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Another Hemi Car: Come On..REALLY?

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It's the legend that keeps folks spending their money. How many 1:1 Hemi cars were produced? How many model cars with Hemis? There's a disparity in the numbers only explained by that legendary word HEMI.

In the armor world we see hundreds of kits from all the manufacturers of Tiger tanks. Every manufacturer has at least two kits out there. Real life? Just over 1300 were ever built, maybe 5 still exist world wide. The legend fuels the desire.

I can't afford a Hemi 'cuda and really wouldn't want one right now. But I can build the stink out of them in all different flavors just by visiting the hobby shop.


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The 1966-1971 Street Hemi was more than merely an engine option ; numerous other upgrades were part of the Hemi package :

- Specifically-modified TorqueFlite ( same version that the 1969-1972 440+6 had ) ;

- Exclusive shear panels (colloq. , "inner fenders") ;

- H.D. axles and differential (versus the 340 / 383 / 440-4) ;

- Special brake booster (if so equipped) ;

- Mandatory 15" wheels , 1969-1970/71 ;

- Exclusive K-Member ;

- Extra welding-points ;

- Torque Boxes ;

- A slew of other modifications / upgrades .

So , your $800 - $900 additional pay-out for the Hemi package was for more than "just an engine" .

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I grew up in England in the late fifty's early sixty's. My Dad drove a '54 Ford fordor sedan. Don't recall if it was a 6 or an 8.

Upon our return to the states in 1961 he purchased a brand spanking new 1961 Ford Country Squire station wagon, black with a red interior.We picked it up in New Jersey and were on our way across country to our new home in Tucson Arizona.

The new car had a six cylinder engine and NO air conditioner. :lol: Tucson in July 100 degrees + :o

I always say it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Just sayin'

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When my dad ran S/S everyone asked him why the Duster and not a chevy?He said,"Anyone can make a chevy go fast, you can buy parts for it at the junkyard.You can't do that with a 340, you have to be smart." Pretty much on the money.

I hear that. My brother would get so irritated when a Chevy blew up. He'd say the dude went to Walgreens on Sunday to buy a cam but he put it in backwards. lol.

Mopars had to be built and machined, that's why they were quicker and lasted longer.


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Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

Exactamundo! I know that I'm not alone in realizing that a lot of model car builders are... "aging", some gracefully, some not so gracefully. Nostalgia sets in. Many of us would like to have the ability to recall our young memories in plastic - what our parents, relatives, neighbors, etc. drove. Nobody I knew had anything with a Hemi.

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Then there's people like me..........who would prefer the biggest engine possible in the cheapest version possible :D

X2..... right there with you brother...... I wish the fellow I and the fellow I was dealing with at the time didn't have our fallout back in '80 or I would still have my hemi powered pro street colt that we started.

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I do not think anyone is saying do not put the Hemi in the kit, they are just asking for somethings else to us if you so chose . Please bring back more 3 in 1 kits.

very well put and I agree 100% just think when they first put out the 68 Grand Spaulding big block dart if they would have added a 340, sales would have went thru the roof........ then they put out a 69 big block dart.... still no 340...... then the 2in1 hemi dart... oh look....a 440...... like I said, I am a big block homer, but I feel where you guys are coming from.

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Because the cost of the HEMI option added about 50% to the price of the car. Not a whole lot of people were willing to spring for that kind of cash just for an engine option. Everyone did NOT want a HEMI, only a very few did... that's why today they are so rare and pricey. There just aren't that many out there.

The original base price of the 1970 Cuda was around $3,500, (remember, the "cuda" was the high performance one, the "barracuda" was the standard) plus $900 for the Hemi option. so ONLY about 40% of the price of the car. give or take...... (hear the sarcasm).......

so, a hemi cuda would set you back $4,400, a 440+6 would run around $4,000 and a 440 4bbl would be in the range of $3,600. the 383, obviously at around $3,300 to $3,500.

figures based on price guide and internet.

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I think the thing that's been overlooked in this discussion is the great unwashed masses - outside hyper fanatical model forums - is that the majority of people want to build a model of the hottest, most optioned muscle car they can get. They aren't building a case of '70 Cudas with every engine option, they are building one, and it's going to be the top of the line performance monster that is a Hemi Cuda.

There's a reason we don't get 6 cyl 2010 Camaro and 2010 Mustang kits, all the Modern MOPAR kits are SRT8s and the like. 3n1 kits of yore may have had more than one engine option, but traditionally speaking they weren't more than one STOCK engine option. You got Factory Stock, Custom, and some form of racing, not F/S, down trim F/S, and bargain stripped economy F/S.

I'm all for variety and all of that, but if you want to build a Malibu instead of a Chevelle, or a Tempest instead of a GTO that's on you as a builder and the aftermarket to supply. No one, regardless of kit manufacturer can focus on making the "every day" mid-trim car. Even Asian manufacturers and their seeming unending supply of run of the mill 4-door cars are simply the base for a series of mild to wild VIP and Tuner vehicles that come afterwards. Gotta toss a "bone" to the factory stock guys and all of that.

Manufacturers have to focus on what will sell to the largest market and that the "Halo" dream cars - ala the auction cars. No one (well almost no one since I know SOMEONE will chime in that they would) watches a Barret Jackson TV telecast hoping to see that pristine no option Slant 6 '70 Charger roll across.

Plus in reality all things - costs, insurance, storage, etc - can anyone here REALLY, HONESTLY claim they'd rather own a '70 Barracuda with a 318 over a '70 Hemi Cuda in 1:1?

Edited by niteowl7710
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Why do the kit manufacturers seem determined to issue 426 Hemi`s in Mopar kits?

As I pause for thought and ponder the matter (beside the strip/drag cars) I only saw two 426 Hemi`s in any of the street driven/street raced cars growing up. The 318, 383 and 440 engines were the most prevalent mills one would see under the hoods of Mopar street cars back in the day. Truth of the matter is:

1 ) they were to expensive_the Hemi option cost almost as much as the car itself

2) they were a bear to keep tuned

3) a well tuned and correctly set up 440 mill could give most Hemi cars a seriously close run for their money if not beat them.

Why don`t model manufacturers kit the more popular Mopar blocks?

I`m just saying....any thoughts or insights on the topic are welcome.

Wow...this is an interesting thread, to say the least!

A couple of comments from this end...

* I suggested to Revell that they base the first version of this tool on the '70 Hemi 'cuda because I thought that this would have the broadest appeal in the overall hobby kit market. I backed this up with the popularity of the car in today's collector circles, the level of magazine coverage, and the ever-growing auction values of '70 Hemi 'cudas. Once the basic kit is out there, and if it sells (as the original versions of Revell's '32 Ford Street Rode series sold), I think it would be pretty safe to expect that over the ensuing years, Revell would offer additional kit variations of the 'cuda tool, including the 340 small block (my next choice), and/or the B/RB engines. Most important, from my POV, would be to pick a first topic for the tool that is going to rack up the most sales, the soonest. And in my view, that would have to be the Hemi.

* Second comment - in my suggestions to Revell for this kit topic, I emphasized including choices, in this first kit, that would allow the builder plenty of build alternatives. Others who were contacting Revell about this topic for a kit also emphasized this point. That's in part why you see this kit include both the Shaker and the double bubble hood, both plated and Elastomeric bumpers (including the different shape of the front E. bumper), a shifter that allows both console and non-console applications, side body stripe options in three factory Job 1 and mid-year addition correct colors, etc. Swapping an LA or B./RB engine in a model car is pretty simple these days, while having to scratch that 'cuda double bubble hood would challenge some builders. The point is, many of the building blocks have been included in this kit.

* Last point - many of the Mopar kits engineered since the mid 1990's have included the non-Hemi powertrains as their base choices. The current issue of the other model car magazine out there has an extensive article on 1/25th scale Mopar powertrains, and most of the editorial coverage is on the non-Hemi powertrains in Mopar model car kits.

I'm sure I could think of more to say, but that should do it for now.

Cool topic, and interesting comments by everyone! TIM

Edited by tim boyd
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The original base price of the 1970 Cuda was around $3,500, (remember, the "cuda" was the high performance one, the "barracuda" was the standard) plus $900 for the Hemi option. so ONLY about 40% of the price of the car. give or take...... (hear the sarcasm).......

so, a hemi cuda would set you back $4,400, a 440+6 would run around $4,000 and a 440 4bbl would be in the range of $3,600. the 383, obviously at around $3,300 to $3,500.

figures based on price guide and internet.

Mate I don't know what calculator you used to get your percentage but $900 of $4400 is not 40%... It's just over 25%. $3500 divided by 4 = $875 ( 25%) ?? basic math.

In the previous years, 67...68...69... The Hemi option was between $500-$600, ( from all info' I have read in Mopar magazines/books )

If we all had hindsight... We'd be filthy rich with a garage FULL of Hemi optioned cars.... ??

Edited by CJ1971
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MPC's old "Grand National" stock car Chrysler products had wedge heads, intakes, AND hemi heads and intakes.... well, if memory serves me, anyway. the general appearance of a B/RB and Hemi block is overall the same at 1/24-1/25th scale, so why not simply cut the molds for a second pair of heads, valve covers, exhausts and intakes? I replicated my uncle George's plain old Satellite Sebring with 318/at by backdating the 340 out of the new Duster kit... can't do his Duster with the slant six without a Gibson or Lindberg engine.... and can't do a Chrysler Poly 318 at all, accurately. Ford put an awful lot of 351m/400's in trucks in the '70's and all through the fullsize line for years, but how many Cleveland/modifieds do we have? how many 240/300's for trucks? Chevies got a good spread of 235's a few years back, and their small and big blocks are easy to replicate as 400's or 402's or anything in between....

a second engine like Lindberg's slant six would be SOOOOO welcome in ANY manufacturer's lineup.... for every HO 5.0 Mustang there must have been 25 plain jane 200's..... or even 2.3ohc fours..... MPC was so cool in providing the OHC Sprint Six in their '69 Firebird kit along with the 400.....

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Yes the 426 Hemi is based on the RB design, but the Hemi block has 4 bosses on each side in the lifter valley for the Hemi heads upside down head bolts, 4 bolt (cross bolt) main caps for the 3 middle ones and a crank shaft with 6 bolt pattern for the flywheel/flexplate, the regular 383-440 had 5...but the outside apperence of the short block is pretty much the same otherwise.

I agree with Tim.

The Hemi version is a sure seller for the main part of the model builders, as are most of the other Hi Performance cars in the other car brands...just think about it, who wouldn't like to have "top of the line" car in his/her possession...I would for sure if I had the money...more main stream cars doesn't have the same appeal on people.

The slant 6 version of a 70 Barracuda were probably not made in large numbers but they were made...and there are most likely less of them still untouched with us today than the Hemi cars...but if they did a kit of one I don't think it would outsell a kit of the Hemi 'Cuda.

The way kits are made today with changeable tool inserts there are possibillitys for several versions and I think we will get lots of them based on this kit in the future, one may be a more correct AAR version than the last 2 attempts Revell made...and that has a 340.

Another thing, lots of modelbuilders do a lot of kitbashing and change an engine isn't that hard, and if you don't want to buy a kit and rob the engine from it there are several engine versions available on the aftermarket to do the car you want.

Edited by Force
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