Was '68 the first year for factory prepped Hemi A-body?

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A friend of mine says he recently saw a 'factory prepped' '66 A-body with a 426 Hemi, I thought this didn't occur until '68?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Even the 68's were farmed out, the factory, as far as a car coming off the line, never built a Hemi A body that I know of. The 66 Hemi Under Glass was the first factory "authorized" one that I know of.

Now watch a true fan correct me.

Edited by Craig Irwin

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Posted · Report post

Even the 68's were farmed out, the factory, as far as a car coming off the line, never built a Hemi A body that I know of. The 66 Hemi Under Glass was the first factory "authorized" one that I know of.

Now watch a true fan correct me.

Right, in '68 they (Chrysler) 'farmed out' either 48-50 Darts to have 426's installed for sale/use by professional drag teams, prior to that there was no such effort. There might have been cars that had Chryslers 'blessing' prior to '68, but , they were not directly, or , indirectly involved.

My friend says he saw a '66 Barracuda, with a 426 that was the result of Chryslers involvement similar to that of the '68 cars.

Anyway, thanks for the response. I know there are people on here that will know the 'exact' history of 426 A-bodies.

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Posted · Report post

Back about 74 or 75 a friend of mine bought a NOS crate Hemi long block and put it in a 69 Barracuda fastback, it was one of the first "back halved" cars on the street. It and my 427 69 Camaro (also home built) were well known around here.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

1968 was the only year for Hemi-powered Darts and A-Body Barracudas .

These started as assembly line cars from the Hamtramck Plant, and were shipped to Hurst-Campbell for butchery conversion to Hemi power . A sledge hammer was used for clearance on the shock towers' portion of the shear panels and for frame rail / rear wheel house clearance for the rear wheels . The rear wheel openings were crudely cut for tyre clearance . The Hemi engines --essentially stock engines , albeit with crossram induction-- were installed along with either a modified TorqueFlite ( B&M 'J' torque converter , and reverse-pattern manual valvebody ) or a "Slick-Shift" **A-833 4 speed.

The T-Flite models also received the Hurst Dual-Gate shifter and mini console .

Early T-Flite versions were equipped with 4.89 gear'ed 8.75" rears ; 4-speeds had 4.88 gear'ed Dana 60 rears , and ; by the 2nd batch , both T-flites and 4-speeds received the 4.88 Dana 60 .

These were standard-width B-Body diffs (52.5" , IIRC).

Additionally , one-off large-bolt pattern manual disc brakes with the (dreaded) 4-piston calipres were utilised . These were developed by the late Scott Harvey .

The 1966 Dart was the "D-Dart" . It had a highly-modified 273 V8 which was rated at 275 hp ; radical solid-lift cam ; either a Holley or Carter AFB ; 4.89 gear'ed 8.75" rear (yes , 4.89...an exclusive-to-the-8.75" Chrysler diff ) ; Doug Thorley headers (still available !) , and ; all were 4-speeds (the radical cam specs didn't permit automatic trans ... until the "loose" converter came along in the aforementioned 1968 Hemi's : the B&M 'J' model).

The 1966 D-Dart ( "D" meaning the car was qualified to run in D-Stock ) wasn't a *truly* special-built car . The only indication as to their heritage would be their VIN's : LO23E62.

L=Dart

O = Super Stock

23 = Two Door Hardtop

E = 273 four barrel V8

6 = 1966

2 = Hamtramck Mi. Plant

** = By all accounts , "Slick-Shift" was a Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins innovation . Other common name for this arrangement was "Crash-Box" .

Edited by 1972coronet

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Craig, so then you know very well the challange of trying to put a 426 in a first gen (63-66) A-body! Hell, those things would be hard pressed to hold a 340!

Edited by Speedfreak

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Posted (edited) · Report post

1968 was the only year for Hemi-powered Darts and A-Body Barracudas .

These started as assembly line cars from the Hamtramck Plant, and were shipped to Hurst-Campbell for butchery conversion to Hemi power . A sledge hammer was used for clearance on the shock towers' portion of the shear panels and for frame rail / rear wheel house clearance for the rear wheels . The rear wheel openings were crudely cut for tyre clearance . The Hemi engines --essentially stock engines , albeit with crossram induction-- were installed along with either a modified TorqueFlite ( B&M 'J' torque converter , and reverse-pattern manual valvebody ) or a "Slick-Shift" A-833 4 speed.

The T-Flite models also received the Hurst Dual-Gate shifter and mini console .

Early T-Flite versions were equipped with 4.89 gear'ed 8.75" rears ; 4-speeds had 4.88 gear'ed Dana 60 rears , and ; by the 2nd batch , both T-flites and 4-speeds received the 4.88 Dana 60 .

These were standard-width B-Body diffs (52.5" , IIRC).

Additionally , one-off large-bolt pattern manula disc brakes with the (dreaded) 4-piston calipres were utilised . These were developed by the late Scott Harvey .

The 1966 Dart was the "D-Dart" . It had a highly-modified 273 V8 which was rated at 275 hp ; radical solid-lift cam ; either a Holley or Carter AFB ; 4.89 gear'ed 8.75" rear (yes , 4.89...an exclusive-to-the-8.75" Chrysler diff ) ; Doug Thorley headers (still available !) , and ; all were 4-speeds (the radical cam specs didn't permit automatic trans ... until the "loose" converter came along in the aforementioned 1968 Hemi's : the B&M 'J' model).

John, were the 'D-Darts' available to the general public? Sound like a little screamer.

Ok, your edited post pretty much answers that question.

Edited by Speedfreak

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I helped Steve with the swap, but its been 40 years ago. I remember multi piece fender well headers and an offset plate that hinged for the master cylinder. He used a Torqueflite so there was no clutch linkage issues. I also remember the shock towers were cut out and the roll cage mounting the shocks.

I also remember the motor mount tabs cut off the K frame and tabs on the water pump for mounts.

Edited by Craig Irwin

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Posted · Report post

1968 was the only year for Hemi-powered Darts and A-Body Barracudas .

These started as assembly line cars from the Hamtramck Plant, and were shipped to Hurst-Campbell for butchery conversion to Hemi power . A sledge hammer was used for clearance on the shock towers' portion of the shear panels and for frame rail / rear wheel house clearance for the rear wheels . The rear wheel openings were crudely cut for tyre clearance . The Hemi engines --essentially stock engines , albeit with crossram induction-- were installed along with either a modified TorqueFlite ( B&M 'J' torque converter , and reverse-pattern manual valvebody ) or a "Slick-Shift" **A-833 4 speed.

The T-Flite models also received the Hurst Dual-Gate shifter and mini console .

Early T-Flite versions were equipped with 4.89 gear'ed 8.75" rears ; 4-speeds had 4.88 gear'ed Dana 60 rears , and ; by the 2nd batch , both T-flites and 4-speeds received the 4.88 Dana 60 .

These were standard-width B-Body diffs (52.5" , IIRC).

Additionally , one-off large-bolt pattern manual disc brakes with the (dreaded) 4-piston calipres were utilised . These were developed by the late Scott Harvey .

The 1966 Dart was the "D-Dart" . It had a highly-modified 273 V8 which was rated at 275 hp ; radical solid-lift cam ; either a Holley or Carter AFB ; 4.89 gear'ed 8.75" rear (yes , 4.89...an exclusive-to-the-8.75" Chrysler diff ) ; Doug Thorley headers (still available !) , and ; all were 4-speeds (the radical cam specs didn't permit automatic trans ... until the "loose" converter came along in the aforementioned 1968 Hemi's : the B&M 'J' model).

The 1966 D-Dart ( "D" meaning the car was qualified to run in D-Stock ) wasn't a *truly* special-built car . The only indication as to their heritage would be their VIN's : LO23E62.

L=Dart

O = Super Stock

23 = Two Door Hardtop

E = 273 four barrel V8

6 = 1966

2 = Hamtramck Mi. Plant

** = By all accounts , "Slick-Shift" was a Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins innovation . Other common name for this arrangement was "Crash-Box" .

I also heard they put spacers ,about an inch thick between the K-frame and the frame rails to lower the engine to clear the hood ?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

1968 is the only year Hemi Dart's and Barracuda's are legal for NHRA Super Stock Eliminator, 1967 and 1969 are not even though they have the same basic body style.

Edited by Force

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Posted · Report post

I also heard they put spacers ,about an inch thick between the K-frame and the frame rails to lower the engine to clear the hood ?

You're right , absolutely . I neglected to mention some of the other modifications (Lexan door glass , fibreglass fenders / hood , etc.) to the '68 LO23 / BO29

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RE: 1966 Hemi-prepped Darts : There were a few A/FX Darts in '64-'65-'66 which were "factory" prepped with the Hemi . The extent of the factory's affiliation was that of providing the parts / part numbers via "Hustle Stuff" ( predecessor to 1972's "Direct Connection" ) in order for whomever to modify their Dart to accept the 426 . Typically , the entire front suspension was replaced with leaf springs and a straight front axle , right from the A-100 truck and van models .

Back to the 1968 Hurst Hemi ; some racers cosmetically-updated their 1968 Hemi Dart or Barracuda to 1969 parts . These cars were ostensibly no longer "stock" , no longer current year . They were run in A/MP or -this was news to me- some pre-Pro Stock class from 1969 , whose class I can't recall at this time .

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Posted (edited) · Report post

John, is there an example of one of the '64-66' 'Hustle Stuff' 426 A-bodies to look at?

I started this thread because a friend of mine said he saw one ('66 Barracuda) at auction recently and I said that know such car(s) ever existed, that had direct involvement from Chrysler.

Edited by Speedfreak

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Posted (edited) · Report post

John, is there an example of one of the '64-66' 'Hustle Stuff' 426 A-bodies to look at?

I started this thread because a friend of mine said he saw one ('66 Barracuda) at auction recently and I said that know such car(s) ever existed, that had direct involvement from Chrysler.

Let me do some research ...

One example of the A/FX programme that I can think of right-off would be Charlie Allen's "L.A. Dart" from 1964 or 1965 .

post-6643-0-44029800-1390246378_thumb.jp

Edited by 1972coronet

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Posted · Report post

Not to split hairs, but .....

The early cars had the 8 3/4 w/ the 489 cast center section (large diameter pinion shaft), I believe the gears were 4.88's, which is a Mopar ratio. Most had the narrowed B body Dana.

But go further answer the question, the Hurst-Campell Hemi cars are about as close to "factory" Hemi A bodies as your going to find.

And those D-Dart are neat. I worked with a guy years ago that had one.

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Posted · Report post

Let me do some research ...

One example of the A/FX programme that I can think of right-off would be Charlie Allen's "L.A. Dart" from 1964 or 1965 .

Outside of the Dodge dealer sponsorship, I don't think Mopar had anything to do with Charlie Allens AFX Dart

And as far as a factory built Hemi A body ,,there is no such thing.

The closest one to factory built was the mule car and even it was built offsite in the skunkworks program

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You're right , absolutely . I neglected to mention some of the other modifications (Lexan door glass , fibreglass fenders / hood , etc.) to the '68 LO23 / BO29

68 Hemi Dart/Barracuda cars did NOT have Lexan door glass. The door glass was thinner than stock and made by Corning, regulators were omitted and a strap made from seat belt material was used to raise and lower the glass.

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Posted · Report post

The closest-to-factory-built [ Hemi-powered A-Body] was the mule car and even it was built offsite in the skunkworks program

From the best of my recollection (which has been called into question by yours truly as of late :blink: ) that car was built at the Amblewagon facility , and was based upon a 1967 Formula-S Barracuda with a 383 .

68 Hemi Dart/Barracuda cars did NOT have Lexan door glass. The door glass was thinner than stock and made by Corning, regulators were omitted and a strap made from seat belt material was used to raise and lower the glass.

Correct-amundo ! As I was typing "Lexan" , I thought , That's not the right name ! Indeed , it was thinner-gauge glass ( safety glass ? I can't recall ... ) and it would shatter if one som much as sneezed near it !

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Mopar guys are such %$#@#$% geeks…. aren't we? :P

The parts manager at my dealership's Father owned a junkyard back in the day. His Father would always say the Mopars guys were "weird". :lol:

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BTW: Collectively, I really enjoy sharing the trivia with John, Ron, & Bill. I always learn something every time a topic pops up.

I love it…. B)

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Let me do some research ...

One example of the A/FX programme that I can think of right-off would be Charlie Allen's "L.A. Dart" from 1964 or 1965 .

Attached Thumbnails

http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/uploads/post-6643-0-44029800-1390246378.jpg

Hey John, that Charlie Allen Dart is bad azz! Talk about a kit that someone should produce! Wow!

That's a 426 in that car?

Edited by Speedfreak

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RE: 1966 Hemi-prepped Darts : There were a few A/FX Darts in '64-'65-'66 which were "factory" prepped with the Hemi . The extent of the factory's affiliation was that of providing the parts / part numbers via "Hustle Stuff" ( predecessor to 1972's "Direct Connection" ) in order for whomever to modify their Dart to accept the 426 . Typically , the entire front suspension was replaced with leaf springs and a straight front axle , right from the A-100 truck and van models .

Back to the 1968 Hurst Hemi ; some racers cosmetically-updated their 1968 Hemi Dart or Barracuda to 1969 parts . These cars were ostensibly no longer "stock" , no longer current year . They were run in A/MP or -this was news to me- some pre-Pro Stock class from 1969 , whose class I can't recall at this time .

IIRC, in 1969 AHRA ran a heads-up bracket - "SSE" was the window desigation

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IIRC, in 1969 AHRA ran a heads-up bracket - "SSE" was the window desigation

That's the one ! Thank you :) . When I first saw a '68 Hemi-come-"'69" Hemi Dart ( one from Dick Landy's stable ) , I thought , Why's that Hemi Dart running :

- in Super Stock

- and why is it all the way down in the "E" Class ?

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IIRC, in 1969 AHRA ran a heads-up bracket - "SSE" was the window desigation

AHRA got a head start on the NHRA when it came to heads-up "stocker" racing. They called their version " Super Stock Eliminator" hence the SSE designation.

The half thickness side glass in the original Hemi cars was called Chemcore. Lexan is allowed as a replacement for the original glass.

WF

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