The last hemi engine car to roll off any Chrysler production line during the sixties and seventies muscle car era – a 1971 Dodge Charger R/T – is undergoing a complete frame-off restoration at RK Motors in Mentor, Ohio. Sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts and Passport Transport, the completed project will be unveiled at the Mega Mopar Action Show on 22-23 September 2012, at Virginia Motorsports Park. The V8 engine was dubbed hemi-head because the cylinder head was hemispherical in shape to promote better combustion of the mixture thereby creating more power.
The white Dodge Charger R/T includes two well-preserved broadcast sheets and a fender tag. These prove – it is claimed – that it was the last hemi car built by Chrysler because it was built two weeks after the nearest late 1971 hemi car.
This 1971 Dodge Charger R/T was delivered to Glavic Dodge in Wickliffe, Ohio. A customer special-ordered the Charger from Chrysler’s Lynch Road assembly plant in Detroit. Years later, 14-year-old Joe Angelucci spotted the hemi sitting in a garage and fell in love with it. After years of trying to buy the Charger, Angelucci finally was able to own his dream vehicle in 1991.
“This hemi is a legend,” said Angelucci. “Its historical significance has made it very exciting to own and enjoy.”
The Charger R/T will be rebuilt exactly as it would have rolled off the assembly line in 1971. This time, of course, it will be hand-built, not assembly line built, and come with every hemi sticker and badge available for authenticity.