Mopar's Infamous Hemi
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Notable Hemi Vehicles

1950s Marine Hemi Engines

Century Boats

Century used Chrysler Hemis in their boats from 1955 to 1960. All models were known to be either 331 or 354 Hemi engines. An ad was possibly spotted with a Marine 426 Hemi with dual staggered carbs, but a 426 was never offered in a Century boat.

The 331 Hemi was available in 200-hp dual 1-bbl or 250-hp dual 4-bbl. The 354 Hemi was available in 225-hp dual 1-bbl or 275-hp dual 4-bbl. The late 1959s and 1960 boats, while Chrysler never mentioned any changes, were much faster than the previous 1957-58 boats.

Information provided by Century Boat Club, Inc.


Hydroplanes (eg- Z-Z-Zip)

Joe Guess of Southern California built Z-Z-Zip between 1954 and 1956. The original motor was a 1953 DeSoto Firedome 276 Hemi. The engine was modified by Bobby Sykes from Clay Smith Racing Engines. It was sleeved down to 266 cubes (per the APBA 266 hydroplane class), dry sump, and naturally aspirated with Hilborn cross-ram fuel injection (serial #1 for this style). Horsepower is somewhere around 425 to 475 at 6500 rpm.

This boat still holds the One Mile World Straightaway Record for the 266 cubic inch hydro class with a two way average of 146.945 mph on December 29, 1958 in south Florida. It also holds the World Kilo Record with a two way average of 148.638 mph on January 31, 1969 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Tom D'Eath finished restoration of Z-Z-Zip in spring of 2003.

Information provided by Tom D'Eath and Z-Z-Zip F-4.

Last Updated: 2002-08-14

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