOL>)
GM - notably, Pontiac and Oldsmobile - were secretly
developing their own big-block - both SOHC and
DOHC - hemi engines - "just in case" - an all-out
'overhead-cam-hemi' based technology war between
Ford and Chrysler did develop. Sadly, thanks to Bill
France, none of this ever happened....but just think
'what could have been and what we could have
and probably would have been driving by the late
1960's!

About the A-925 DOHC "Doomsday Machine" hemi.
As I mentioned, it had been a bit of a ruse, mostly
designed to intimidate France and NASCAR, by showing
them what lengths Chrysler was prepared to go to
remain competitive. From what I understand, the
actual engine never existed, at least not in running
form and the photos of the actual A-925 prototype
engine shown to NASCAR officials were in fact, of a
non-running wooden mock-up. However the DOHC
cylinder heads and valve gear - which Chrysler *could
have* adapted to a modified version of of the
production 426 Hemi block - did exist and had been
run on a test stand where the heads were reportedly
good for continuous running at something "in excess
of 8000 rpm
"'(!) - and of making peak power
somewhere "around 900 hp"(!!), naturaly aspperated
and with just single 4-bbl carb! "Doomsday Machine"
is right! And just think that Ford and GM would been
forced to develop next, to counter it! Racing does indeed
"improve the breed" and cause the development of new
technology....but only *if* it's allowed to!

mart
---------------------------------
Added July 3....

P.S. - I forgot to add.....being a '4-valve per cylinder'
engine, the A-925 techically was *not* a hemi. Rather,
it was a 'Pentroof" engine, because it used 'pentroof'
shaped combustion chambers rather then
hemispherical shaped ones. But because Chrysler was
already using and profiting from the "Hemi" name and
since - at first glance anyway - a pentroof combustion
chamber looks enough like a hemispherical combustion
chamber, that most people - other than engineers and
(other) true technophiles - wouldn't know or even care
about the difference, Chrysler and most everbody else
too, just referred to the A-925 as a "Hemi"and the name
stuck.
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