Monday, June 11, 2012

Return of the Last Hemi

In the days when muscle cars first roamed the earth, among the mightiest were those Mopar products equipped with the 426 hemi V8. Government emission regulations in the US temporarily tamed the muscle car, but Chrysler’s 1966 to 1971 hemis are still legendary today.

RK Motors in Mentor, Ohio, is currently restoring the very last Hemi car ever built, a 1971 Dodge Charger R/T, and we’re invited along for the ride. They’ll be doing a total frame-off restoration, so that the owner, Joe Angelucci, can show off the car this September at the Mega Mopar Action Show at Virginia Motorsports Park.

The restoration will be covered in detail in segments of Fox Sports Ohio’s “Cruise In” show. Fortunately for those of us who don’t get that channel, the segments, together with a detailed restoration blog and lots of photos, can also be found on RK Motor’s website.

“Our team is honored to restore such a significant piece of automotive history,” said Joe Carroll, president and CEO of RK Motors Charlotte. “The current owner wants his hemi to leave our facility in factory-fresh condition. We’re committed to exceeding those expectations.”

“This hemi is a legend,” noted Angelucci. “The Last hemi will be re-built exactly as it would have rolled off the assembly line in 1971. This time it will be hand-built, not assembly-line built, and come with every hemi sticker and badge available for authenticity.”


  1. What proves this car is the last hemi built? I know of three other 1971's that also calim to be the last one built.

  2. According to the press release I based the story on (see Sources, above):

    "The white Charger R/T includes two well-preserved broadcast sheets and fender tag. These prove that it was the last HEMI car built by Chrysler, as it was built a full two weeks after the nearest late 1971 HEMI car."

    But the documents in question aren't on RK Motors' website, unless they're in one of the videos. Nor do they say what they consider to be the car built two weeks previously. It does make for a better story, but you're right, it's not proof positive.


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