Reviewing Holmstrom’s “Hemi Muscle 70 Years”

The Chrysler Hemi engine has been the main choice of performance for the last 70 years. We were given the opportunity to give our thoughts on Darwin Holmstrom’s new book Hemi Muscle 70 Years on this legendary powerplant. Let’s dive into this new publication that is expected to hit store shelves very soon.

The excitement in this book starts right at the spectacular protective jacket, featuring a beautifully restored 1970s Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda on the front cover. One of my favorite touches on the front cover of the protective jacket is that the letters spelling out “Hemi” and “70 years” are actually in the same shade of orange, as the Chrysler Hemi engine! How cool is that?! On the back of the cover, we see an incredible photograph of the famous 426 cubic-inch Hemi engine, split with a commentary about what you will find inside this great book. Just by looking at the cover, you will know right away that you’ll be in for a surprise.

Starting off at the beginning of the Chrysler Hemi in 1950, developed from a Walter P. Chrysler design for an aircraft engine during World War II, Hemi Muscle 70 Years, covers each and every aspect of the Chrysler Hemi. You’ll hear stories about early NASCAR legends Tim Flock, and Lee Petty. There’s the birth of the Chrysler 300 models in 1955, which sparked the legendary series.

In the book, there is a huge chapter on drag racing, where the Hemi was the main power plant of choice for the sport’s top drivers that competed in AHRA and NHRA events. We were delighted by stories told by “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, and his role with this great engine. Also mentioned are Dick Landy, and Ronnie Sox, who also drag raced with a Hemi-powered car.

We also get a great insight at how the Hemi was used in production cars during the mid 1960s to early 1970s, with the “B-Body” Mopars that were being produced at the time, from the Plymouth Road Runners and GTXs, to the Dodge Chargers and Daytonas.

The photography and historical imagery in this book is nothing short of amazing. Detailed photographs show the craftsmanship that went into these cars when they were being built. The historical imagery provided makes the reader feel like they were experiencing that very moment right when the photograph was taken. Hemi Muscle isn’t just a picture book. It’s a detailed archive that’s purely dedicated to the Chrysler Hemi. It’s a history book. Be sure to get your copy in time for the Holiday Season!

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Maxx Kominsky

Feature Contributor Maxx is a Southern Californian hot rodder and classic car aficionado. With a passion for vintage surf rock, American iron and everything tied to these two genres, Maxx brings his love and passion to Mopar Connection with aplomb.