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History So how did you come by your HEMI'(S)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 34Larry, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. 34Larry
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 724

    34Larry
    Member

    I guess this might be a question for guys like me that always wanted one, but never thought they'd have one, or maybe not. Some of you have more than one, have been tinkering with them since they first came about, or have dozens laying around. No matter, Hemi, ALWAYS make for good stories.
    My '55 331 came about at a Boeing car show in year 2000. I'd been saying while building my garage build that I needed a Hemi for my 34, and dumping the 302 HO I had, just knowing I'd never have one. The guy next to me says he has one with a B&M 727 Torqueflite. Its been rebuilt, he has receipts, for $2500.00, says he is retiring, moving to Phoenix, and to come look at it. I did, but had no idea if that's reasonable or not. So I pass on it. Two weeks later at the first swap meet of the year, there he is with a large flat bed trailer, filled to the max with parts and the Hemi. I mention to a couple of buddies his story, and the price. Well the one guys says, "Shit, if didn't have the four I have now I'd take it, buy my 'ol lady would kill me". I ask, " That a good price, I saw the receipts"? Answer was, "What, with the tranny, dual quads, and rebuilt" "You couldn't buy a Junker and rebuild it for that" Well he delivered to my garage on his way home. Was all he said it and the 727 were. Now I'm like a kid in in the preverbal candy store. Love this thing and often just start it up and listening to its powerful idle,
    when tinkering out in the garage on meaningless little nothing jobs One of the best buys I've made in my almost 80 years.
    Any more good stories on HEMI buys ? Would really make for good reading, or even interesting other Hemi stories.(lower pic is not of a traditional HAMB friendly 34 but maybe it can slip by this one time. ?? If not I get it.
    Picture 458.jpg
    HEMI 2.jpg
     
  2. Thief, you should be ashamed....:rolleyes:
     
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  3. 34Larry
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 724

    34Larry
    Member

    :D:):D:):D:):D:)
     
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  4. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 583

    Hemi Joel
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Ever since I was a yoot, I wanted an old school hot rod coupe. That dream eventually morphed into the desire for an old school hot rod coupe with a Hemi.
    In someways, I was kind of like Larry, thinking I'd never have one. But at the same time I had lofty goals and kept telling myself I would have one. One thing I have learned since then is that what ever you think your future will be is likely to happen. So as I became more convinced that this dream would come to fruition, I started telling people about it. One day in 1993, i was buying an old non-operable hit or miss engine from a guy. He was a car guy too, and we hit it off. As we were talking, telling each other all the car stories, I mentioned my Hemi coupe aspirations. He said he knew a guy who used to be a vo-tech auto shop teacher, and the class had torn down an early hemi, and maybe he still had it. So I ended up phoning the guy, and he still had it, a 392 out of a '58 Imperial. All they did was tore it down, hot tanked it, all the kids miked it, they tossed the pistons and the cam, and he still had what was left. I don't remember exactly what I paid, maybe $400 or so. He was an interesting character as well, who proudly showed me his Marmon V-16 sedan, and told all about it and it's aluminum engine. In '03 I found a 31 Plymouth body, and eventually started building it. So my motor sat for a long time, and now finally 25 years later it is in my coupe, terrorizing the street and the strip!

    rock falls cr ac med.jpg
     
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  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,714

    squirrel
    Member

    How did I get my Hemi? I spent a whole bunch of money, that's how.

    002-hot-rod-drag-week-1966-barracuda.jpg
     
    Gotgas, lumpy 63, saltflats and 3 others like this.
  6. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 5,135

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    @34Larry how do you add oil to that thing? I don't see a fill tube.
     
  7. A guy at work talked the owner into selling then talked me into buying my 354 Chrysler. The previous owner bought it when he was in high school in the early 70's he never used it but he moved all over town as he was raising his family. it came with a drag star intake with 6 strombergs, schiefer aluminum flywheel, 50 olds trans and bell housing. All for $1500
     
    UNSHINED 2 likes this.
  8. Shamus
    Joined: Jul 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,039

    Shamus
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NC

    Traded a Ford 5.0 for a '55 331. IMG_5850.JPG
     
  9. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 2,453

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    My '40 Plymouth Business coupe. My DeSoto 291 ,tranny and rear came out of a '55 DeSoto. Big bad 2 barrel :D
     
  10. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 2,453

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    Been mulling maybe getting it back since my buddy hasn't done anything with it since I sold it to him.
     
  11. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 583

    Hemi Joel
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Bandit: oil fill hole HEMI 2.jpg
     
  12. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 583

    Hemi Joel
    Member
    from Minnesota


    Cheater! You didn't do it the hard way!
     
  13. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,714

    squirrel
    Member

    Sure, it was easy. Not.
     
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  14. Never2old
    Joined: Oct 14, 2010
    Posts: 486

    Never2old
    Member
    from so cal

    A “friend” owed me less than $200 and gave me his parents ‘55 New Yorker to settle the debt. That was 25 years ago.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  15. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,555

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I got my first when I was 14-15. My Dad took me to T.L. Browns auto wrecking and said pick out an engine to learn on. $40 delivered. We pulled it apart, cleaned, inspected it and reassembled it. We ran it on a homemade wooden engine stand. The next one came in a boat w/ 2-4s. I put a Mooneyham 6-71 on it then pulled it to put it in my Willys (avatar). Got another from Greg Daebellien when he went to a 426 in his F/C. Got one (a bone stock ‘58 Imperial) from a Chevy collector who lived in my neighborhood for $350. And the last one came in a boat covered in M/T marine equipment. I still have three. My Austin will get one.


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  16. foolthrottle
    Joined: Oct 14, 2005
    Posts: 963

    foolthrottle
    Member

    I got the most recent one, a 331 out of a 55 Imperial from the horse stall where it had been sitting for the last 20 years, I could see that it was mostly there and offered 200 bucks, it was a real pig in a poke, bored it 40, turned the crank 20/20, new set of pistons, new valves, springs, still need a few parts
     
    UNSHINED 2 likes this.
  17. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 2,747

    southcross2631
    Member

    During the energy crisis back in the early 70's I bought a 69 Charger 500 with a Hemi for $ 1800.00 off a used car lot in Colorado Springs. I was stationed at Ft.Carson. Got orders to go overseas and sold it to a guy who made a Pikes Peak hill climb stock car out of it.
    That is a high dollar car today . I had a choice keep my big block Camaro or the Charger.
     
    UNSHINED 2 likes this.
  18. Bought my '53 331 (bored 1/8" over to 354) in 1966 from a classmate in high school for $25. Got my '36 Willys from grandson of original owner the same year for $75. Had to work and save up all summer to afford them! Got the Hydramatic and Olds rear end from junk yard about the same time.

    Engine shots.jpg my hydro 1.jpg Old days 2.jpg
     
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  19. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,273

    metalman
    Member

    Not mine but a project for a friend/ customer. He bought a rusty 4 door 53 Dodge cheap and brought it to me, I pulled the engine, sold some parts off the rest of the car then sold what was left to the junk yard. By the time we were thru he had the hemi + a couple hundred bucks! Of course that rapidly became a negative figure by the time it looked like this! DSC_0299.JPG Another one, back in the 80's another buddy of mine bought a 4 door 36 Dodge, had me come with my trailer to pick it up for him. I thought he was nuts for wanting it (especially since he had a 41 Willys coupe project) when I first saw it till he opened the hood. Someone had attempted to swap a 392 Hemi in it, stock but complete. After we got it home we got the trunk open and there was another one disassembled it the trunk, he didn't even know it was there! No wonder that car was so damn heavy to load on the trailer!
     
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  20. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,255

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    The first 331 came from a scrap yard. Came with a funny aluminum plate that turned out to be a 727 adapter The engine turned and was super clean and had the good 55 heads That one was 800. The 354 was in pieces and a freebie. 2 more 331 were basically swapped for labor. They were complete with brackets and auto trans. My father in law had a old 2x4 intake he picked up in a trade as a kid and gave me. Turned out to be for a 331/354 Then traded basically nuthin for a manual bellhousing and starter. And somehow ended up with a set of forged Venolia pistons and extra heads and crank
     
    UNSHINED 2 likes this.
  21. 34Larry
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 724

    34Larry
    Member

    Hey Bandit, Oil? I don't add no stinking oil. (BSing ya). The valley cover has a cap that screws off. You can see it just below the coil if you look close.
     
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  22. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,125

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The one in my dirt car (avatar) is a 331 out of a '54 New Yorker. In 1991, I was at the Chickasha swap meet in the last weekend of October in 1991. I was looking for a hemi for my race car, and there were two guys from northern Oklahoma with a complete '54 New Yorker four door for sale. It was a complete car that run very well and drove, but had no brakes. They initially wanted $1200 for it. That was out of my price range, so I passed. If you will remember, October 31, 1991 was the date of the infamous "Halloween Blizzard" that absolutely paralyzed the entire middle of the country. It started to rain on Wednesday, which turned to sleet on Thursday. I had stopped by a couple of times to check with the guys and see it I could get the price down. By noon on Friday, they were getting desperate, because they had an old rickety trailer and didn't want to haul he car back on it. They asked me what I would give them for it, so I dug into my wallet and got all the small bills out; it amounted to $29. To my surprise, they took it.

    I flagged down a tow truck driver, who told me he would haul it back to his shop and pull the engine for me for $100, if he could keep the rest of the car. That was fine with me because I only wanted the engine. I followed him to his shop, where he dropped of the car and gave the three kids that worked for him $50 to pull the engine, but told them don't use the torch. He then left. Two of the kids gave the third kid the $50 bill and he left as well. The first two kids started working on the car. The third kid returned about 15 minutes later with a bottle of Crown Royal and a 12-pak of Mountain Dew (I am not making this up). After a couple of more hours they had the engine out. My buddy had a 1 ton Chevy with a 454 pulling a double trailer, so we dumped the engine along with a 427 he had purchased in the bed and left. (He had a Chevy II and and a Bronco on the trailer.)

    I could tell you another story about the three day trip back to Minnesota (which usually is just one long day's drive) but it doesn't involve hemi's, so I won't.

    My second one was a lot more mundane. A guy from Taylor's Falls Minnesota offered a rebuilt 331 engine out of a '56 dump truck on eBay. I was looking for another, so I took a chance on this one and bid $1500 on it. I was surprised when I won it. I was on my way up north anyway, so I swung by Taylor's Falls to pick it up. The story was is that it had been completely rebuilt about 5000 miles before, but the clutch or transmission had gone out and it just wasn't worth putting more money into. I pulled the dipstick, and the oil was so clean it was hard to read the level so I gave the guy the money.

    The engine sat in my shop for a couple of years until I had a chance to put it on my test stand. My gamble had paid off, and the engine ran great, had perfect compression, good oil pressure and ran cool. I swapped on the the 4 BBL intake, front cover, water pump and oil filter assembly from the New Yorker engine, so I ended up with a good usable engine.

    You said you wanted a story.
     
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  23. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 835

    mickeyc
    Member

    I had four, but recently sold one to young hot rodder in this area.
    The first one was a complete 354 I bought from a fellow out Houston
    way. Then a fellow car guy told me about a boat his neighbor had languishing
    away in his yard. I checked it out and was able to buy it and save it from a scrapper.
    It was a very interesting craft. a 1949 Correct craft mahogany hulled dual cockpit
    runabout. Someone had replaced the original flat head gray marine 6 cylinder
    motor with a factory Chrysler Marine motor with 250 h.p. two four barrel carb
    set up. The owner had removed the heads at the start of his total rebuild. It never went
    any further and I bought it just before the scrapper arrived. Not only did I get the motor
    but also some nice vintage boat stuff. like a set of 3inch seven foot log brass exhaust pipes
    and nice set of through hull stainless exhaust tips. This motor has solid lifters and adjustable rocker assemblies. The next motor is an industrial 331 that came from
    the New Orleans airport where it had powered a gen set for aircraft sitting on
    the tarmac waiting for flight. I cranked this motor up and it seemed to run well.
    The last motor I have is a 1958 392 that was run in a 17 foot flat bottom plywood
    race hull. it has an Edelbrock 6x2 original crossram with Stromberg 97s and nickson flame arrestors and a roller cam.
     
  24. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,054

    sunbeam
    Member

    I was at a swap meet looking for a Dodge hemi And this guy said he had one ready to go together. All machine work done and new parts to put it together. He said you got to buy all my hemi stuff to get it. So $1000 later the motor was mine plus 2 more complete motors and parts to build 2 more except for blocks.
     
  25. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,629

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You know, that's kind of interesting. I had been running a 260 inch Dodge in a Bantam altered coupe. I worked for Lyon metals assembling and delivering steel shelving and office furniture. I was making a delivery to United Technology's new rocket engine assembly plant in Sunnyvale. There was an early 331 laying in the middle or the parking lot. I asked the guard why it was there and could I have it. He said "Sure. They were going to have it hauled away anyway." This was in '64. I put it in my ;32 coupe and later in a 53 Stude and last in a 59 Lark. Fun times.
     
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  26. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,995

    George
    Member

    1st one was in the mid 90s, a running but not stopping '54 Imperial, dissolving from rust, for $300. Four other 331s since.
     
  27. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 2,845

    51 mercules
    Member

    One came in my 51 Merc and the other I bought from HAMB'er in Lake Havasu.
     

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  28. aussie oldie
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 393

    aussie oldie
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Filler in front of valley cover!
     
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  29. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 5,135

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I ask because my 330 Desoto doesn't have a provision for an oil fill. There is a hole in the back of the valley pan, I plan to add a PCV back there. But then how to add oil? I was thinking about adding an oil fill in one of the valve covers and breathers in both. Just gathering Intel at this point. Thanks gents.
     
  30. lilmann
    Joined: Apr 13, 2017
    Posts: 87

    lilmann

    My brother lives in a small mountain town and for years kept telling me about a real 392. I didn’t have a use for it but kept it in the back of my mind. Here earlier this year I picked up a great 34 five window Ford project and then went and grabbed up that 392!

    Same guy has 2 other HEMI’s, not sure on displacement of either but one is for sure a baby. If anyone is interested I can get pictures and prices....


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     

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