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Notable Hemi Vehicles

Chrysler's 1st Dual Quad Hemi Race Car

*** updated on 10/17/2006 ***

The 1953 Chrysler New Yorker Club Coupe in front of you is a very special car. It is the very first two four barrel equipped hemi engine powered race car built by Chrysler Corporation. It is based on one of the fifteen cars originally intended for the Carrera Panamericana (Mexican Road Race) however this car was further special ordered by a Shah (believed to be the Shah of Persia who had a penchant for Chrysler products) above and beyond the specifications of the "Pan Am New Yorkers". Included in the '999' Special Engineering code request for this late '53 production car was the first dual quad intake system using the first available 1954 WCFB Carter carburetors on an experimental aluminum intake manifold cast by Bohnalite, a prototype producer for Detroit. This intake was on the Pan Am solid lifter high lift cam motor. Also this car received the following Imperial limousine heaviest duty passenger car parts: 4 wheel Ausco-Lambert disc brakes, vented wheels and wheel caps, large bearing hubs and rear axle with high speed differential and also limo shock absorbers. A heavy duty front sway was created for the car. The late '53 Powerflite 2-speed automatic was employed for its ruggedness and for homologation for the Road Race. 6-ply blackwalls tires were the best off road racing tires available in the day. The car was ordered radio and heater delete without power steering or brakes; a strict race car.

The Shah learned that race rules would not allow the experimental prototype induction system and refused delivery of the car from Chrysler. Rollie Barrett Chrysler Plymouth in Detroit took the car for showroom floor promotional use. After several months, the next door neighbor of Mr. Barrett, Chesley J. Crites, made an offer over breakfast that purchased the car. He had a radio and windshield washer installed prior to delivery. Mr. Crites was a Detroit industrialist serving the auto industry and also the World Skeet Shooting Champion in 1958 and was on 12 All American skeet teams. This car was his "toy".

In 1958 the car was put in the family barn with 32,508 miles on it. In 1984 Mr. Crites with his brother's help he took the car around the block one last time. The car was placed in a rental storage unit that same year. Following Mr. Crites passing in June of 1994, Judith Crites, the widow maintained the rental storage until June 3, 2006 when the car was purchased and taken to Texas.

This car is named "ADAM" because this is where the Chrysler Hemi racing program all began. A couple of independents were racing Hemi without any help from the factory but with this order Chrysler realized they could build a full-on high performance street Hemi race car that would out run anything anyone else could build. The ties to the Chrysler 300 Letter Car series with their dual quad Hemi and Imperial components (some optional) are obvious and the HEMI name lives on to this day in innumerable racing genres. There are few multi-decade racing legends that are comparable to that of the Chrysler Hemi. The first series of Chrysler Hemi engines, introduced in 1951, were named "Firepower".

With THIS ENGINE in THIS CAR the Firepower legend was lit and the rest is HISTORY.

Last Updated: 2006-07-04

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