Tag: Dodge

Evolution Of The HEMI V8: From The Classic Era To Modern Powerhouses – James Bimson @HotCars

Evolution Of The HEMI V8: From The Classic Era To Modern Powerhouses – James Bimson @HotCars


The HEMI V8 engine began life in 1950, spanning three generations across a whopping 70+ years! The Chrysler Corporation initially manufactured its notorious V8 engine to tackle GM’s 5.0-liter Rocket 88 performance V8 and Ford’s disastrous Flathead V8 engine. Despite having a mountain to climb, Chrysler had a trick up their sleeve.The HEMI V8 engine, past and present, operates with eight hemispherical-shaped combustion chambers, allowing Chrysler to fit larger valves, increasing power. A hemispherical design also reduces the surface area within the chamber, limiting heat loss. In turn, the dependable HEMI V8 design transports its superior air-fuel mixture far more efficiently than its fellow V8 cousins, making the HEMI V8 engine the most efficient way to develop large amounts of power with a V8 format.Sadly, the revered HEMI V8 formula will retire at the end of 2023 as Dodge looks to switch to a more efficient propulsion method to replace today’s increasingly troublesome V8 engines. Be that as it may, now is the perfect time to cast our beady eyes across the HEMI V8 engine’s incredible lifespan, powering automotive icons from Dodge and Plymouth, all the way down to the grunty pickups from RAM and questionable SUVs from Jeep.

1951-1958: First-Generation Chrysler Firepower HEMI V8 Engine

The first ever HEMI V8 arrived with a different name, the Firepower V8. Chrysler unleashed their original HEMI V8 engine in 1951 due to their experience building hemispherical engines for the military. The 331 (5.4-liter) V8 developed 180 hp, powering iconic Chrysler nameplates such as the New Yorker and even went on to feature across the failed Imperial marque. It’s worth noting that Ford’s Flathead V8 produced around 110 hp, and GM’s Rocket 88 could reach 135 ponies in 1951. Meaning, Chrysler had the most powerful V8 engine among the big three.Perhaps even more interesting, the Firepower V8 became the chosen power source for the world’s loudest siren! The Chrysler Air Raid Siren, built between 1952-1957, produces a brain-melting 138 decibels, drawing power from a 5.4-liter Firepower HEMI V8 engine. Sirens aside, only three of Chrysler’s four automotive brands used the Firepower V8 HEMI engine.Chrysler and their later “Imperial” luxury marque operated with Firepower V8 engines ranging from 5.4-6.4 liters in size. The most powerful arrived in 1957, developing an incredible 375 hp aboard the Chrysler 300, displacing 6.4 liters. Chrysler’s efforts quickly became a favorite for dragsters of the era thanks to their Carter WCFB dual four-barrel carburetors setup and hydraulic valve lifters, allowing their 1957 luxury 300 models to reach the lofty heights of 375 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque! In fact, the Chrysler 300 could go from 0-60 mph in around eight seconds in 1957!

1951-1958: DeSoto And Dodge HEMI V8 Engines

DeSoto and Dodge also got their greasy paws on the Firepower HEMI V8 engine. DeSoto rebranded the V8 engine, the “Firedome” V8, and remained a step behind the flagship Chrysler cars. The DeSoto Firedome V8 had a maximum power output of 345 hp from their 1957 5.6-liter iteration of the HEMI V8 engine.Ironically, by today’s standards, Dodge featured the weakest version of the first-gen HEMI V8, maxing out with their “Super Red Ram” HEMI developing just 260 hp aboard their Coronet and Royale models.

1964: Second-Generation 426 “Elephant” HEMI V8 Engine

The most fabled of HEMI engines, the 426 HEMI, saw a return of the hemispherical V8 engine in 1964 solely for racing purposes. Despite being the second HEMI V8 engine, the 7.0-liter titan was the first to wear the “HEMI V8” name within Chrysler marketing materials.Chrysler’s 426 HEMI V8 quickly got to work, dominating the NASCAR championship at the hands of racing royalty such as Richard Petty and David Pearson. Chrysler fitted the aptly named “Elephant” to Plymouth Belvedere models initially, and luckily for gearheads, NASCAR quickly had the engine banned.

Homologation Street Hemi (7.0-Liter)

Chrysler’s 425 hp and 490 lb-ft of torque second-generation HEMI engines were too much for NASCAR. Sadly, due to complaints from Ford and a change in homologation rules, the vast 800 lb V8 engine got pushed out of the 1965 NASCAR season, leading Chrysler to create production variants of the notorious HEMI V8 to return to the track. Luckily for us, that resulted in the A102 Street HEMI, responsible for powering some of the most prolific muscle cars between 1966 and 1971.Chrysler’s Street HEMI V8 arrived with a pair of four-barrel AFB carburetors and a reduced compression ratio of 10.25:1 compared to 12.5:1 produced by its racing counterpart. By producing a street version of their notorious V8 engine, the HEMI returned to racing for the 1966 season.Some of the most notable muscle cars featuring the 426 HEMI are scarce gems today, such as the Dodge Dart HEMI, Dodge Charger R/T, Plymouth Superbird, and Plymouth Cuda. The 426 HEMI engine arrived in small numbers, rocketing Mopar’s greatest muscle cars from 0-60 mph in around five seconds, while shattering the quarter mile in under 14 seconds. Unfortunately, a little-known event called the “oil crisis” retired the legendary 426 HEMI V8 post-1971.

2003: Third-Generation “Eagle” HEMI V8

Back in 2003, while under the stewardship of DaimlerChrysler, the HEMI V8 engine made an astonishing return, replacing the Magnum engine series to return Chrysler’s character of old. The “Eagle” HEMI featured a two-valve pushrod design partnered with an electronic throttle control system, developing a hearty 345 hp from its 5.7-liter displacement.The returning HEMI eventually grew to 6.1 liters for SRT-branded models, arriving with a forged crankshaft and lighter pistons. Further upgrades to the 6.1-liter saw a cast aluminum intake manifold and a wholly revised coolant channeling system to aid the performance block. However, best of all, the 6.1-liter HEMI V8 produced a somewhat familiar 425 hp at 6,200 RPM, just like its 426 HEMI predecessor

2011: Apache HEMI V8

Another engine condemned, the “Apache” HEMI V8, arrived in 2011 and featured onboard a limited number of “392 HEMI” badged cars. This 6.4-liter iteration of the Eagle HEMI pays homage to the HEMI V8 engines of old, developing a hearty 525 hp thanks to its additional high-strength forged aluminum pistons. The 392 HEMI replaced the 6.1-liter performance V8, going on to feature within limited SRT models, such as the Durango and Challenger SRT 392 models. In fact, the Apache HEMI even replaced the 5.7-liter HEMI engine across Cab-Chassis RAM Pickup trucks post-2016.

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From SRT to Demon, Here’s Everything There Is to Know about the 2003 to 2023 Gen III Hemi V-8 – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings


For 20 years, a veritable pandemonium of Hemis powered everything from modern muscle cars to trucks and SUVs

While many cars and trucks of the Eighties and Nineties dispelled the notion that American performance died off with the original muscle cars, it took an entirely new engine—one more powerful and less expensive to produce than its predecessor—to reignite the horsepower wars and usher in a new golden age. The Hemi V-8 has since become a standard-bearer for Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, and Jeep vehicles, and its basic engine architecture has spawned more than a dozen configurations, some of them difficult to discern from others. For that reason, we’ve put together this spotters guide to the third-generation (or gen 3) Hemi family of engines

What Sets the Hemi Apart

Teased in the 2000 Chrysler 300 Hemi C and the 2001 Dodge Super8 Hemi, the new 5.7-liter Hemi (Chrysler stylizes it as HEMI, but for expediency’s sake, we will not) debuted in the 2003 Dodge Ram pickups, featuring a deep-skirt cross-bolted iron block, aluminum heads, overhead valves, 4.46-inch bore spacing, the same bellhousing bolt pattern as the Chrysler LA-series V-8s, coil-on-plug ignition, composite intake manifolds, multipoint fuel injection, and that controversial head design.

Like the second-generation 426 Hemi, the 5.7L Hemi heads featured a camshaft in the block, opposed valves for a true crossflow design, twin spark plugs, and rocker shafts. The third-generation Hemi did not, however, feature a full hemispherical combustion chamber. Instead, Chrysler’s engineers decided to flatten either side of the combustion chamber to improve combustion efficiency and emissions. Some might argue that doesn’t make the engines true Hemis, but then again, the Hemi V-8s of yore were massive, heavy engines that cost a lot to machine and that wouldn’t meet modern-day fuel-efficiency or emissions requirements

Even though prevailing internal combustion engine design called for multiple valves operated by overhead camshafts (indeed, one of the engines the Hemi replaced, the 4.7L PowerTech V-8, used single overhead camshafts), the Hemi stuck with a two-valve, pushrod design. As they did with GM’s LS-series V-8s, critics scorned that layout as antiquated and unable to meet power, mileage, and emissions demands. However, Chrysler’s engineers made the most of it by taking Tom Hoover’s advice to relocate the camshaft upward in the block, thus shortening the pushrod length and improving valve train geometry.

What’s more, as Allpar reported, the Hemi proved less expensive to manufacture than previous hemispherical-head designs, which meant the engines could turn a profit just as easily as they could turn into ad copy gold.

5.7-Liter Hemis

After debuting in the Ram truck line, by 2005 the Hemi migrated to the LX-chassis cars (Dodge Charger R/TDodge Magnum R/TChrysler 300C) with the same 5.7-liter (345-cu.in.) displacement but a few changes. Truck engines—rated at 345 horsepower in the Ram, 335 horsepower in the Grand Cherokee, Durango, and Aspen—continued to use their own intake manifolds that mounted the throttle body atop the manifold. Meanwhile, car engines—rated at 350 hp in the Charger Daytona R/T and 340 hp in the other cars—moved the throttle body to the front of the intake. The 2005 car engine revisions also saw the introduction of the Multi-Displacement System, which deactivates four of the eight cylinders at cruising speed to improve mileage.

The most significant revisions to the entry-level Hemi came in 2009, with the so-called Eagle 5.7L Hemi. The 3.917-inch bore and 3.58-inch stroke remained the same, but Chrysler engineers added new heads, which reduced the combustion chamber volume from 85-cc to 65-cc and which flowed better with square intake ports and D-shape exhaust ports; Variable Camshaft Timing, which advances or retards timing by up to 37 degrees; larger intake valves; beefier connecting rods; a 58-tooth crankshaft sensor wheel; and a 10.5:1 compression ratio. The Eagle Hemi also features an active intake manifold with a flapper door that switches from long intake runners to short runners at higher rpms. The end result: anywhere from 360 to 375 horsepower in cars and SUVs and anywhere from 383 to 395 horsepower in Ram trucks.

Note that Chrysler engineers also built a version of the Eagle 5.7L specifically for the 2009 Durango and Aspen hybrids. These used a special camshaft and still used EGR valves after Chrysler had eliminated EGR from all other Hemis. Poorly received when new, the likelihood of coming across one of these in the wild nowadays is slim.

To identify one, look for a “5.7L” cast into the side of the block just above the oil pan mounting surface.

SRT Hemis

Along with the 2005 changes to the 5.7L, DaimlerChrysler also introduced the first SRT-8 engine that year, the 6.1-liter (370-cu.in.) Hemi. More than just a bump in displacement thanks to a larger 4.055-inch bore, the 6.1L featured an aluminum intake manifold (the only third-gen Hemi that didn’t have a composite intake manifold), forged crankshaft, D-port cylinder heads with 74-cc combustion chambers and 2.08-inch intake valves and 1.60-inch sodium-filled exhaust valves, aluminum exhaust manifolds, bigger fuel injectors, oil squirters aimed at the underside of the pistons, and a more aggressive camshaft. Combined, these modifications make for a nice heritage-inspired horsepower figure of 425 (in the SRT-8 versions of the 300C, Magnum, Charger, and Challenger; 420 in the Grand Cherokee SRT-8). Look for a “6.1L” cast into the side of the block just above the oil pan mounting surface.

Rather than upgrade the 6.1L as with the Eagle 5.7L, in 2011 Chrysler engineers replaced the 6.1L altogether with the 6.4-liter Hemi, also sometimes referred to as the 392 or the Apache, an engine that technically debuted in 2010 on the Challenger Drag Pack cars. Along with the displacement increase (the result of a larger 4.090-inch bore and a longer 3.72-inch stroke), the 6.4L benefited from a 10.9:1 compression ratio, 2.14-inch intake and 1.65-inch exhaust valves, the 6.1L’s oil squirters, an even more aggressive camshaft, and an active intake manifold like that found in the Eagle 5.7L. Initially rated at 470 horsepower, the 6.4L bumped to 485 horsepower in 2015 with the introduction of the Scat Pack cars (Grand Cherokee and Durango SRT versions of the 6.4L bumped too, but just to 475 horsepower; the 6.4L in the Wrangler Rubicon 392 produces 470 horsepower). All 6.4L car and SUV engine intake manifolds have a front-mounted throttle body angled toward the driver’s side of the vehicle. Look for a “6.4L” cast in the side of the block.

At roughly the same time that FCA bumped the output of the 6.4L, it also made the larger Hemi available in the Ram 2500 and heavier trucks. Essentially similar to the 6.4L used in the cars and SUVs, the truck version used a BGE (Big Gas Engine) block with improved casting processes, higher nickel content, and a slightly more rigid design. Horsepower figures varied from 366 to 410, depending on the application. Look for a “BGE” cast into the side or back of the block and an intake manifold that angles the throttle body toward the passenger’s side of the vehicle.

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Carbon-Fiber 1970 Charger and 1969 Camaro Just the Start of a Wave of Composite-Bodied Classic Muscle Cars – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings


One thousand pounds. Half a ton. Way more than any strongman contestant can lift. That’s how much weight Finale Speed has been able to cut out of a 1969 Camaro by replacing its steel body with carbon fiber. And the company’s aiming to bring that supercar technology to pretty much any American muscle car.

“Carbon fiber’s been around for years,” said JD Rudisill, who founded Finale Speed in Yukon, Oklahoma, in April 2022. “It’s what they use in Formula 1, all the hypercars, because it’s just a fraction of the weight of steel. Half the weight and double the strength, is what they say. It’s just that nobody had used it on the classics.”

Other aftermarket companies have offered ready-made carbon-fiber components, Rudisill noted, and a handful do offer full carbon-fiber bodies, but Rudisill said that as far as he knows, Finale is the first company to offer full carbon-fiber bodies for 1968-1970 Dodge Chargers and first-generation Chevrolet Camaros.

The latter made its debut this past week at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction as a complete car dubbed Viral, powered by a 650hp LT4 6.2-liter crate engine. The former has had a far more eventful few months. From the start, Rudisill wanted to work with Dodge representatives to license the second-generation Charger’s design, and even before those agreements were in place, he got an invitation to unveil the Charger’s bare carbon-fiber body at Dodge’s Speed Week event in August – the same event at which the company debuted its all-electric Charger Daytona SRT Concept.

“We just got there, and we’ve got Tom Sacoman (Director of Dodge Product and Motorsports) and Ralph Gilles (Stellantis Head of Design) crawling all over it,” Rudisill said. “I’m in shock. Then Tim Kuniskis sees it and says he wants it at SEMA, still unfinished and with a Hellcrate in it.

According to Rudisill and Finale’s Chris Jacobs, the company has been able to make such great strides in less than a year due to a number of factors. While Rudisill gives credit to the eight guys in the shop who came to the company from Rudisill’s prior venture (“The eight best guys you want working on carbon fiber cars,” he said), he also has 15 years of experience working with carbon fiber in automotive applications. Finale has also partnered with Brothers Carbon in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, which supplies the dozen or so pieces that Finale then pieces together into bodies.

(For what it’s worth, Brothers displays a complete carbon-fiber Bumpside F-100 body on its websiteSpeedkore has also built full carbon-fiber Dodge Chargers, but does not appear to offer the bodies separately. Kindig-It Design offers 1953 Corvettes with full carbon fiber bodies. Classic Recreations, which was already building carbon-fiber Shelby G.T.500s, also announced a full carbon-fiber Shelby Cobra body last year.)

Perhaps just as important, Finale employs a straightforward, old-school method for building carbon fiber bodies that dispenses with the time-consuming process of CAD modeling, 3D printing, and other high-tech prototyping solutions normally associated with carbon fiber. More like creating fiberglass body panels, the process starts with sourcing a body from which Finale can pull fiberglass molds, which then go to Brothers for laying up with prepreg (carbon fiber sheets with the resin already embedded in the carbon fiber weave) and curing in an autoclave. “With the prepreg, they just roll it out and trim it to fit,” Jacobs said. “It looks just like they’re installing Dynamat.

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Dallas Dig Out 2022 – Dallas Autoparts Cold Ash Berkshire


The Dallas Dig Out is a regular event held three times a year at Dallas Auto Parts, who are a WW2 Jeep, M201 and Dodge specialists. The event is a combination of a military jumble and an open day at the Dallas Facility. For me the open day aspects and any vehicles that may be on display or an sale is reason enough for a visit.

If you’ve got £10,000 this could be yours?

Or this one which I believe is a 1945
Also comes with a trailer!

There is an impressive range of both spares and artifacts on display which are always worth a look.

Also on display is an excellent cutaway 1942 Willys MB which until recently was on display at an army museum.

A nice way to spend a few hours on a sunny October morning

The Winter Dig Out is as per above.

The Dodge Brothers – The Company and The Family – Dr. Russel Dore @Auburn Hills Public Library


Join Dr. Russel Dore for this fascinating look at the historic Dodge brothers – Their life, legacy, and company.

More information on the Dodge Brothers here on Wikipedia

1915 Model 30-35 touring car

Truck Rewind: Scrappy Little Dodge Power Ram 50 Pickup Truck – Future Collectable – Nathan Adlen @TFLTruck


Ram has just announced their intention to build a new midsize pickup truck by 2022. While we may have to wait another several years for a smaller Ram truck – how about this blast from the past?

Based on the Mitsubishi Mighty Max/Forte/L200, the Dodge Power Ram 50 Pickup Truck was the 4-wheel-drive (4WD) version of the Dodge D50 pickup truck. The Dodge D50 entered the U.S. market in 1979, several variants were built including the short-lived Plymouth Arrow and a diesel engine option between 1983-1985. Rare by today’s standards, the ’83 turbo-diesel came with a TC05 turbo making 80 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque. The ’84–’85 TD04 turbo-diesel made 86 hp and 134 lb-ft torque. U.S. production ended in 1994. Four-speed manuals were standard and a three-speed automatic transmission was optional.

A (much maligned) 3.0-liter V6 became available in nearly every market, but it was not a popular power-plant.

In 1981, the Dodge Power Ram 50 4WD was introduced. At the time, all Dodge trucks that came with 4WD were known as “Power Rams.” It came with a carbureted 2.6-liter I4 that produced 106 horsepower and 139 lb-ft of torque. While those numbers were not class-leading, the truck weighed well under 3,000-lbs and was considered very capable off-road. Despite the fact that Dodge introduced the mid-size Dodge Dakota in 1987, sales of the Dodge Power Ram 50 Pickup Truck continued to sell.

The Dodge Power Ram 50 had two bed lengths available after 1987. A 72-inch and an optional 88-inch bed were available with both beds sitting on a 105.5-inch (short bed) or 116.1-inch (long bed) wheelbase. Both beds were 55.7 inches wide.

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The World Needs More Non-Ford Speedsters and These ’33 Dodge Parts Would Be a Great Start. Here’s How I’d Build It. – David Conwill @Hemmings


I just came across all these parts stripped out of a 1933 Dodge Brothers DP Six. Presumably, that’s a sign that the body and frame are in the process of being street rodded. These parts are hardly useless, however, as they’ve got plenty of life left in them. Yes, you could set them aside planning to find and restore another ’33 Dodge, but I think they’d make the perfect basis for that rarest of creatures: a non-Ford speedster.

Early (i.e. pre-1949) Fords are neat. I love them. That said, there are a lot of them out there. Go to a prewar car event and Model T’s, Model A’s, and early V-8s are everywhere. People loved them and saved them and a whole industry (Hemmings included) grew up around keeping them alive long after the point when Ford Motor Company had moved on to more complicated and profitable designs.

Of course, even in the 1920s, when at times the Model T represented roughly half of the new-car market, Ford wasn’t alone in producing capable, affordable cars. One of its biggest rivals was Dodge Brothers, which had started life as a supplier to many of Detroit’s early players and was especially important to the eventual success of Henry Ford’s operation.

The brothers themselves, John and Horace, died in 1920, only six years after debuting their eponymous automobile. Dodge (which didn’t drop “Brothers” until 1938 or so) continued along after their demise, controlled by heirs and financial backers, especially investment bank Dillon, Read & Company, which acquired the Hamtramck-based automaker in 1925 and then sold it to Chrysler Corporation in 1928.

Dipping down into Plymouth’s market niche, in 1933, Dodge Brothers was positioning its Six seemingly against the new Ford V-8.

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A 1958 Dodge Royal Lancer battles back from project car to show winner – Jim Black @Hemmings

Big fins and wide whitewalls were all the rage in the late ’50s and no one did it better than the Chrysler divisions. Dual exhausts were an extra cost option. Jim Black

United States car sales slumped in 1958 due to a nationwide recession, but, on the heels of a successful 1957, Dodge rolled out an updated lineup. The division’s 1958 cars were longer, lower, wider, more colorful, and sported an abundance of chrome. Plus, Dodge’s model offerings consisted of the entry-level Coronet, the Royal, the Custom Royal, and a new, top-of-the-line Regal Lancer. Dodge described them as the “Swept-Wing” 1958s in all of its marketing brochures.

Phil Shaw, from Auburn, Nebraska, is a 64-year-old retired UPS driver and Mopar enthusiast of the first order. Phil was looking for a retirement project that spanned the 1957-’59 Dodges when he came across a 1958 Dodge for sale online. The owner was from Norway, the ad was confusing to read, and a gallery of low-quality photos made it difficult to determine the car’s overall condition.

“The owner told me he had purchased the car online, from a seller in Bradenton, Florida, and then had it shipped to a shop in Rosenberg, Texas, to begin the restoration,” Phil says. “But after some work had been done he halted the restoration. He found out a short time later that he was terminally ill with cancer and decided not to see the job through.”

An RCA record player was a rare option not found on many cars of this era. The 45-rpm player held 13 records and played them upside down, so that the weight of the record kept the needle from skipping.

At that point, the car had also been completely disassembled and media blasted, and the shop had performed some sheetmetal repair on the floorpans and trunk floor. Reluctantly, Phil decided to bid on the ’58, not sure exactly what to expect since he had not seen the car in person. He won the auction and purchased the car in January of 2011. No other potential buyers bid against him, which sent up another red flag.

“I picked the car up a few days later. All the window glass had been discarded, and all the parts were in boxes and not well identified,” Phil says. “I examined the bare body and saw that a lot of rust repair was needed around the back window, but the rest of the body seemed to be solid and in good shape.”

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Which one of these 4×4 trucks from the early Seventies would you choose for your dream garage? – Matt Litwin @Hemmings


Believe it or not, the ancestral lineage of the modern four-wheel-drive system dates to 1893. Bramah Joseph Diplock, an English engineer, patented a four-wheel-drive system that year, designed for a steam-powered traction engine. The concept was then adopted by would-be dignitaries in the self-propelled industry, including Ferdinand Porsche (in 1899), Daimler-Benz (1907), Marmon-Herrington (1931), and a host of others, including American Bantam, which designed the prototype general purpose vehicle that famously became the jeep built by Willys and Ford during World War II. Three decades later, the 4×4 drive system – offered by multiple corporations – had attained a long-established reputation for uncompromising off-road durability. In our latest edition of This or That, we’re celebrating 4×4 vehicles from the early Seventies. Let’s take a closer look at four examples for you to ponder, all of which are currently available in the Hemmings classifieds.

Arguably, Jeep made the 4×4 vehicle both fun and affordable for the masses with a contemporary system that was truly battle-tested. Its proliferation beyond what became the CJ was hard to miss, offered in larger platforms such as this Commando-based Super Commando II from 1972. This was one of but a couple years in which the Commando line did not include the Jeepster name, and convertibles, like our featured vehicle, came standard with a removable hardtop, V-8 engine and, of course, the four-wheel-drive system. According to portions of the seller’s listing

The Commando had its own new front end and unique sheetmetal that made it one of the most distinctive Jeeps in decades. What makes this one even more distinct is it’s done in range-topping Super Commando II trim. While we don’t have the paperwork to confirm an SC2, the appearance absolutely shows the premium feeling correctly…The darker blue streak highlights the power bulge in the hood, and the full-length stripe is a reminder that these had flush-fitting front fenders…The sea of blue continues inside, and it shows off quite a comfy interior. You have high-back bucket seats with a velour pattern, and the door panels were even done to match…the dash has a great classic look with a clean pad, factory speedometer, heat/defrost controls, and even the locking hub instructions are still affixed. You’ll also notice well-integrated upgrades for more confident driving, including the auxiliary gauges…This optional 304 cubic-inch unit looks authentic and authoritative under the hood…A three-speed automatic transmission, power steering, and Goodyear tires make for a good all-around cruiser…Plus, don’t forget as a true jeep you have a proper two-speed 4×4 transfer case.

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NASCAR downsized: Which one of these sell-on-Monday cars would you choose for your dream garage? – Matt Litwin @Hemmings


Word on the street was that Detroit was introducing downsized cars for 1977. When NASCAR got wind during the ’76 season, it began exploring the idea of initiating a rule change that would mandate a 110-inch wheelbase chassis, versus the then-current 115-inch design. But once that process began, developmental cost was a concern, prompting Bill France Jr. to issue a statement: “Eventually, we will have to follow Detroit’s trend. In order to curb expenses, the teams will be permitted to use equipment they already have instead of letting new equipment become obsolete in a short time.” The changes Bill hinted at were finally scribed into the 1981 rule book, with one exception: the outgoing cars would be permitted to race at the season opener at Riverside International Raceway (in Riverside, California) on January 11. Bobby Allison won at the helm of a 1977 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. New downsized cars were permitted to compete side-by-side, even though they were not fully mandated yet. Dale Earnhardt finished third in one such Grand Prix, owned by Rod Osterlund.