The Dodge Heritage: Engine Envy


The Dodge legacy of performance is built on great engineering—and that includes its engines.


In the early 1960s, Dodge put the racing world on its ear with the Max Wedge engine series. Introduced in a 413 cubic inch version in 1962, the engine dominated drag racing in the hands of a group of young Chrysler engineers who called themselves the Ramchargers.  The engine was enlarged to 426 ci for 1963 and proved even more successful.


As Detroit’s muscle car wars heated up in the late 1960s, Dodge unleashed a performance street engine based on the same general architecture. Known as the 440 Magnum and first used in 1967, it became famous powering Chargers, Super Bees, and other Dodge performance vehicles.


But surely the most iconic Dodge engine of the era is the 426 Hemi (shown above). First developed in 1964 upon the same rugged B/RB engine family as the Max Wedge and the 440 Magnum, the 426 Hemi stood at the top of the heap in drag racing and NASCAR for years—and is still winning races today.


And this same basic technology—the hemispherical combustion chamber—is employed in the latest generation HEMI 5.7L and 6.4L engines offered in the Charger and Challenger today.  The Dodge tradition of engineering and performance runs deep.


To build your own Dodge, visit



  • HEMIhead
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    What I wouldn’t give for a real V8 with plug wires and a carburetor. Those V8’s of the past looked awesome to say the least. Today, not so much. We’re obsessed with plastic engine covers.

    Posted September 10, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Yes, the infamous plastic engine covers.  My Challenger would die on the hot days (over 100) when I would make a right turn into a parking lot.  I realized that the SRT8s do not have an engine cover so I took mine off.  The car runs so much better without it and I have never had that problem again.  They should not put engine covers on Texas cars or any other car that is shipped to the South.  We do not get the 20 below zero weather where I see that it could be useful.

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